Getting 4 year old to do homework - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 07-14-2010, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi moms,
I would like to know the following:

1) Does your 4 year olds have homework from school? Not daily but like weekly.

2) Are they doing it?

3) How do you get them to do it (without having to threaten time out) if they don't want to?

Thanks!!
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#2 of 36 Old 07-14-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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Not normally. However, if he didn't really participate in school time or missed a day, we'll get the worksheets. With a 4 year old, you'll probably have to sit there and walk them through it. With my kid, as long as I'm right there doing it with him, he loves it.

ETA: I'd find a time when he's more open to it as well. If he's cranky or tired or hungry or whatever, it'll be much harder.
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#3 of 36 Old 07-14-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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My DS started kindergarten at 4, so he had weekly (parent-directed) homework at that age. He did it and enjoyed it -- we sat at his little table (called it his "desk") in his room and he liked spending that one-on-one time with me.

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#4 of 36 Old 07-14-2010, 05:13 PM
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Is this homework from preschool? I can't even imagine homework at 4! or 5 for that matter!

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#5 of 36 Old 07-14-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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Homework at 4. What is the world coming to.

When my 4 year old started kinder, due to her birthday being late August, her homework was reading. It was hard for her, and we had to be very patient. We were coached by her teacher that in no way associate it with something displeasurable, like punishment.

Her teacher made sure we knew how the brain forms, and she is exactly where others her age were. It helped me incredibly, by volunteering in class, to see how alert she was compared to others. Volunteering in class really teaches you.
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#6 of 36 Old 07-14-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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4 is an awfully early age for a child to start thinking of learning as 'work' or as something they "have" to do. This attitude is likely to damage a child's relationship with school and learning at large.

I hope the "work" is fun as in games and such. Maybe if you do it with your child as an activity it might be thought of more as fun than 'work'.

I don't really have a problem with 4 year olds doing stuff at home (if they're doing academics anyway), but the idea that your DC is fighting it (which you did not actually say) would worry me.
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#7 of 36 Old 07-14-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Holiztic View Post
4 is an awfully early age for a child to start thinking of learning as 'work' or as something they "have" to do. This attitude is likely to damage a child's relationship with school and learning at large.

I hope the "work" is fun as in games and such. Maybe if you do it with your child as an activity it might be thought of more as fun than 'work'.

I don't really have a problem with 4 year olds doing stuff at home (if they're doing academics anyway), but the idea that your DC is fighting it (which you did not actually say) would worry me.
yes, yes and yes.

Talk to your child's teacher and find out the purpose of the work. Find out if there are alternate activities you can do instead.
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#8 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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one of the oft repeated complaints i hear from kids is i HATE homework.

even today at 3rd grade my dd says she tolerates school but HATES homework.

homework makes her life miserable.

her school asks her to do waaaaaaaaaaaaay more and she is the one child who has from K gotten a N for needs to improve in turning her hw in on time. she does turn in maybe 60% of the time, not 40%.

that is why she went to play based non academic ps/dc. i feel vvvvvvvv. strongly about this.

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#9 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 12:07 AM
 
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Homework for a four-year old? In July?

No, we don't force homework on any of our children. It's one of the joys of homeschooling I suppose.

Homeschooling mama of four fantastic kids and wife to one great guy.
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#10 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 12:09 AM
 
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No 4 year old should ever have homework. I might see an 'assignment' such as 'bring in something blue' during the week they're talking about blue, but if my child were in a preschool where they were getting worksheets of any sort at any time during the day, my child would be out of there so fast the director's head would spin.

Worksheets at 4 are not developmentally appropriate practice. Worse, they stifle love of learning later on.

So, in answer to your questions:
1) No.
2) No.
3) I wouldn't even ask them to do it. Heck, dd and I ignored kindergarten homework most of the time. (The school didn't care.)

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#11 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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I have a DS who was in pre-k last year and no, he never had homework. It was very much a play-based preschool, and I would not have been okay with them requiring homework. I really can't see forcing a kid of any age to complete schoolwor at home, and luckily my kids are in Montessori so it's really not an issue.

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#12 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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If, at 4, DS starts bringing homework home... Then he gets pulled from the class. I too believe that no 4 year old should ever have homework.

