On Annabel’s first day of school, she brought home an information packet that included a sheet outlining homework. I was like, “LOL, homework in Kindergarten, what is it, singing songs and finger painting?” I was so naive.
Yesterday, Annabel brought home her first homework packet. It was in this cute little folder:
Let’s be real, that folder should say, “Annabel’s Mom’s Homework.”
We adults all know that homework is basically the worst, but I’m not going to tell my kid that. Homework is going to be her way of life for the next…oh, thirteen to twenty-five years. Best to go into it with an open mind. So I pulled out the folder and was like, “WOO! You got homework! Let’s do this” And she gave me a look and replied, “The first graders say homework stinks.”
Freaking six-year-olds ruining my scam. But I persevered:
“No, homework is amaaaaazing. Let’s see…today you get to write your name on these forms…and write your name ten times on this worksheet. Easiest homework ever!”
“But…I already know how to write my name.”
“YES. So this will be easy! You’ll be practicing your printing. WOO!” Then I did spirit fingers, which elicited another pitying look.
I gave her the worksheet first. She had to write her name ten times. She lost interest after the second “Annabel.”
“But I don’t get it…why do I have to do work at home if I did work at school…this is boring.”
I told her all of the things a parent is supposed to say, like how it’s important to practice what you know, and how this reinforces what she learned. But in my head I was like, “Yeah…I know.”
So, the next few weeks will be dedicated to figuring out the best way to approach homework. Her teacher said they will only have 10 minutes at night at the most (plus 15 minutes of nightly reading), so this homework is mostly about developing good habits.
…good habits in both of us, because saying out loud, “Writing your name ten times is nothing, just wait until you have to write essays!” is not helpful (I didn’t actually say that, but it definitely crossed my mind).
When do your kids do best with homework? Yesterday, Annabel had a snack and then got started on her work. I thought that would be better than letting her play, then making her stop to do work, but maybe she needs that decompression time. Or maybe I do.
Only thirteen more years of homework to go! *spirit fingers* *cries*
I agree with Annabel! Luckily our K teachers don’t send homework pages aside from reading. I would probably let her get a snack & then get it done. Otherwise it will be like pulling teeth later. Dues she go full day or half? If it’s half I might wait until after lunch if she goes in morning or following morning before school to get her focused.
No experience here, since I have a 19-month old. But I was reading in Real Simple how it is good to try out different times (post play, post snack, right from coming home) to see what works best. I come from the “do homework first, then play or do chores”, but I guess that thinking has changed to be more maleable to when peak thinking is for kids. I know I sometimes write better after a walk… Good luck!
My mom became pretty strict with homework when it became clear in 3rd or 4th grade that doing it after dinner only led to past-bedtime drama. So our rule was that we always got 30 minutes after school to chill and have a snack, then it was homework time. Maybe set a timer for Annabel, so it’s more visual?
I’m a teacher who is always arguing with colleagues about this! Turns out that Annabel is right…
I basically just don’t make them do it. I think homework for little kids is silly, frankly. With my first kid I pushed it a bit more, but with the younger two we just often don’t do it. If it is an area of weakness for the kid, then we do it. But if it is something they are already quite good at, we skip it. What is the teacher going to do, fire me? I teach high school myself, so I know all about kids who won’t do homework, but I really don’t think that making 5 year olds do busy work is going to have any bearing on how they study when they are 15. Now that my oldest is in high school, you can believe that she does all her homework and then some! But for kindergarten? I feel like I am teaching my kids how to manage their time and achieve a good work-life balance. That’s a good habit too.
Yep, same here – we tried to do it when we had time and/or my son needed some help, but otherwise we would skip rather than struggle. Did it impact his report card? No! Did it impact his learning? No! He still got very positive reports from his teacher and kept up with his classmates.
My older son had the most wonderful 4th grade teacher last year who did not believe in homework – she said it was her job to teach them in school and get it all done. He almost never had hw (even though she was the ONLY 4th grade teacher who believed that). He had a wonderful year (this also contributed to my son in Kindergarten not wanting to do his hw – but my brother in 4th grade has no hw!) We’ll see how he does in 5th grade this year – he now starts switching classes and each teacher gives their own hw! Big adjustment, I think.
