The K5 Learning Blog follows educational issues and urges parents to be pro-active in helping their children reach their full academic potential.

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By Asa
posted April 14, 2014

kids brains technologyThe effects of technology on children are complicated. Whether technology helps or hurts in the development of your children’s thinking depends on what specific technology is used and how and with what frequency it is used.

Research shows the areas in which technology has the greatest impact on how children think are: attention, information overload, decision-making, and memory/learning. Importantly, all of these areas are ones in which you can have a counteracting influence on how technology affects your children. Negative indications are that attention spans are shorter, personal communication skills are reduced and there's a marked reduction in the ability to think abstractly. But is technology all bad? Not according to everyone.

By Asa
posted April 04, 2014

math word problems with answersSince we added math word problems to our free and printable math worksheets section, we’ve had a number of customers ask for the answers to the questions.  Today, we’re happy to tell you we have added those answers to each of the math word problem sheets. 

K5 has math word problems for grades 1 – 5 and you can find them here:

Grade 1 Math Word Problems 

Grade 2 Math Word Problems

Grade 3 Math Word Problems

Grade 4 Math Word Problems

Grade 5 Math Word Problems

By Asa
posted April 02, 2014

addition flashcardWe keep working on expanding our free worksheet pages, and today we’re introducing a new section of free and printable flashcards.  We’re beginning with flashcards for the basic math facts – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. 

The idea is that you print out the pages, fold each page down the centre and then cut each individual card out with a front and back for each card.

More will follow as we have plans to offer flashcards for the alphabet, sight words, numbers, telling time, homophones, skip counting, and more.  Let us know if there are any specific areas you’d like flashcards for, and we’ll include those in our plans.

posted March 12, 2014

keep calmAs the second school semester draws to an end, our kids will be coming home with their report cards.  It can be an anxious time for students handing over lower than expected marks to their parents.  Imagine the dread and anxiety as your kid is looking for signs of frustration and dismay.  You’re not alone.

According to a study conducted by Sylvan Learning, 66% of North American teachers say they have been contacted by parents who were “unpleasantly surprised” by their child’s report card.

So there you are, your child hands you his or her report card with a lop-sided unsure smile on their face. 

So what do you do now?  Rule number 1: don’t let your emotions destroy this “learning” moment – keep calm.  And this is a learning moment for both you and your child.  This is where you go from here.

By Asa
posted March 07, 2014

self-regulationContinuing our series on the skills our kids need to succeed, today we’ll focus on the ability to self-regulate.  What is self-regulation and why is it important for our kids to have this skill?

In a nutshell, self-regulation is the ability to control one’s own feelings, thoughts and actions.  According to Dr. Claire Cameron Ponitz of the University of Virginia “Self-regulation underlies our daily decisions and long-term behavioral tendencies.  When people make poor choices - for example about health, school, work, or relationships, it is usually because of a failure of self-regulation.”

And why is it important our kids learn to self-regulate?  Ponitz continues:  “With regard to early development, children who learn to control themselves and make good choices do better socially and academically than children who are overly angry, aggressive or impulsive.”

By Asa
posted February 28, 2014

Vision boardFor those of you who have been following our series on “what our kids need to succeed”, it’s becoming more and more apparent that our kids do not only need to have cognitive skills – the kind of intelligence that gets measured on IQ tests, including the ability to recognize letters and later read and comprehend, to calculate and detect patterns, etc. but that they also need certain character traits that will help them persevere when encountering and overcoming failure.  Traits such as grit and self-confidence, persistence and self-control.

Today, we’ll look at one more such trait as laid out by Jackie Gerstein of User Generated Education, and that is having a vision for the future, or what others may call having dreams and aspirations.  Vision, simply stated, is seeing your purpose in life. It’s tied in to knowing who you are and what you can vision yourself doing with your talents and desires. What we need to learn is how to use those talents and desires in living fulfilling lives.

By Asa
posted February 21, 2014

By Sheila Welch 

For February, Black History Month, I’m offering four books that  capture the essence of the African-American experience in our country. Children of any background will be enthralled by the determined spirit of the real people who’re featured in these stories.  

Coming HomeComing Home: from the life of Langston Hughes written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper is a fictionalized account of the childhood years of the famous poet. In combination with lush, golden- toned paintings, the text tells about Langston’s lonely early life and his dreams to find a place to call home. This is the perfect story for children ages six to ten. It makes a good bedtime read-aloud and might encourage children who are dreamers to write their own poems.

Freedom River written by Doreen Rappaport is illustrated with deep-hued, collage and watercolor illustrations by Bryan Collier that emphasize the river theme and are as dark and scary as the story. The hero, John Parker, was born a slave. After buying his freedom, he became a successful businessman who risked his life – over and over – to help slaves escape to freedom across the Ohio River. Children from eight to twelve will be thrilled to read this suspenseful tale.

By Asa
posted February 11, 2014

HopeAlthough hope seems like a simple, wishy-washy emotion, researchers suggest cultivating hope is actually a complicated process, but that there are significant rewards for those who make the effort.  They have found that students who have cultivated high hopes have greater academic success, stronger friendships, demonstrate more creativity and are better at problem-solving. 

So how can we tell if our kids are high in hope?  Researchers say that people that are high in hope don’t take failure personally.  Rather, they use failure to improve their performance next time.  They’re also more optimistic.  When they face challenges, they tell themselves: “I can do this.  I won’t give up.”

By Asa
posted February 03, 2014

As parents we want to protect our kids from all bad things from happening to them, but unfortunately we can’t be there for them all the time and, what’s more, as they grow older we need to be there for them in a different way – not cushioning them from falling, but helping them to find the resolve to pick themselves up.

Our kids will deal with problems big and small – ranging from adapting to a new classroom, to bullying by classmates, or even more traumatic events.  To boot, there are the uncertainties of growing up.  The ability to thrive despite these challenges depends on your child’s resilience.


By Asa
posted January 30, 2014

Today, we’ll start delving into the topics summarized in my last blog post – about what skills our kids need to succeed.  It’s an area that has fascinated many researchers and educators.  In this series,  I’ll attempt to bring these thoughts to you in a succinct manner and add to each section what we as parents can do to help our kids be self-sufficient and successful.

The topic of the day is grit.