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#13 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 02:00 AM
 
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No homework for my 4 year old. When preschool was in session, the teachers would let us know what they are working on and give suggestions as how to best follow up on it at home but no "homework". We might point out birds or things that start with the sound "th" or whatever. I would hate it if my 4 year old had to do worksheets or something like that!
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#14 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 07:00 AM
 
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Last year (4yo) DD brought home a reading book and worksheet each week. We were expected to read the reading book and note it down but the worksheets were pretty much so the parents could see what they had been doing in class.

This year (5yo) she has a reading book which we are expected to read and then homework. Again it's supposed to be done with the parent. IMO there is quite a lot and we very rarely do all of it. We still take a lot of it to be letting us know what DD has been doing that week.

I will not struggle to get DD to do homework, in those cases where she has really objkected we've noted this down in her book. Her teacher appreciates this so she knows it has been an issue rather than just not looked at.

I HATE that children this young are getting homework, I hate a lot of the work set and think that it is homework or me most of the time. For example a couple of weeks ago she had to write a act booklet about Uruguay. I don't know many 5 yos able to research a country and then write a booklet about it. That one had me complaining to the school.

FWIW we are in the UK where children are expected to start school the year they are 5. Since my DDs birthday is in August this meant she was only just 4
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#15 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 10:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
No 4 year old should ever have homework. I might see an 'assignment' such as 'bring in something blue' during the week they're talking about blue, but if my child were in a preschool where they were getting worksheets of any sort at any time during the day, my child would be out of there so fast the director's head would spin.

Worksheets at 4 are not developmentally appropriate practice. Worse, they stifle love of learning later on.

So, in answer to your questions:
1) No.
2) No.
3) I wouldn't even ask them to do it. Heck, dd and I ignored kindergarten homework most of the time. (The school didn't care.)
I agree with this.
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#16 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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my 4 yo is in preschool and they don't do homework, thank goodness! i get enough of it with my 6 yo in 1st. luckily for me though my 4 yo actually likes to do workbooks and will sit for long periods of time going through workbooks. but if she were required to do it and she didn't want to, i just wouldn't have her do it. pushing too early will do more harm than good imo.
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#17 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 11:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
No 4 year old should ever have homework. I might see an 'assignment' such as 'bring in something blue' during the week they're talking about blue, but if my child were in a preschool where they were getting worksheets of any sort at any time during the day, my child would be out of there so fast the director's head would spin.

Worksheets at 4 are not developmentally appropriate practice. Worse, they stifle love of learning later on.

So, in answer to your questions:
1) No.
2) No.
3) I wouldn't even ask them to do it. Heck, dd and I ignored kindergarten homework most of the time. (The school didn't care.)
What she said. My now 5 year old just "graduated" pre-k from what's considered a more "academic" preschool in our area, and there was no homework.

Do you see any positives in it? It sounds terrible, honestly, but perhaps if you gave more background about the school or the assignments it would make more sense.
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#18 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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My DD is 4 and in preschool. Twice she's had a worksheet that was sent home. These were months apart. I suspect they just wanted me to see what she was doing. I had her do one while still at school. She was very excited to show me where they keep the pencils. The other time I completely forgot about it.
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#19 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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No homework for us here either. I've already been worried about homework in the future (I dread watching my child come home with the giant backpack...that's just not for us...), so if we were getting homework already, I'd be frustrated.

But if that is not a helpful answer (obviously it's not ) - I would just try and make it as enjoyable as possible and make sure it's scheduled at a time when DC is most willing to be cooperative
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#20 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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Homework at 4? I have not had anything other than making a Valentimes' Box once. There are theme days every once in a while but it is not required. My older ones did not have homework until they were 6 and in first grade. I had a hard enough time dealing with it then.
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#21 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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My 4 yo never has homework, especially not now since school is out for the summer.

He practices piano from his piano lessons, but those are very casual (it's a class specifically geared to preschoolers/kindergarteners, not the tradition doing scales stuff.) The teacher was very clear that practice was optional and should be kept short and fun.

The teacher of his arts & crafts class at the rec center let us take home a project that some of the students hadn't gotten to yet. She just thought they might enjoy it though, and isn't going to check up on who did it and who didn't. Some students just declined to take it with them and that was fine.

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#22 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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DD went to a play-based preschool at age 4 and would have a little project to do at home about every other week. She loved them and asked for more. She also loved her "homework" from kindergarten last year. It was mostly fun stuff like writing about herself or her family, doing little science experiments, cutting out things from magazines, catalogs, or grocery store ads on a specific topic, etc. In kindy she also had a weekly take home book to read.