Ha. I wish she had the option of just not doing it. But it’s been graded homework since at least 2nd grade that will affect her overall grade. (Can’t speak for K and 1st; we did private Montessori, which did not have homework. The gold old days.) But if everyone hates it so much, including parents and teachers who have to grade it, why the $#^#%$ do we do it???
One option is to talk to the teacher about it. I’ve done this with good success. For example, we haven’t filled in a reading log in years, because I let the teachers know that my kids read all the time and filling in a log is pointless. Also, if your kid has any special circumstances that make doing homework extra difficult, then talk to the teacher. Like this year my son was doing vision therapy every day after school. Between that, piano, and other extra curriculars, he had more than enough to do at home. I just told the teacher he would not be doing the regular homework and she was fine with it. The other option is to just get a low mark. It’s hardly going to keep them from getting into the college of their choice if they get a C in homework in kindergarten. If you reeeallly want to kick up a stink, look into whether this is even allowed by your school board’s policy. Where I live the marks for behaviours (like not doing homework) are meant to be separate from the marks for achievement. But bringing that up would probably lead to a big confrontation… not a good way to start the year!
I will get my kids to do homework if it is part of a larger project, some of which must be done at home. Then they can see the point of it and it’s usually not a battle at all. Also, if it is work that they should have finished in class but didn’t, I will make them finish at home. It’s the regular “Here’s your packet of busy work for the week” stuff that we often don’t do.
What worked best for me, was setting a timer. If the teacher said homework should take ten minutes, I would set a timer for ten minutes and suggest that she can race to get her homework done before the timer goes off. It puts a different spin on the task and turns it into a game.
My daughter had a homework packet due on Friday. She also had SPELLING TESTS in KINDERGARTEN! And we read 20 minutes a night for the reading log. She’s in second grade now and the reading is up to 30 minutes with answering questions soon. Good luck! I was surprised too!
I usually have him do it after dinner. We have been pretty lucky getting teachers who don’t give a lot of homework.Last year they got a packet on Monday and just had to hand it in Friday morning.Also had teachers say do not correct it because they need to see their mistakes and if they give you a hard time then don’t make them do it.Just let them know they have to explain it to the teacher why they didn’t do it!
Both of my kids (3 and 7) get up with the sun even though we only need to be out the door by 8:30. Since my oldest was in kindergarten, I’ve had her do her homework in the morning. Her teachers have always collected homework on one day, so they have a week to get it done. Since it doesn’t take 2 hours to get ready for school, I have her work on homework before school. She’s also in an after-school program where they have them read/do homework for 20 minutes. She can choose to do it then as well. I’m a teacher, so my kids always have a tiny bit of homework, even over the summer. The way I see it, their brains are sponges right now, yet they’re only taught content material from October through May. To keep them in the habit, we do about 15-20 minutes of learning every morning every day. Now it’s a habit and not really a chore.
My daughter is in Pre-K and also has homework, which she HATES. So we’re off to a great start.
Homework is such a chore for me, too. I totally agree! Just wait. It gets much worse. My two are in third and first grade. There’s math, the math computer program, reading, extra reading, spelling, the spelling computer program, sight words, math flashcards, and projects. If you want your kids to do well, it takes a lot of effort to give them the right start and the right habits. Add in extra curricular activities and it’s rough. Now that my oldest is in third grade, I do less for her, which is nice. We no longer have to read with her, thank goodness! I set up a folding table in the living room to use as a homework station. It works very well! Everything they need is there and it’s dedicated to just homework so it doesn’t get messy with toys and crafts. We have paper trays and supply trays to keep organized. It also helps them stay focused. They know what happens at the homework table. We have a snack first, too. I don’t recommend letting her play. It doesn’t work for us at all. I’ve been trying to teach them that procrastinating just makes you sad. Good luck!
I also have a PreK kiddo who has homework, but she’s very excited about it because now she’s like her big brother and sister. The thing I don’t like about it is that on one page she is finding things throughout the house that are red and in the next she is asked to draw complex pictures. She’s barely four and she can color but really can’t draw much yet. We’ve skipped that page so far because I know it is going to frustrate her.
My older kids come home, get a snack, play a bit, then do homework. My 9 year old is very responsible about it. I just check and make sure she’s done when I start bedtime routines with the younger kids. My 7 year old puts up the biggest fight, and I try to have him work on his at the kitchen counter when I’m making dinner. I think the trick is helping them figure out that they spend more time whining and putting it off than it takes them to get it done… although I don’t think I’ve learned that lesson myself yet.
