Okay, here’s the deal. I’ve got a huge chip on my shoulder when it comes to “busy work” in school, especially if it’s graded. Is my kid done with his work already? Then by all means, give him a word search to entertain him until the others are ready. But don’t send it home and tell me I have to stand over his shoulder forcing him to complete this “fun” assignment for a grade! He can spell and define every word on that list in his sleep, he just can’t pick them out of a random assortment of letters. Whether that’s a function of ADDPI (attention deficit disorder, primarily inattentive) or not, I don’t care. I’m willing to bet that a word search never helped a 5th-grader “learn something” he didn’t already know. I can see their possible benefit if you’ve got a kid in the early reading stages, or learning English as a second language, but I seriously doubt they’re much good beyond that.
My viewpoint is admittedly difficult to defend with a simple online search. There must be thousands of sites selling or giving away “educational word searches”. But are they really educational?
This basically supports my viewpoint.
This seems to present a balanced viewpoint. But notice how the benefits are mostly for very early reading skills, not 5th graders.
I love a good rant, especially when I agree.
As for talking to the teacher, sure I should have. Who among us has never taken the “don’t make waves” approach? The kid was ace-ing 5th grade after skipping 4th… why should I go be superMom and complain that my little darling couldn’t handle the “fun” stuff? It’s just going to make me look like… oh, I don’t know… a sneak-bragger? I am going to speak to his 6th grade teacher soon. And I’m going to tell her that I don’t feel these assignments are appropriate for him as an individual. But honestly, I don’t think they’re appropriate for any kid other than the exceptions I noted earlier. I truly believe they are almost useless from an educational standpoint. As an interesting enrichment activity, sure… but not as part of a kid’s spelling grade.
Believe me, I have tried.
They are most definitely included solely as part of the spelling curriculum. He gets plenty of puzzle-solving skills in other areas.
A year or two ago, my daughter was given a mof*er of a word search puzzle. No letters, just numbers in what must have been a 20X50 grid. She had to find at least 20 five-digit numbers in that mess. For a grade! I didn’t hear about it until it was over, or you can bet I would have been in there to complain.
What do you think she “learned” that day?
a) How to waste time while pretending to do something of value
b) How to shut up and take it when The Man hands you a big plate of shit
c) How to jump through the hoops provided by the administration regardless of their apparent pointlessness
d) All of the above
I admit it’s a valuable lesson… I guess I shouldn’t complain.