How to Help an 8-Year-Old with School Work

When students are eight years old, they are transitioning from early elementary school to late elementary school, which means they're beginning to tackle more advanced concepts. In third grade, 8-year-olds learn multiplication, division and fractions. They are also asked to think more analytically about literature.

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Helping Your 8-Year-Old with Homework

Ask Comprehension Questions

Even if your child isn't struggling to understand the book that he's currently reading in class, it can be beneficial to reinforce comprehension through questions and summaries. Students generally become more engaged with a text if they make a personal connection with the story. Help your child draw parallels between his own life and the story by asking questions like, 'Does the main character remind you of anyone you know?'

By third grade, 8-year-olds are expected to infer a story's central message, which is often challenging for students. Ask guiding questions, such as 'Do you think the main character will make that mistake again?' or 'If you were the main character, what would you have done differently?' Questions like these can help students realize what the character learned from his or her experience.

Help your child become an active reader by asking him to summarize what he's read. If you notice that he can't recall the main events of the story, then he probably isn't reading closely enough. If necessary, ask your child to summarize each page of the story until he develops the habit on his own. You can also make this exercise fun by allowing your child to creatively summarize the story using drawings or by acting it out.

Use Math in Real Life

Sometimes students don't appreciate the importance of math because they don't see it being used in the real world. The next time you and your child eat at a restaurant, ask her to calculate the final bill. For instance, if you both ordered sodas at $2 each, then your child can use multiplication (2 x 2) to discover that the total will be $4.

Using a food item is often a great way to reinforce fractions to 8-year-olds because you can eat it after the lesson. Tell your child that you want to split a cookie with her. Ask her to cut it into halves. Explain that you each have 1/2 of the cookie.

Then, ask her to cut another cookie into thirds. Take two of the pieces and explain that you have 2/3 of the cookie. Help your child compare the fractions by asking, 'Who has more of the cookie?'

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