Wendy Constantinoff says:
Personally as an ex teacher I would get rid of homework for young children. I found it was nothing but a pain to set and mark. A high percent of my class didn’t bother to do it or didn’t have pens/pencils at home. Then there were the children who you just knew had more help than they should’ve had from a grown up. I know a lot of parents think that load sof homework should be given every night and others that believe the hassle out weighs the good.
If it’s any consolation, our 1st grade homework took much less time than our kindergarten homework! He just started 2nd grade yesterday, so I’m not sure what we’re in for yet. I’m already dreading the Pre-K homework that will start soon…
My kids are in 2nd and 5th grade and I’ve always had a hard time getting them to do their homework. Last year, I established a routine with them. I pick them up daily so they now know when they get home, they can grab a snack, chill and decompress for a half an hour. Once that happens, they can start their homework before dinner. I quickly realized that starting homework late at night was not good as they were tired and just wanted to play. This way they get it out of the way and they can enjoy their night. Good Luck! You will get your routine worked out. It just takes a little while
Mother of a 5th grader here. I ABHORE homework. As does she. And she’s a smarty.
Stacey T. says:
I have a 5th grader and Freshman in high school. Our homework rules is, come in the door, wash hands, grab a snack if you need one and do your homework. Same for after an afterschool activity. We also have another rule: If extra credit work is offered, you do it, even if you are getting and A+ in the class.
I like this. It’s teaching them a good work ethic and not just to do the bare minimum. Yes, homework may be unnecessary at these ages, and no, there’s barely any time for it. But it exists, just as cooking, cleaning and paying the bills after a long day of work exist for us parents. That’s life.
13 to 25 years, oh no! I have to ask, what exactly are spirit fingers?
Something that may really help is if you are able to sit with her for ten minutes and work on something of your own (paperwork, so it looks similar to hers, not on the computer) while she does her homework. It sets a good example for her, which makes her more willing/excited to do it.
My niece and nephew are in a program that gives them homework year-round. I used to have to fight with them to do it, until I just started sitting down with a vocabulary workbook and working next to them. My niece went from taking hours to get her work done to the correct time of 30 minutes.
I taught kindergarten and we were required to give homework. It wasn’t the teacher’s choice. I had a little more leniency when I taught second grade, but still not much.
We have a 20 minute car ride home from school. When my daughter was in Kindergarten, I let her watch a show on the iPad on the way home, and made sure to always have a snack and a drink for her. By the time we got home she was decompressed from the day and we jumped right in to homework.
Now that she’s in 2nd grade, and can read and understand all her homework, she does it in the “homework room” at school. They give them time to complete it, and there is always a teacher in the room in case they have questions.
The only thing we have to do at home now is study for her tests, which thankfully takes all of 15-20 minutes. She still has the decompression time in the car, so we get the studying done as soon as we get home.
My daughter had homework for full day Kindergarten last year. Once a week the teacher would put in her folder a packet consisting of 4 pieces of paper. 1 for each day, except Fri, as they turned it in that day. Typically it was something like, color everything that starts with the letter ___. Or cut and paste from a magazine words that starts with ___. So really simple stuff that only took us 5-10 minutes, depending on her mood lol. After I picked her up from after school care, she usually worked on it right before dinner (we work full time outside the home) and by the time I had dinner almost made she was done. Sometimes even with the whole week packet, if she was feeling spunky! I found that if she did her homework before dinner, but after getting to play at after school care it seemed to work the best for us. She did like seeing the teachers cool stamps or stickers that she got on her packet and that helped motivate her too. We’ll see how it goes this year for 1st grade!
Don’t worry too much though, as she gets into the year she may find she likes homework, especially if it has to do with coloring or drawing. I’m sure you will find the way it works for you both soon!!
My son’s second grade teacher told us that the research shows that homework for elementary aged students does not increase student learning. For middle and high school students, homework only marginally increases student learning. So, at our school, the K-2nd grade teachers have agreed on a no homework policy, except for reading 20 minutes a day. I think it’s the way to go. At this age, young children still learn best through play.
