North Dakota State University
NDSU Extension Service
A newsletter for parents of fourth-grade children from the North Dakota State University Extension Service
Since your child has entered fourth grade, you've probably noticed a difference in the amount and type of homework he brings home. This homework extends your child's learning beyond the classroom.
Help your child develop a time clock. Children should be given time to unwind when they first get home from school or the child care provider. Sometimes after-school activities prevent doing any homework until after dinner. You and your child can determine when to set "homework time." You can help your child learn to include homework in her routine when you:
pencils - pens - colored pencils - crayons - markers - pencil sharpener - erasers - glue or glue sticks - tape - writing paper - construction paper - hole punch - stapler - scissors - paper clips - white out - assignment book - folders for reports - index cards - intermediate dictionary - atlas - thesaurus - almanac - rubber bands
Some children learn best by seeing (visual learners), some by hearing (auditory learners), some through movement and doing (kinesthetic learners). Most children are talented in one or two but not all three areas. Each child in your family will have his own learning style.
Material should be presented in a variety of ways to accommodate students' different learning styles. For example, if new spelling words are presented by calling out the letters, visual learners are not able to "picture" the word. If, however, they are printed on a blackboard in addition to being said aloud, visual learners see the way the word looks so they remember it more easily. Kinesthetic learners might have to manipulate blocks with letters to "make" the word before they can remember it.
Spelling and math often come easily for visual learners because they can "see" the word or problem. They are generally neat and care about how things look. They learn by watching and will call up images from the past when trying to remember. They use visual imaging to picture the way things will look. Help them make mental pictures in their heads and use visual words to describe shape, form, color or size. Visual learners enjoy movies, museums, charts, maps and graphs. Encourage them to imagine what things look like. This will increase their ability to remember.
Auditory learners learn best by listening. They often spell a word the way it sounds rather than as they saw it in print. They may have trouble with reading because they do not visualize well. Some auditory learners have conversations aloud with themselves or others. They like to talk things over, and they do well when people contribute verbally in small or large groups (debates, plays). This type of learner enjoys imagining how things will sound and remembers facts best when they are presented in a poem or song.
Kinesthetic learners learn by doing. They learn best through movement and manipulation. They like to find out how things work and are very successful in the practical arts. When given a choice of assignments, such as writing a book report or making a scene from a book, they will make the scene. They can learn to read and follow directions through the use of recipes, etc. Most kinesthetic learners move around a lot (rock in chair, tap feet) and have trouble sitting for long periods. They like to dance, participate in sports and use their hands. They may even like the feel of fabric rather than the look of the clothes they wear. This explains why they like to study on a carpet or textured bedspread. Although it might appear distracting, they may have to walk around while doing their homework assignment. They are also very sensitive to feelings in themselves and others.
Summary of Learning Differences ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Kinesthetic Auditory Visual ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Learning Learns by doing, Learns through verbal Learns by seeing; style direct instruction, either watches involvement. from others or self. demonstrations. Memory Remembers best Remembers names, Remembers faces, what was done, forgets faces; forgets names; seen or talked remembers by writes things down. about. May take auditory repetition. Takes notes and notes and not looks at them. look at them. Problem Attacks problem Talks problems out; Deliberate; plans solving physically; tries solutions in advance; impulsive; verbally, subvocally; organizes thoughts often selects talks self through by writing them; solutions in- problem. lists problems. volving greatest activity. Communi- Gestures when Enjoys listening Quiet; does not cation speaking; does but cannot wait to talk at length; not listen well; talk; descriptions becomes impatient stands close are long and when extensive while speaking repetitive. listening is or listening. required. Language Uses words such Uses words such as Uses words such as as get, take, listen, hear, tell, see, look, watch, make, etc. etc. etc. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From Pick Up Your Socks c 1990, Elizabeth Crary. Used with permission of Parenting Press, Inc., P.O. Box 75267, Seattle, WA 98125.
Assist in establishing study habits and a study place.
Help by practicing skills through activities and play. Help with memory work. Drill or review by calling out words or questions and by listening to recitation.
Help your child learn where to find information -- books, newspapers, magazines. Go to the library together regularly.
Offer ideas for projects related to school studies. Let your child talk ideas over with you.
Review completed homework, and discuss it with your child. Encourage her to share what has been learned.
Encourage all efforts and praise the things your child does well. Don't dwell on shortcomings.
Your involvement does take time and effort. However, most parents report that when they are involved in their child's school and homework, their child enjoys school and gets along better with teachers and peers. Your child may improve her grades and develop a positive attitude about school, education and the future. This does not mean your child will not experience disappointments and failure from time to time. We all do. Failure can be absorbed if there are plenty of experiences with success. Realistic expectations on your part as a parent will result in a greater sense of pride and achievement for your chiId.
This newsletter is published for North Dakota families with fourth-graders by the NDSU Extension Service and distributed through your county extension office. See your extension agent for more parenting information and other home economics programs.
NDSU Extension Service, North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Science, and U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Sharon D. Anderson, Director, Fargo, North Dakota. Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. We offer our programs and facilities to all persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, Vietnam era veterans status, or sexual orientation; and are an equal opportunity employer.
This publication will be made available in alternative format upon request to people with disabilities (701) 231-7881.
North Dakota State University
NDSU Extension Service