Homeschool worksheets can be a helpful tool. This article defines the different types of homeschool worksheets and offers you the pros and cons of using homeschool worksheets.
Homeschool worksheets are widely available in bookstores and online and easy to give to children. But have you ever stopped to think about what the worksheets are doing and what role they hold in your homeschool curriculum? Read on for a deeper look into homeschool worksheets.
What Is a Worksheet?
What a worksheet is depends on the educational pedagogy of the creator. Here are some types of worksheets:
• Pencil-and-Paper homeschool worksheets
These worksheets are completed by the student writing on them in various ways.
• Computer homeschool worksheets
These worksheets are completed by the student working on a computer in a program like Adobe Reader or Microsoft Word.
• Instructional homeschool worksheets
These worksheets present students with new information or reteach curriculum that the student has already been exposed to. Printed worksheets may include illustrations - either drawings or photographs. Worksheets designed for online viewing, such as those made in Adobe Acrobat as pdfs, may include a wide variety of multimedia, including audio clips, weblinks, and movies.
• Assessment homeschool worksheets
These worksheets check students’ understanding of concepts that they are expected to know or pre-test them to find out in which direction instruction should proceed. Children complete these worksheets by writing, either filling in multiple choice questions, matching questions to answers, completing cloze exercises or other short answers, or writing essays. Assessments made with pdfs may ask students to listen to audio clips, watch movies, or visit websites in order to respond to, interact with, or critique a wide range of material.
• Arts and Crafts homeschool worksheets
Arts and crafts worksheets may either give students instructions for completing a project with other materials, or may use the worksheet itself as a portion of the art. For example, a worksheet could include instructions for making an origami figure out of the worksheet or it could have an outline of a box that could be transferred to other paper before the student completes it.
Homeschool Worksheet Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of using worksheets depends largely upon the type of material the worksheet is. A student’s experience of repeated paper-and-pencil multiple choice worksheets will be quite different from the student using multimedia worksheets. With that in mind, here are some thoughts.
--Worksheets are easy to pull out to fill a few spare moments.
--Worksheets can give you a quick read on your child’s comprehension.
--Simple paper-and-pencil worksheets are easy to grade.
--Multimedia online worksheets take advantage of a variety of learning modalities and bring together resources from many areas, which can result in rich learning experiences.
--Some worksheets can be completed without much input from you.
--Worksheets are one way to give tangible evidence of students understanding.
--Worksheets can be simplistic and only graze the surface of a subject.
--Worksheets may be deceptive in suggesting that a student understands more than he or she does.
--Worksheets are often focused on only one bit of a subject, failing to contextualize it.
--Worksheets often are oriented to one subject area only, failing to integrate the curriculum.
--Multimedia worksheets can demand a very high-powered computer for use, or the results may be disappointing; in the most extreme cases, the worksheets will be unusable.
--Pencil-and-paper worksheets do not engage students the way that conversation, activities, experiences, and multimedia worksheets do.
Where to Find Homeschool Worksheets
Free homeschool worksheets are widely available on the Internet. You can find them by doing a search for “homeschool worksheets.” As with any other free item, they may be excellent materials, but there is no quality control and no guarantees that the worksheets are pedagogically sound, suitable for your curriculum or suitable for your child.
Especially if you are looking for materials for a subject area that is not within your realm of expertise, free worksheets may not be the best choice to ensure educational value for your child unless they come from a reliable source or one that has some sort of accreditation.
Some accredited distance learning programs and educational publishers create worksheets. Keep in mind that in both these cases, the worksheets may have been created as part of a wider body of materials and are not designed to bear the brunt of the instructional task. For this type of worksheet, check the sources listed in the articles “Homeschool Online,” “Beginning the Search for Home School Curriculum,” and “Beginning the Search for a Home School Method.”
Worksheets may be grouped into workbooks. You can search for K-12 workbooks on Amazon.com in the “Children’s Books section,” for example. You may also wish to visit local booksellsers, especially if there’s a store aimed at teachers, and browse their offerings.
Suitable homeschool worksheets may also come from publishers who develop supplementary materials. Here are some lists:
Golden Valley Charter School: Traditional Approach Learning Materials - goldenvcs.org
Yahoo! Business and Economy List: Textbook Publishers: K-12 - dir.yahoo.com