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How to Deal with Homework Assignments for Fifth Graders

Fifth grade is the final, or sometimes penultimate, year of elementary school, and generally consists of ten and eleven year old children. Fifth grade is an important transitional year, with more complex concepts and advanced subject matter being introduced. This can sometimes make it difficult for parents to help with homework. For example, if your child is learning about very basic cell biology, or Ancient Egypt, you might not remember much about those subjects. Depending on who you are, and how much you remember of what you learned in elementary school, you may need help making sure your child’s answers on their homework are correct.

What Fifth Graders Learn in School

Here are the basics of what’s usually taught to fifth grade students in U.S. public schools:

  • Mathematics. Fifth graders usualy aren’t learning true algebra yet, but they are learning more complicated arithmetic. They often study long division, fractions, reading and constructing graphs, and even a little pre-algebra if they’re advanced. Most people don’t really do much math in everyday life, beyond simple addition, subtraction, and multiplication. This can make fifth grade homework somewhat challenging for parents.
  • Language Arts. Fifth graders are learning grammar rules, sometimes incorporating sentence diagramming to illustrate how the parts of speech relate to one another. Most adults use near-perfect grammar without thinking about it. Things that your fifth grader might be learning can include specific grammatical concepts that you forgot a long time ago.
  • Social Studies. Fifth graders often learn the basics of history or civics, along with subjects like geography. Most of this is fairly basic information that lays the groundwork for more intensive study later on. However, it can still include information that parents might not remember off the top of their head anymore.
  • Science. In fifth grade, the very basic concepts of scientific inquiry are generally introduced. This can include basic information in life science and physical science. They might learn what a biological cell is, what the water cycle is, the basic Newtonian forces, and other such information. If you don’t have a background in the sciences, and don’t regularly read about it or take an interest in it, this could be information you’re no longer very familiar with.

How to Deal with Homework Assignments for Fifth Graders

Dealing with fifth grade homework assignments involves informing yourself as a parent, by going to the right resources. Some of the places you can look include:

  • Hiring a tutor. If your child is struggling in a subject you’re not proficient in, you can always consider hiring a college student or retired teacher who provides tutoring for elementary or middle school students.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher. If your child is struggling with a particular subject, or a particular type of question like fractals or sentence diagramming, talk to their teacher about it. If the teacher is more aware of the child’s academic weaknesses, they can work with the student to help them improve.
  • Find fifth grade worksheets online. Even if you’ve forgotten how to work with fractions, or the main components of a biological cell, these concepts are definitely not beyond the capability of an adult. You can find brief worksheets online to help bring yourself up to speed so you can help your child.

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