How to Choose a Workbook

students' self-esteem if you decide to give them a workbook targeted for younger students, even if the format and content is appropriate. We suggest you remove ...

How to Choose a Workbook Know that good choices earn your child’s trust and confidence. When you ask children to do work outside of school, it’s especially important for them to trust your selections. Be sure that the problems are the right level. Choosing a workbook with problems that are too easy or too hard may make your children more likely to show resistance the next time you give them supplemental learning. Do not underestimate the visual appearance. Although everyone is taught “not to judge a book by its cover” most children undoubtedly will. For many children, just the thickness of the workbook can be overwhelming. If you think that the size of the workbook could be an issue, consider pulling out the pages you need for the day and collecting completed pages in a folder. Keep in mind that today’s children have grown accustomed to colorful screens. Compared with an app or website, a workbook can feel tedious, even when it might be best suited for the task. Consider workbooks that will look fun to children but that do not overwhelm them with distractions. Mindprint’s evaluations look at these aspects, to help you make good choices. Read the Table of Contents/Flip through the workbook first. There is usually no need to begin a workbook at the beginning—you can decide where in the workbook your child should start. Starting with a less challenging section will help build your child’s confidence. Scanning also will provide you with a good sense of the number of pages that are appropriate to complete in a sitting so you can set your child’s expectations accordingly. This approach increases the likelihood that your child will successfully complete the workbook. Consider sitting with your child for the first few pages. Many children, particularly those with initiation difficulties, can have trouble starting workbooks. If you sit near your children as they begin working, and are readily able to answer questions, you are more likely to have a successful experience. Be cautious with workbooks with an age or grade. Be cautious about students’ self-esteem if you decide to give them a workbook targeted for younger students, even if the format and content is appropriate. We suggest you remove the cover or grade and age levels listed on the bottom of the pages if you believe your child may be discouraged by seeing the level.

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Remember children love feedback. Most children want to know if they “got it right” and love to feel a sense of progress and accomplishment. Many workbook publishers include reward stickers, progress charts, and awards of completion. For workbooks that do not have these features, you may want to do this yourself. You can buy your own stickers to put on completed pages, or draw your own “reward pictures” as they finish a page, something many children love. Parents can make their own progress chart in the back cover by writing the page numbers and putting checks or smiley faces when a page is completed. Keep in mind this is supplemental, not “required” work. When your

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