Academics at home: 3 tips

If you’re looking for additional resources or ideas to help with your kids academics after they’ve completed their school homework or to help you when the kids are home during the COVID-19 period, below are my “Academics at home: 3 tips.”

1) Academic website resources

School District – Our kids’ school district has online resources that our kids can access to help with their academics, so you should contact your school or district for more information. It’s usually free!

Scholastic – FREE online resources and activities from Scholastic Learn at Home, click here.

I’m sure there are other academic websites out there, but to be honest I don’t really use any of them. I focus on having my kids read books and other activities, but I’m providing some options for parents that prefer website/online tools.

2) Reading at home

All of my kids’ teachers repeatedly say that kids should do 20+ minutes of reading daily. So, I focus on reading.

After school I usually have my two older kids read 2 or 3 short books (or 2 or 3 chapters in a chapter book). My middle child is able to read on her own with little assistance. My older child needs more help, so I sit with her and help her pronounce words and provide definitions. I also have her read the chapter/book three times, circling words she doesn’t know how to pronounce or the meaning.

I think reading with a child is very helpful for the child if your child finds reading a challenge. Also, I try to buy books that have topics that interest my kids, like stories about kids that are similar age, stories about animals, etc. I find that my kids are more motivated to read when the topic interests them.

I’ve obtained books from school book sales (most expensive) or used book stores (cheaper) or hand me downs from family/friends (free). I believe my wife belongs to Facebook mom groups and she’s purchased books through the groups too.

I print out a 1 page sheet of questions and give to my kids so they can complete in writing after reading each book/chapter. After they’ve completed the questions, I have them read me the questions and their written answers.

My reading worksheet has questions like:

  • Name of book and chapter (if applicable)?
  • Names of main characters?
  • Location of story?
  • What is the story about?
  • If there is a problem, what is it and how is the problem solved?
  • What did you like about the story? What did you dislike about the story?

I also go through the chapter/book and ask additional questions to make sure they’ve read the chapter/book completely. I sometimes find they haven’t read the chapter/book thoroughly based on my oral questions, so I have them read the chapter/book again.

My youngest child is in kindergarten, so he’s reading very basic sentences. He reads pamphlets that his teacher gives him. The pamphlets are usually on a sheet of paper, folded in half and printed front and back. So, the pamphlets are only 3 pages of very basic reading. I’ll typically sit next to him and help him with sounding out and pronouncing words, as well as explaining the meanings.

3) Worksheets

For all of my kids, I print them math and reading worksheets that I find through doing a Google search online. An example of a search term I use is: “your child’s grade” reading comprehension worksheets. Or, “your child’s grade” math worksheets.

I then look in the “images” link, and then the “free printable” link of Google search results. I click on a worksheet image that looks interesting. If it is what I’m looking for, I save to my computer, then print the worksheet. Note, some images are copyright protected, so observe applicable laws.

Some of the images have links to websites that offer free or paid worksheets for kids, so you can also look into that.

I hope this “Academics at home: 3 tips” article was helpful, happy studying!

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