Kindergarten Homework

kindergarten homework

Cute picture now-
but what about in 7 or 8 years?
(look below)

I am not a fan of kindergarten homework, but I do understand why parents and children look forward to it. It is exciting to think that

- Your son or daughter is a Big Boy or a Big Girl, going to school, learning to read!

- You are a dedicated and conscientious parent that helps your children with their school work.

Believe it or not, I was actually disappointed when my oldest daughter started kindergarten and the teacher told us that she didn't give homework! I had no idea how lucky I was!

So, what did my daughter and I do when she came home? We hung out, watched Dragon Tales, played with her baby brother, visited Auntie and Grandma, made dinner, read books, made flash cards, went to the park....

We somehow managed to figure out how to spend our time.

When my son started kindergarten, I was introduced to those dreaded homework packets. We had an entire month to complete 20 assignments, which was better than homework due each day, but I still hated those packets- and the extra projects.

Trust me, the idea of kindergarten homework is much better than the reality.

The Reality of Kindergarten Homework

Recently, I received an email from Jerri Ann Reason of Mom Is Teaching She hilariously shares her opinion that parents should not be expected to sit with their children while they do homework. Jerri Ann wrote

I've listened to parents for years tell me how they sit for hours with their children to do their homework. When I had a foster child that lived with me, she was 15, I was 25 and teaching school, I balked at the social worker's idea that I should do this. I was like, oh no lady, you've lost your mind, she is 15 years old and if she needs help, she can ask but I'm not sitting there like ...the homework police. They eventually hired someone to "work with her" after school a few days a week which basically meant that they hired someone to do that. Craziness.

I completely agree with Jerri Ann that it is crazy to expect parents to sit with their children during homework time. What I find even crazier is that so many of us have come to accept it.

There are two main reasons why I am so against parents having to sit next to their kids while they do homework.

  • First of all, it prevents students from becoming independent learners. If you are sitting right there, of course your kids will turn to you for instructions, explanations and assistance! Wouldn't you? However, if you are not instantly available, your children are more likely to try to figure things out on their own. We might not want to think about it, but the fact is that we won't always be there to help our children. It is our job to help them learn how to think for themselves and solve problems independently.

    Do you really want to have to sit next to your high schooler while he does hours of homework? It's happening to parents everywhere, and it starts early.

  • Secondly, I want my children to believe that not only are they capable individuals, their mother knows and believes that they are capable individuals. Why would I read the directions for them when they can do it themselves? Why would I organize their papers, answers every question, complete their projects? I treat them as smart, organized, proactive people because they are smart, organized and pro-active. (We're working on the organization part!)

The Problem with Kindergarten Homework

1. My biggest problem with kindergarten homework is that there is no way children can do it on their own. In fact, teachers assign the homework for students and parents, and this parental involvement is expected to continue for the entire school year.

Jerri Ann's email continued...

This stuff that my kindergarten er brings home REQUIRES that I sit with him because he is reading and doing Dibels prep sheets. He can't know if he misses a letter if someone isn't sitting with him at least listening.

Then, he gets to first grade and he can do it all but he is accustomed to me sitting there and the next thing you know he is 15 and I'm still sitting at the table with him. bahahahahhaa

2. Kids are tired. These five and six year-olds have been sitting, focusing, being good for hours! Some of our babies have just learned how to make it through the day without a nap, yet we expect them to come home and do more work!

I was a stay-at-home mom when both my kids were in kindergarten. I was able to help my son with his homework during his "good times" of the day and week. (To figure out your child's best time of the day for homework, take the Homework Personality Quiz ). Millions of parents are at work and must deal with homework in the evenings when everybody is tired, hungry, dirty and preparing for the next day. And, who wants to devote their precious weekends to homework?

3. Some children willingly do homework, but for those that do not, kindergarten homework starts that whole parent-child homework battle that will now continue for another 12 years. Thanks a lot.

4. Kindergarten homework turns reading and learning into a chore whereas it has been- and could continue to be- fun. For example, I love to read, and right now there are five or six books on my bedside table that I look forward to diving into each evening. However, if you told me that I had to read for 20 minutes and write down the page numbers and answer questions and discuss my thoughts in a journal... forget it! I no longer want to read.

5.A lot of kindergarten homework is just busy work (worksheets) and silly projects. Students and parents complete these assignments, but what do the students get out of it? Not much. Their time (and ours) would be much better spent reading or building with blocks or doing an art project.

What Can Parents Do?

You love your kids, and of course you want them to do well in school. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do with your kindergartener instead of homework.

How about:

  • reading a book?
  • playing a games?
  • letting them watch Sesame Street while you make a phone call?
  • taking them to gymnastics, scouts?
  • watching them play soccer?
  • visiting Grandma or a friend?

This short list is just a start. For more ideas, see Other Things To Do with Your Kids- Besides Homework! Not only will you both be enjoying yourself and creating fun family memories, these activities will actually help your child become a good reader, a happy learner and do well in school!

And, that's really the point of kindergarten, isn't it?

Want to Teach Your Kindergartener How to Read & Have Fun, Too?
(Of Course You Do!)

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Keep It Fun & Foster Independence
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kindergarten homework

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