Marjorie Steele says:
I have a 12yr old son and we find it easiest to do homework right after school. Get it over with and enjoy the rest of the evening! Good luck over the next 15 years LOL
If I had it to do over again, this might be a battle I would fight with the teacher. Kindergartners don’t need homework and the struggle you two are going to have over this year is going to get worse over something that isn’t going to help her at all. At the very least, I wish I had just let my kid skip doing it, often. They’re not going to fail kindergarten.
I’m a teacher. Don’t fight with the teacher as some people here suggest. For all you know the teacher may not want to set homework for such little kids either – chances are it is the school administration/board that requires all teachers to set it. While I think it’s good to put a new spin on the task too, I don’t think it’s right, either, to teach children that it’s better to do the task fast than to do it right. By all means talk civilly to the teacher and request that at least if she has to set homework then could it not be differentiated for kids like Annabel? There’s no way the teacher should be setting a task that Annabel can already do; the teacher will learn nothing new about Annabel from the assessment and such kids will quickly become bored and discouraged if they are repeatedly set tasks they can already do. If she has to give Annie homework, it should clearly be harder than it is and thus better suited to her ability so that everyone can gain more from it.
Wahoo! Homework! Too bad James isn’t older so she can play teacher and he could join her in the fun of homework time. My niece actually LOVED her kindergarten homework. What can I say? She’s weird! But my nephew is over-prepared for kindergarten only for us to find out that because he doesn’t turn 5 til Feb, he can’t go. State law. Back to preschool for him, where he will be teaching the other kids his cousin’s “sight words” and whole language reading and math skills cuz he’s a learner and she loves to teach! (Plus everyone in our family plays this dice game where 3s equal nothing and you try to get the lowest score when you roll and all the kids rock it and want to play for money! Hardcover gamblers, we’ve got here! LOL)
I make my kids get straight to homework the second they’re home (and I’ll remind the latchkey teachers that I want them doing some of it there, too). Of course, we don’t have much option. Home at around 6…in bed at 8:30. You gotta get to it right away.
I’ve never been “that Mom.” You know, the one that complains to their child’s teacher about everything but this year may be a game changer for me! My fifth grader has, on average, 2- 2 1/2 hours of homework EVERY NIGHT. Factor in his chores and extracurricular activities and this poor kid gets ZERO play time during the week. Complete bummer!
Anywho…we have a routine. I pick the kids up at the bus stop. We get home, empty our backpacks, wash our hands, eat a snack then do homework. I agree with you, if they start playing it is 1000 times harder to get them to stop playing and focus on the work.
slowly but surely, according to my education classes,they’re fading homework out. When I say “homework” though, I mean ADDITIONAL work. Sometimes if you have something leftover from class, you take it home; or a project/big assignment might require you to take some work home. But the idea of sending MORE work that you have to do in addition to the work you do in-class, I believe, is going to be a thing of the past. Studies show that Drill-and-kill worksheets etc. do NOT WORK– and that’s typically what’s sent home as “homework.”
tl;dr: Annie’s right! It’s pointless if you ALREADY know something to drill it anymore. Just read and work on things she’s struggling with.
and this is all coming from someone who quit education during student teaching.
as for when to do the homework… I personally think it depends on the kid and the level of work. For me, I NEED a break from school stuff after school. So if it’s something rather small, I’ll wait til after dinner/after a small break. When they’re little though, it’s good to instill the habit of homework-before-play to keep the procrastination habits at bay (for now )
That’s what I remember. If we didn’t finish in class, it went home as homework. Incentive!
When my son was in kindergarten last year, we would receive his weekly homework via email on Friday from his teacher. We would pick two assignments (of the four that were do) and finish them on Saturday and Sunday. The other two he would complete at his after school care center so he then had two days of no work. We would review his sight words and read 20 minutes each night as well. Now that he is in first grade, he is getting daily assignments, but so far nothing too difficult. It would be much easier to get the assignments ahead of time like last year, but each teacher is different so we’ll adjust to whatever comes our way
I have mine (or the two in elementary at least) do it when they get home. I’ve found that they’re still in school mode at that time.
There is a great documentary that covers the great homework debate called The Race to Nowhere. It’s on Netflix. Homework at this age is detrimental to kids and totally useless.
My son starts preschool next week. I’m going to start working on building a hippie co-op school so by the time he’s in kindergarten I won’t have to worry about pissing off a teacher.
