Fifth Grade

Helping your child learn outside of school

1. Provide time and space for your child to read independently. This time should be free from distractions such as television.

2. Ask your child what he or she learned from reading. Have him or her read the most interesting or useful sections aloud, and discuss how that knowledge can be used in real life.

3. Assist your child in using references such as the Internet or a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words.

4. Keep track of the time that your child spends reading every day. Note what kind of reading materials he or she likes (books, magazines, newspaper articles, the Internet, etc.). Then look for additional materials that would encourage your child to read more.

5. Be sure your child has a library card. Children should select books they are interested in to develop a passion for reading. Mesa Public Library has activities that make reading fun for the entire family.

6. Use technology to help build your child’s interest in reading. There are several websites where students can read books or articles online. The computer will help with words the student cannot read independently. Libraries also have computers students can use to access those sites. Feel free to ask a librarian or teacher for suggestions.

Ideas from Council of the Great City Schools


Everyday Family Activities

  • Setting aside at least 15 minutes per day for family reading.
  • Making books available around your home. Visit the library at least twice a month.
  • Making sure that your child reads books that are not too difficult. A rule of thumb is if your child misses five words on the first page of a book, the material is too difficult. Find a book that is easier to read.
  • Asking your child to summarize stories he/she has read. Ask questions which will bring out the main idea, details, and sequence of events.
  • Helping your child to draw conclusions based on material he/she has read.
  • Playing vocabulary games:
    a. antonyms: Tell me an antonym for backward. (forward)
    b. synonyms: Tell me a synonym for infant. (baby)
    c. homonyms: Tell me a homonym for pale. (pail)
    d. homographs: Tell me a homograph for boil—to heat to 212°. (boil—a sore)
  • Assisting your child in reading and following the instructions for new games, models, recipes, computer catalogs, etc.
  • Visiting the library.
  • Providing opportunities for your child to use the computerized library filing system and other reference services at the library.
  • Introducing your child to the fun of using graphs, maps, and diagrams. Buy a map of Mesa and have your child direct you as you drive.
  • Being certain that your child is provided with opportunities to interpret labels, schedules, menus, and the telephone book by actually asking him/her to acquire information which would require the use of these tools.
  • Giving your child the practice of filling out applications when possible.
  • Turning off the TV and playing board games once a month.
  • Encouraging your child to buy books through book clubs at school.
  • Subscribing to magazines as a gift for your child — Sports Illustrated for Kids, etc. Whatever your child's interest is, support it with a magazine.
  • Buying your child a book in which he/she can keep a journal or diary.
  • Writing captions for your family scrapbook.
  • Asking your child to tell you the events of his/her school day. Sit down, listen, and maintain eye contact. Be generous with praise and sympathy.
  • Encouraging your child to write thank-you letters, pen-pal, or friendly letters to family and acquaintances. Also, encourage participation in the Voices Writing Contest.
  • Writing notes to your child and encouraging written responses.
  • Putting the spelling list from school in a prominent place (on bulletin board or refrigerator). Assist your child by dictating words as a practice test before a final test in school.
  • Going over papers brought home from school and stressing the progress your child is making in writing, spelling, and penmanship. Put up good papers in a prominent place for all the family to enjoy. Don't dwell on the negative; emphasize the positive.
  • Being selective in television viewing and time allotted to television watching. Talk about these programs.
  • Encouraging your child to write about his/her special interest and share it with others. Example: Write to a favorite sports figure or television star. Write letters to the editor or local congressperson or other political representative.
  • Encouraging your youngster to keep a daily or weekly journal to write stories and poems.
  • Sharing newspaper articles of interest with your child. Discuss current events at dinner.
  • Stressing proofreading of all written material (homework, reports, essays, etc.).
  • Practicing telephone-answering and message-taking with your child.
  • Encouraging your child to write about his/her special interest and share it with others.

Ideas from Fremont Unified School District, CA



Technology Resources for Parents

Scholastic for Parents

Harcourt Trophies (Resources for parents, teachers and students)

Kids Research Portal (Kentucky Virtual Library - How to do Research)

NBC Learn  Explore NBC Learn for  offers unique collections of video resources, primary sources, historic footage, images, mini-documentaries and text resources designed for use in the K-12 classroom.



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