I just started homeschooling DD1 (kindergarten) in January and we are taking a pretty relaxed unstructured approach at the moment. Anyways, we were at her dance class today and the sibling of one of the other little dancers was doing her homework. It was public school (the same DD1 started in) and she was doing a very long and involved worksheet on the colonization of America and the Revolutionary War and the first presidents. It was long sentences, multiple choice and some pretty involved language. It seemed to go into detail about protesting taxes and such as well. Her mom had to help her with a lot of the bigger words, it looked like something I may have had in 4th grade or something.
I was shocked to find that it was FIRST grade. I couldn't believe it! And honestly, I felt it was completely developmentally inappropriate. I mean, her mom could help her read the words, and try and explain their meanings, but does a 6 or 7 year old really have any context for this? It seemed to me that she was just learning some facts to spit out again, but how could a first grader really grasp the whole picture? I just don't see the point of covering such material that young unless they truly have an interest in history. I think that time could be better spent on investigation, exploring, and learning HOW to think and HOW to find the answers you are looking for. I guess the Common Core stuff is no joke. But even though this girl was reading most of it fine, that doesn't say anything for comprehension.
DD1 and I will certainly talk a bit about who the president is, what he does and next year, the very BASICS of the colonies and how America started but that's it. I am so glad we homeschool so she isn't just learning a bunch of facts to regurgitate later and forget. And this little first grader spent the entire 40 minutes doing this homework and she wasn't even done yet. In first grade, really? Or is my DD1 just going to be hopelessly behind because of my relaxed approach?