The 10 minutes of homework sounds great until you think about the kids who don’t know how to write their name yet. Apparently they just assume every kid was lucky enough to attend pre-k or have parents work with them at home? I used to work with 3rd and 4th grade kids who were grade levels behind in math and reading, and it was very frustrating to try to get them to do work properly when doing work properly meant it took them five times longer than most of the kids. Sigh…
As far as the “when” question, I think ANYTHING you don’t want to do but have to do is easier if you just get it out of the way. Getting her to do the work and do it properly will be even harder if you have to squeeze it in with other less exciting chores or in between ballet class and dinner. Then you think, “Oh, she can get up a little early tomorrow morning and do it then instead” and that becomes a bad experience for her. But I agree with trying different things and finding what works for your family.
Oh yeah, and it sounds like she hasn’t figured out yet that some kids have names with fewer letters than Annabel. Small victory there!
AND this multiplication problem I have to do to submit this comment feels like homework, too.
My boys (6 & will usually have some downtime after school (swimming, playtime, or a TV show). I think after being in school all day it’s nice to get a break from learning/working mode. They do know that they are expected to complete their homework each week so it’s not something that is usually too tough a battle (knock on wood!). I work out of the home full-time so for us, it can be a nice way to sit together and catch up on our day while they do their work later on. Plus, I try to give them some motivation as well: if you finish Monday & Tuesday’s assignments, you’ll get 1 free night this week of no homework! I know it can be boring, but I think establishing good habits early is a good thing. Homework can be considered optional I suppose, but as they advance it school, it won’t be; so I’d rather create the expectation now instead of battling a 10 or 12 year old about work that is not optional. Good luck- hope the homework this year includes some fun stuff too!
We do homework right after they get home. They eat a snack and then do homework before playing. We moved a few months ago to a new state and the schools here rarely give homework. So not what we are used to! We have always had a pretty big homework load everyday. Of course my kids are loving it but I am not sure I like it. I don’t like tons of homework, but it does help you to see what they are learning in class. My youngest has brought home a few math pages where he got a low grade. I think if we had been doing practice at home with homework he would have understood better. I did not realize he was having a problem until after he had already gotten a few bad grades.
If there’s activities after school then hw after dinner. No activities then snack ( decompress time) then hw.
Having her write he name 10 times is pointless. Who would not lose interest? 2 or 3 times is plenty – especially for a long name. Don’t be afraid to cut the assignments short if you see a lose of interest or burnout. And 15 minutes of reading is also too much. 15 minutes of homework a night total at this age is plenty. Set the timer and whatever she gets done during that time is what she gets done. You could even make it a little game – challenge her on what she can do before the timer goes off. I have always found right after you get home works best. Set the timer, work for a few minutes, and then get on with your family time and enjoying your evening
Oh no……..I hope Annie continues her love of school. I have to agree with her, if she knows how to write her name why does she have to do it 10 times????
I teach third grade, not Kindergarten and have a son who is 8. I do give a bit of homework to my class, mostly math, because the stakes go way up in third grade- harder math and state tests. I think writing your name 10 times in the first few weeks of kindergarten may be a lot, but I can see why they make kids practice it. Many, many parents teach their children to write their name in all capital letters. The kindergarten teachers spend a lot of time trying to teach capital first letter, the rest lower case. They also work on correct letter formation and spacing. It seems like overkill, but they do have a reason.
I once was a former teacher (without kids) who thought homework was important for practicing key concepts, then I had kids of my own. Now I’m dreading the start of school and the beginning of homework struggles again. I HATE homework. And quite honestly, I do not support homework at the elementary school level. Other than finishing work that wasn’t completed in school, I think there should be no extra homework given. Not even big projects. Other than reading. Reading is important, and in my household we even struggle with that. So count me in as anti-homework.
My thought (from a non-mom) – she’s so creative, what about making the boring homework into a fun project for her? Like picking out her ten favorite pens/markers and writing her name in a different color each time. Or going way outside the box – “I know you can *write* your name, but can you paint it with a paintbrush” (using a separate piece of large paper and attaching it to the homework). Or when it’s boring because it’s something she already knows how to do, maybe try adding in a tougher skill – like writing it in cursive or smaller print and using half the height of the line. She’s so eager about now things, maybe taking it from a repetitive chore to a challenge will pep her up. And then she’ll actually be using that “homework time” in a way that will teach her more!
