Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

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Living in Third Grade #2 HomeFun NOT HomeWork

HomeFun NOT HomeWork

Third grade is the transition year from early childhood primary education to intermediate education. Children are expected to assume more responsibility for their leaning. As they mature and are more comfortable in their roles as students, they can easily accomplish their HomeFun tasks without much parental supervision.

It was my goal to make HomeFun a palatable job. As a child, I was not fond of homework. I felt it was a drudge that stole my time – all except for my reading homework, of course. I loved reading. But math … that was another story. I remember my father drilling the multiplication tables with me – pounding them into my head would be more accurate. He tried … and so did I, but it was frustrating when those numbers just would not stick. I wish my dad had played the flash card game or a memory/concentration game with me. I probably would have learned the times tables and division facts so much easier and faster – and we both would have had a whole lot of fun.

My memories of homework are not pleasant ones. That’s why I wanted HomeFun memories to be better for my third grade kiddles. Of course, they had to learn their math facts. That’s part of third grade life, but why not make it fun? Instead of just flashing cards at your child, turn it into a game. Let your child score a point for each fact that he or she gets right. If he or she misses a fact, then the point is yours. (Ham that up a lot. They love it.) The fact is kids like to play. That is what they do best. So make their learning fun and they will have fun learning.

HomeFun each night was a combination of several disciplines below. Sometimes the children needed to review concepts taught in class that day … especially in Social Studies and Science. Sometimes they needed to practice a skill such as cursive handwriting or to study their spelling list. Occasionally they had to finish work that they did not complete in class. No matter what the assignment, I always tried to put a positive spin on it … and as their parents, so should you.

The following are examples of some of the tasks I assigned for the children to practice

Read at least 10 minutes every night. That’s what I told my 3rd graders on the first week of school. They laughed! Of course, I knew they would read lots more than that, but I wanted to establish a basis for routine that would soon become habit. I sent home a calendar for parents to sign each night.

Practice multiplication or division flash cards at least 10 minutes each night. This is so important to develop a good, solid base in mathematics.
Use the Wiki page, Division Stories by Figurski KIDDLES, for math practice.

Reread the material that was discussed in class.
Write 3 Trivia Comp Questions from the material. Be sure to include the answer and the page number where the answer was found.

Use your best cursive handwriting to practice the assigned letters/words. Be sure to use 2 or 3 different colored-crayons to trace the letters carefully and neatly.
Other assignments in other subjects may be give when review or reinforcement is necessary.

Always remember to copy your HomeFun from the whiteboard. Write it exactly as it is on the board. This way, when you go home, you will not become confused about what you need to do.

This entry was borrowed and adapted from my WIKI page. You can see the original Wiki with more information by clicking the Wiki link above.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)


December 18, 2011 - Posted by | Living in 3rd Grade | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. You’re right, Donna, third grade is a big jump for kids. Last year my grandson was a little boy; this year he is a “old” third grader (and at a new school). What a difference. Thanks for the ideas and the insight.

    Comment by Kathleen Richardson | December 19, 2011 | Reply

  2. Kathleen, as always, so nice to hear from you. Good luck to your grandson. Though 3rd grade is a transitional year, it is also one of discovery and so much fun.

    Happy holidays,

    Comment by Donna | December 19, 2011 | Reply

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