View Poll Results: What about worksheets?

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  • Worksheets are a significant part of our homeschool curriculum.

    20 36.36%
  • We use worksheets for at least one subject each day.

    18 32.73%
  • We use worksheets occasionally for specific subjects.

    11 20.00%
  • We never (or hardly ever) use worksheets in our homeschool.

    5 9.09%
  • Other

    1 1.82%
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  1. #1
    Site Admin Arrived Topsy's Avatar
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    Default Weekly Poll: What about worksheets?

    So, in my daily travels around the web (if I could get Frequent Flyer Miles on my web surfing, I would have enough to circle the globe a few times by now!!!), I end up on a LOT of different homeschooling forums and pages. And I'll admit I'm a little awestruck at how many parents are asking about worksheets...

    • where to find them
    • how to get them for free
    • best ways to use them
    • ideas for making your own

    Except for the fact that I might DIE OF BOREDOM, I wish I could just sit around making worksheets, if they're in that much demand. But the problem is, I get the sense that it's the parents who are anxious about worksheets - - not the kids. We all remember back to doing our seat work in the classroom and filling out those sheets. Some of us must have fonder memories of that than I do, I guess. I used to try to finish mine as fast as humanly possible and then draw doodles along the edges (FYI - worksheets have GREAT blank edges for doodling).


    I'll admit that in the age of iPads and laptops I have a hard time imagining assigning worksheets to my kids, but I am really curious to know how out of sync we are with the homeschooling population as a whole. Are we the only family out there NOT using worksheets???

    (And if you vote that worksheets are a significant part of your homeschooling, I'd love to have you comment about why you made this choice...I'm assuming some kids really crave them?)
    Topsy

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Arrived dottieanna29's Avatar
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    I voted they are a significant part of our school but it wasn't my decision. I started off with games and unit studies and videos and activities. My son ended up LOVING worksheets and he learns really well by doing them. I guess if we had an IPAD I might have him do some of them on-screen but we don't and I doubt we will want to put the money out for one anytime soon. He does do a lot on the computer but I'd rather he not do too much actual school on there since he spends almost all of his free time on the computer or the Wii.

    What I'm considering worksheets: Explode the Code books, Math Mammoth, Scholastic and McGraw Hill Grammar and Handwriting without Tears. The only things that aren't are Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading and All About Spelling. Our History and Science (when we get to them) are more video, book and project oriented.

    Even Vicki does Get Ready for the Code, Evan-Moor worksheets and Handwriting without Tears. But again, only because she likes them and she only has to do as much as she wants to.
    Dorothy
    Continuing to homeschool after returning to work.
    Mom to:
    Steph - sophomore (?!!) in college
    George - 8/2005
    Vicki - 7/2007
    Dottie's Homeschool Universe

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    Our math is more than half done on worksheets. One kid uses MM and the other uses Miquon (mostly) and both of those require worksheet type work. We're also doing Explode the Code. And we occasionally do logic problems like those in the Prufrock Press books and we really like the ones in the Tin Man Press books. We used to do Handwriting Without Tears and that relied in large part on worksheets. I've played with using things for writing that are a little worksheety, but none of them have stuck.

    I expect that by middle school, we'll have mostly ditched them. Many of the things the kids are learning now that require them - especially the phonics and basic skills stuff - is more easily structured by using at least a few worksheety things.

    I can't imagine not doing math without any worksheets though. If I didn't have a worksheet, we'd just have a textbook and have to write the answers on a separate paper. I know there are more creative ways to do math (we do use the RS games and a lot of manipulatives, etc.) but I think paper work with math has an important place.

    I will add that now that we have an iPad, the kids have started doing some of their worksheets on Notability with a stylus, but I don't see that as significantly different from it being a "worksheet" even though there's no paper involved.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Evolved Marmalade's Avatar
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    I voted that they are a significant part-simply because we use Math Mammoth. I don't know though-I wouldn't consider those "busy work" type of worksheets though.