I think it's a good way to keep DH and I involved in and aware of what she is doing in school and don't have a problem with it.
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#23 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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I would talk to his teacher about whether this homework was mandatory or optional. As others have said, you really don't want him to associate school with punishment. At this age (heck, at any age) learning should be mostly enjoyable.
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#24 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
No 4 year old should ever have homework. I might see an 'assignment' such as 'bring in something blue' during the week they're talking about blue, but if my child were in a preschool where they were getting worksheets of any sort at any time during the day, my child would be out of there so fast the director's head would spin.

Worksheets at 4 are not developmentally appropriate practice. Worse, they stifle love of learning later on.
Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
If, at 4, DS starts bringing homework home... Then he gets pulled from the class. I too believe that no 4 year old should ever have homework.
And that!
If my 4y/o got a worksheet, I don't think that I would have her continue at the school!

(Keep in mind, I have no idea the specific details of your situation!)

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#25 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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To not totally jump on what everyone else said, but, yeah, not appropriate on a variety of levels.

HOWEVER,

DS has "homework" for speech therapy. We do that. We do it 1-2 times a day, in addition to integrating it into our daily conversation more recently.

It took a while before we found our groove and we were able to do it regularly without making him hate it. We make it a game, or we make it part of another game. Every time he jumps one of my checkers or gets a king, he does a speech card. That kind of thing.

At this point, he's used to it and it's just part of our routine.

...but no worksheets.
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#26 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 09:37 PM
 
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totally opposed - and I know a five year old that is in "summer-school" for 9 weeks because of fear of having to re-peat kindy!

I don't see the educational value of homework, be it as simple as a reading assignment at that age.

 

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#27 of 36 Old 07-15-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
No 4 year old should ever have homework. I might see an 'assignment' such as 'bring in something blue' during the week they're talking about blue, but if my child were in a preschool where they were getting worksheets of any sort at any time during the day, my child would be out of there so fast the director's head would spin.

Worksheets at 4 are not developmentally appropriate practice. Worse, they stifle love of learning later on.

So, in answer to your questions:
1) No.
2) No.
3) I wouldn't even ask them to do it. Heck, dd and I ignored kindergarten homework most of the time. (The school didn't care.)
Homework didn't = worksheets for DS. He brought home a homework menu each month, from which he could choose whichever assignment he wanted each week. They were fun, I thought (and so did he) -- stuff like:
--Go on a nature walk and look for 5 yellow things
--Look for the letters of your name in signs around town
--Retell your favorite story to a family member and (optional) draw your favorite part

In reference to some other posts that I forgot to quote, the word "work" doesn't really have a negative connotation in our house -- I often say I'm "working in the kitchen" or "doing some yardwork" or "working on this puzzle" in reference to pleasurable activities that my kids see me enjoying (and enjoy alongside me many times). So we use the word "homework" but DS doesn't think of it as a bad thing (yet!).

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#28 of 36 Old 07-16-2010, 08:24 AM
 
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Grateful to be on the other side of the pond. This is really, really alien to me. Asking a whole group of 4 yo to do this is just bizarre imo.

IMO, a class of say twenty 4 yo required to do worksheets:

5 will hate it and never want to do it and have the joy of learning stamped out of them if forced.

5 will not like it but will do it sometimes.

5 will not care one way or another if they spend time doing worksheets instead of in the playground or drawing pictures in the sand.

5 will like or even LOVE the idea, come home and work on them enthusiastically. The first few times. After that it will be a chore and only 1 or 2 will have the passion to want to continue. Nothing to do with skill or intelligence - but everything to do with the personality of the child.

A kid wanting to do worksheets, or spontaniously deciding one afternoon to try some is one thing. If your 4 yo loves worksheets - great. If not, football is great this time of year.
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#29 of 36 Old 07-16-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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Again, the OP never mentioned the word "worksheet." It's interesting that so many jump to that assumption when homework is mentioned. That wasn't my DS's kindergarten homework experience at all.

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#30 of 36 Old 07-16-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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DS started kindie at 4 and they had this "calendar" of activities for homework. There were always 30 different choices and the kids picked which 3 they wanted to do a week. A few options involved paper and pencil but my DS never chose them. Instead he went for the others like "help make dinner" and "count all the windows in your house." DS always thought it was fun and often wanted to do more than 3 things a week. DD had the same kindie calendar for homework but she was 5 when she started.

The kids never had preschool homework outside "bring in egg cartons" lol.

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