Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to school 2010

By Julia Mohamed

It’s nearly back-to-school time! Time to go from running wild and free to becoming a studious student once again. Here are a few ideas to help make the transition as smooth as possible:

Goal Journal
Have your kids contribute to a nightly journal. Begin now, with their anticipations and goals for the upcoming year, and continue to use it as the year progresses. It will help get them into the routine of writing again, and it’ll be great to look back on it later in the year. They can do all of the writing, dictate to you, add some pictures or make it a combination of everything.

Great sites
School means reports and essays. Here are great, kid-friendly websites where kids can search for the answers to questions on just about anything.

Homework Helper
This site offers categories like “Science, History, World, Sports and exercise.” From there, kids can drill down until they find answers to questions they have on just about anything. Includes facts and information on Canada, plus a “World” category.

It’s a non-profit website and each category uses a specialist in the field to write the information and answer kids’ questions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the site, you can ask their experts a question and they’ll e-mail you back. They'll also send parents links to kid-friendly websites.

Published by Pearson publishing, this site offers information and facts on lots of different subject areas, for kids K to 8. It also has an online atlas, dictionary and encyclopedia and some online games and quizzes (for instance, hangman, Star Wars quizzes, an interactive periodic table, Sudoku, how to write a book report and much more.)

Funschool Kaboose
Funschool Kaboose is a Disney site with great information, games and crafts for kids from preschool to grade 6. It also features sections for parents and educators.

Stock up on school supplies
Before heading out, prepare a list of the school supplies you need. Why not make it a scavenger hunt? Be sure to be specific when you’re writing your list: Number 2 pencils, blue and red ballpoint pens, a calculator, white erasers, a one-inch three-ring binder, etc. Refer to our article, Supermarket Scavenger Hunt for details on how to create the perfect hunt!

Reading - every night
Keep reading to your child every night. Create a reading log for your kids. A simple chart with headings including “Date,” “Title,” “Author,” “Number of Pages Read,” and “Amount of Time Spent Reading” can help keep track of how much they read. For every milestone, give your child a reward. Here’s a past GKR article on Reading Reward Charts.

If you only get a chance to do one thing from this article, check out the websites Julia found - they have a great wealth of information your kids will appreciate when they start getting into essay writing time.

Julia Mohamed is a freelance journalist.

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