DS just started kindergarten and while I was expecting homework I'm kind of surprised at the type and amount. At the beginning of the month each child gets a sheet with 20 activities listed and they have the month to complete 10 of them. These activities range from "take 5 books about Fall out of the library," to "draw a scientist and label the types of tools they use." Others ask him to write out his name or address 5 times, draw and label his favorite outdoor activities, etc. The amount of writing was a little shocking to me, especially since he was only writing his name in pre-school. In addition to the monthly activities, he is sometimes given additional work to do during the week as well as a reading log that he has to fill out. We read all of the time so that's not a problem. Again though, more writing.
Is this normal? There are several things I'm having issues with regarding the school and not sure if homework should be one of them....
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~~ MLK
Both my kids got a calendar each month with about 30 different activity options. They chose 3 a week. Activities ranged from counting all the squares in your house, finding 10 leaves and arranging by size, helping cook dinner, writing the names of everyone in your family, write a story or poem, do a good deed, do 10 jumping jacks, basic little kitchen science things, ect. My DD was an excellent writer and so always chose the writing/drawing activities. My DS always chose the physical and math activities as he struggled greatly with the pencil thing. Nothing was turned in. I just had to sign-off that they did it. My kids actually enjoyed their kindergarten homework.
Somethings to consider, go through the non-writing activities first. In situations like the scientist... have him draw and write his name. Maybe have him write the 1st letter of each label (and you write the rest.) This is kindergarten. If the teacher grades him down for your helping with writing, big deal. The idea is that he try, he grow and he not get too overwhelmed if his hands aren't quite ready to write anything 5 times yet.
My daughter has only had 2 homework assignments since she started kindergarten a month ago. Both were pretty simple and took less than 10 minutes for her to complete. I have to say.. I was expecting much more homework!
Married to my other half
Mama to Madeline (07-10-07) and Finley (10-17-11)
Have a talk with the teacher to clarify her (his?) expectations. My ds is in second grade and he was getting whet I considered a lot of homework, until I went to school and the teacher told us that not everything was compulsory. Also, I let her know that ds had other extracurricular activities and he might not get any homework done on some days. She was ok with it.
When my dd started K there was A LOT of writing the the hw packet, but it was "only" tracing then writing letters and numbers. After the first month I don't think she had to write more than a sentence for writing (draw a picture/write a "story"), and the packets were less burdensome. I don't think the teacher sent a reading log home after the first 4-6 weeks. In addition to the packet we were supposed to review the alphabet chart (ah, ah apple A, etc.), count up to a certain number on the 100 chart, review the days of the week flash cards, the months of the year flash cards, and sight words. I made sure the homework packet was done, but we didn't do all that review daily. If we did all that dd was supposed to do daily in K it would take 40 minutes.
When my ds was in K he had a homework packet but he was very resistant to doing any homework. He was more willing to read to younger dd than to us (he was reading a few grades ahead anyway) so we let him read a bedtime story for dd and logged that.
So far K has had the most homework, 1st grade had less, and 2nd had less than 1st (the opposite of what it recommended). I fudged the reading log a bit in 2nd as ds reads constantly, still decodes a few grades ahead, and reading aloud doesn't help his weaker reading comprehension skills. Third grade isn't requiring a reading log at all ; ds now has a daily worksheet for math and usually a weekly one for science. No homework has come home from his language arts/SS teacher.
We get a weekly packet and in the first one it included writing your name "the school way" eight times, doing two worksheets (dot-to-dot and a find a word picture, and two math worksheets (count the steps to your front door and something similar). We are supposed to keep a reading log with at least 15 minutes per day. It is supposed to equal 15 minutes per day. I suspect we will do most of the activities on the weekend. I didn't think any of it was excessive but DS has strong writing skills and generally likes worksheet-type books so he has done them before. Also, our nanny has an older daughter and he was excited about having homework, too.
One of our kids was in K last year. His daily homework was a solid 45 minutes if he got right to work and didn't stop. There were also projects assigned on weekends and breaks along with a daily reading log. This was after being at school from 7:50am-3pm. Now we homeschool. This isn't to say we didn't have a choice. It was a very academic private school. We couldn't choose not to do the homework but we could choose to find another school.
I live somewhere where there is no homework at all in KG. There's a daily reading log in the kids' agendas which parents are encouraged to initial, but that's not really checked much unless the child has some lags in literacy development. Parent reading TO child, not the other way around.
Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
I am so glad to find this thread. I was beginning to think that I'm the only one whose kidling has an excessive amount of homework. DS is 5, in Kindergarten at a charter school, and I find his homework to be extraordinarily excessive. Homework packets are sent out on Mondays and are expected to be turned in on Fridays. If not turned in until Monday, he only gets half credit. This week consists of 4 worksheets that require him to color the pictures with the letter sounds, one that he has to cut and paste a picture that finishes a pattern, and then a "reading log" which is not really a reading log, he has to draw a picture of what he's read. That's another four pages. And we are supposed to read to him at least 20 minutes per night, which is sometimes not doable, but we make up for it on the weekends. DS absolutely hates this homework. He does not find it interesting and feels that it's busywork--and he's right. It is. I see no redeeming value in these ridiculous worksheets. There is so little hands-on learning in his classroom that I am ready to pull my hair out. They are so invested in technology that I wonder if they realize that their hands can do more than operate a mouse.
We don't have the option to "opt out" of homework as he is actually graded on this and could cause him to FAIL KINDERGARTEN. Are you kidding me? He is in extended day after school until after 5:30 and they are supposed to help him with his homework but it's not happening. Every week I talk to the "teachers" there and every week I'm told that they'll help him, but they don't. We don't get home until well after six, sometimes not until after 7 if we have to stop somewhere or traffic is particularly bad, and then it's a rush to eat something, bath, and bedtime--with 20 minutes of reading. I am so frustrated because this kid is absolutely joyless, not the happy baby I had over the summer.
What is the point of homework in kindergarten? He HATES school now.
In our area there is no kindergarten homework. It starts up a little bit in 1st grade, then gets to be a little more in 2nd grade. I wouldn't see the point of it for k-garten. Perhaps you should inquire about it or talk with a member of the school board.
We had no homework in kindergarten. There was one project for the kid of the week where they had to bring in a couple of pictures, but that was more on me than my daughter. There is a reading program that the school does every year, and she had to fill out a reading log (more, accurately, I filled out the log). After she had a certain number of minutes, she got a small prize (a little medal), but this was not mandatory. You could choose or not to participate. My dd was reading independently, so this was not an issue for us.
In first grade, she has now just started to get a small homework packet. It's some word work, with about 5-10 minutes worth of activity that she has to do Monday-Thursday.
Not perfect, Just amazing!
My son was in K last year and now 1st. HW is the same as last year in that he got a packet on Monday and turned it in Friday. This year he has to read 15 mins a night and one day a week he has to write 4 sentences about a topic he picks with a picture. He 1 page of math sometimes more for the week.
Harlan (11/4/2011)http://www.desertreadingloft.com--Independent Usborne Books Consultant