    Also-Progressive Phonics has paper work to go along with it and we use that.
    Our style is mostly eclectic and extremely relaxed.
    Taking it all one day at a time and growing and learning as we go.

    Girls: 14 & 12
    Boys: 9, 7 and 2
    Baby Girl 11/13

  5. #5
    Senior Member Arrived MrsLOLcat's Avatar
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    We use worksheets for most of our subjects, assuming they're warranted. I don't use them for busy work.
    ---
    Sarah B., Oklahoma

    "By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

    Blog: Our Sunnyview

    Less-than-Zenlike mother of:
    M1 - The Boy, age 11, home since 2009 - loves science, swimming, and folk music
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  6. #6
    Member Enlightened allisonsracquet's Avatar
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    I guess we use worksheets (although they are technically more workbooks than worksheets) everyday. I use a series called Math Minutes and Grammar Minutes which I really like. Other than that, we don't use a lot of worksheets unless it were really to apply to what we are working on. Since he is in 7th grade I am trying to incorporate more projects and less busy work. But sometimes worksheets do let you know if they are understanding concepts.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Enlightened kailuamom67's Avatar
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    I don't use them ever. My child will look at any worksheet and be overwhelmed, that it's too much. He needs to see one problem or question at a time. That is why the time4learning format works for me, even though I wouldn't say that we love T4L that much overall, but the format works.

    We spend 1 hour per week with a teacher and she will use worksheets. the page gets very confusing when she is crossing off the stuff he shouldn't do and circling what he should do. It seems OK, but not much of it gets done. When it's one problem at a time, we do way more.
    Colleen
    Mom to DS2, 12/13/99 6th grade new homeschoolers and DS1 5/20/95 PS HS Junior, who doesn't love academics but LOVES marching band.
    Working wife to DH who travels for a living and can be gone for over a month at a time.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsLOLcat View Post
    We use worksheets for most of our subjects, assuming they're warranted. I don't use them for busy work.
    Yeah. I don't ever use them as busy work. To me, a math worksheet that helps a kid practice a concept isn't busy work.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Evolved theWeedyRoad's Avatar
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    I'm with the others, we use worksheets for at least one subject every day- sometimes for most subjects. I don't feel the slightest twinge of guilt about it, either.

    We don't always follow the directions . Lots of times, we do them orally instead, or I have the kids underline but not rewrite etc etc. They are a visual teaching aid for me, that's it.

    How it started: my dd is very auditory, but I needed her to also have a visual clue for reading. (we do phonics, but she still needs to see words with the digraphs etc in them). My ds is very visual- worksheets give him something to look at.

    I wouldn't use all worksheets, or use worksheets without discussions, or trust the worksheets to explain a concept, or ever EVER use them for busywork. But like everything else in our homeschool, they serve as another way to give information that I'm saying outloud.
    Finding the flowers on the road less traveled!

    Homeschooling dd (8yo, 2nd) and ds (10yo, 4th) eclectically

    My blog! :P : http://theweedyroad.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Senior Member Arrived dottieanna29's Avatar
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    I definitely don't think the worksheet stuff we do is busy work, my son is very very visual so it's all about seeing it to him. I don't always make my son do the writing and it's definitely not something I hand him and go off to do something else. Except maybe ETC. Those he can do independently most of the time since it's more a review of what we've already done in OPGTR. I have to put each lesson in OPG on a separate sheet of paper so he can see just his part of the lesson. He goes through it quickly and then "yeah, yeah I got it" if I try and go over it again. So ETC is to show he really does know it and catch any gaps.

    I definitely agree with Farrar that they are probably going to be less common by middle school except for math. Whether its problems out of a text book or problems on a sheet of paper - I don't really see the difference. And, working problems is definitely necessary for math.
    Dorothy
    Continuing to homeschool after returning to work.
    Mom to:
    Steph - sophomore (?!!) in college
    George - 8/2005
    Vicki - 7/2007
    Dottie's Homeschool Universe

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