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Grade 5 and Grade 6

The topics in the lessons for Grade 5 and 6 offer lots of variety. There are reading items on history, geography and technology. There are also some fictional stories that encourage empathy and understanding. There’s something that will suit every upper primary school child, and lessons are being added on a regular basis.

The vocabulary in the reading tasks is more extensive than in the earlier grades. The sentences are longer and more complex. The writing tasks are more demanding. A child in upper primary school can work with greater independence and can initiate answers to questions more competently. Always give the child time to work out a new word and time to answer questions that you put to him or her while reading. It helps to take it in turns to read. Children gain confidence from this joint activity with a parent. It also helps to share the reading if the text is long.

As always, I recommend two readings. This could be daunting if done in one sitting. So read the text one day and the second reading the next day. The first reading is for decoding – that is working out the words and the relationship between the words, (who did what to whom, when and where). The second reading is for comprehension and to give the reader a good opportunity to get an integrated idea of the account. On the second reading many things begin to make more sense. Conversation with your child also helps comprehension and enjoyment.
Instructions for the child make it easy for the parent. Just follow through. If you feel you’ve forgotten things since school, don’t worry, it’s all there for you.

If your child rejects your help the most likely reason is a lack of confidence. All kids want the high opinion of Mum and Dad and they don’t want their weaknesses exposed. Many parents of Grade 5 and 6 students say their child’s refusal to let them help is a problem.

If this is your situation, I suggest downloading an item and letting them work through it alone. Stay in the vicinity but appear to be otherwise occupied. It’s called hanging around. Offer to help with anything that is a bit tough. Probably your child will choose to work alone or look up difficult words. It’s better to see them sitting close by and working on tasks than not at all. Then ask how they found the material. How does it compare with the material at school? Was it too easy or too hard? At this point you can ask if you can see how they went on the written tasks. If this works up to this point, build positively on what they’ve done. Resist too much marking. Perhaps sit with them and give positive feedback. Being positive will keep your child working willingly. And moving on to another task – hopefully with closer support – is what you want. And improvement will come.

Some children like to jump into the task without reading the instructions. This leads to mistakes. So always ask your child to read the instructions aloud. Check that they know how to proceed with the task after reading what they have to do. Every parent is quite capable of correcting the task when complete. The tasks usually get harder as you move along so it’s a good idea to correct each task before doing the next one.

I hope as parents you enjoy the material. If you are interested then your child is more likely to be interested as well. Rest assured, your child will progress with regular supervised lessons available on this site.