Isabeau Elyne July 30, 2020 worksheets
Then along came digital copiers and the purple-ink mimeograph machine disappeared. But the teaching tool that the mimeograph machine spawned – the worksheet – has lived on… and on… and on. For decades – literally decades – teachers have been enamored with worksheets. So what is the bottom line? Are worksheets a serious teaching tool or an over-used form of busy work? The answer, of course, is both.
Home schooling can be expensive and difficult to implement, especially on a tight budget. If money is tight, homeschool worksheets that you can get for free can take the place of a textbook. The worksheet will be able to teach pretty much the same things that a textbook will, and yet you won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on books. Although some worksheet resources charge a small fee, you will be able to access thousands of printable worksheets that you can use for homeschooling.
Both lower-level-thinking worksheets and too many (even high quality) worksheets can hold students back by not providing stimulus and challenge. Studies have shown for years (just do a Google search!) that children learn best through active involvement and real-life experiences. Virtually every teacher knows that children learn to read by being exposed to books and by being read to, NOT by completing worksheets. The same applies to all areas of learning.
As far as using worksheets for busy work, the verdict is in. It is destructive to classroom learning to assign worksheets to simply keep students occupied. Busy work creates monotony, causes boredom and increases the likelihood of behavior problems. Period.
Homeschool worksheets are a vital part of the student’s homeschool experience. They allow the child to test his or her knowledge, and they offer them a practical application for their learning. Worksheets also, when used properly, provide both the students and parent / tutor immediate feedback as to the child’s progress. This means they can be used to point out areas where the student needs further reinforcement.
The answer, of course, is YES they can. In my perfect world of mathematics education, no pre-school child is ever exposed to a worksheet of any kind. I would swing my magic wand, all worksheets would disappear, and the memory of them would be gone forever. In the real world, I know that simply won’t happen. There will still be some parents who will insist on using worksheets.
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