I agree with the different colored pencils, etc. It makes it more interesting for Annie’s creative streak.
My daughter’s Montessori kindergarten teacher taught them cursive. That might be an option for Annie. Write #1-5 in print in different colored pencils, then #6-10 in cursive.
My son’s Kg teacher had a small assignment for each day (collect a green leaf, etc.) and a reading log. If a student didn’t do it (and if their agenda wasn’t signed), the student had to stay indoors during recess. She taught them the point that this small responsibility was THEIRS, not their parents’. I could kiss this woman every time that my now-4th-grade son willingly and quickly blows through his homework right after getting home.
I hated when my kids had homework. HATED! I still get anxious thinking about it.
Poor Annie, homework is the pits. I remember practicing my name when I was her age and being so annoyed that I had a 7 letter name… I was so jealous of my friend Amy! I vowed to name my first child name so his/her name would be at the top of their paper and they wouldn’t have to write it (you know, the “Name ____________” spot.) HA my Mom still reminds me of it. I think every kid (and probably parent) goes through the same thing!
I have a slightly different perspective here. (But, it comes from someone who enjoyed school and did quite well at it – valedictorian and ivy league graduate). Timers and doing something when you don’t want to actually do it will work in the immediate but are definitely not a long-term solution. I think that the key is helping your kids become truly self-motivated by connecting what they are doing to a larger purpose and mission. They should get to choose when they do it, how they do it, and not see it as something that they have to do at a specific time. Daniel Pink’s Drive is a great read on this fact. I think that it was the most helpful thing my parents (both educators) instilled in me.
As a working parent the kindergarten homework thing really got me mad. It privileges the kids who have stay-at-home parents or caretakers who are able/willing to sit down and do homework with them. I work in part so my kids can go to their nice little private school, but that means I don’t have an extra hour at the end of the day to sit with my son and make him write his name over and over again. First grade starts tomorrow … grrr.
Lauren G says:
my daughter is in the after school program (I work also) and they have a homeowrk club where she can at least get started on the homework. Do they have something like that in your child’s school?
I think I’m totally in the minority here as my “kids” are 25 and 29. WE didn’t do homework. They did. I didn’t get involved. Sure a reminder now and then, assistance or advice if asked, and the dreaded drive to Staples for poster board at 8 pm. I think it’s better to start early letting them take responsibility for when and how they get work done rather than spend 12 years locked in a power struggle. There were tears and all-night marathons to complete science projects, but I went to bed. They turned out fine. Went to good colleges, are employed, married and starting their own families. You’ll get through it!
LizS I agree, my son is in 5th grade and while I am available if he has a question, I am busy with other stuff while he does the homework that he has. I have never sat with him and the most help I give is usually when he has missed a day or two being sick. I help him figure out his plan of attack for all the make up work (only because he would get so overwhelmed by it all), but once I do that I am on to other stuff while he works on it.
If it ever becomes a huge power struggle, and you try everything within reason, it may be best to let it go.
With four kids, the only rule I taught them was that actions have consequences and so does the lack of. Staying at home did not mean I could get them to do more than they were willing, although I gave it the old college try!
It can be frustrating, but I stuck to my guns. I always asked about school and whether they needed help or project stuff, but it was their work. I can count how many times with four kids that I stayed up all night on one hand to get something done. 4. One pass per kid for lack of vision, or time management for the save.
You will do just fine and so will your kids!
Whatever amount of time the teacher claims the homework will take, I have to multiply times three for my kid, to account for the ridiculous whining, stalling, crying, melting down, intentionally writing silly answers that need to be erased, sitting the wrong way in his chair, getting up, and so on.
I work full time so my son goes to after care for an hour and can play there and run around, so when he gets home he does his homework right away. There are days I pick him up when school is over and I let him have that free time first before I make him do the homework. Has led to fewer meltdowns over the years. I think it will depend upon the kid.
SUSAN SPARKS says:
While I do not agree with assigning homework in the lower elementary grades….I am speechless at how many comments have stated that they “just don’t do it”! WHAT are you teaching your childres by not enforcing what they have been instructed to do by their teacher? You ARE teaching them that it okay to just do whatever THEY want to do regardless of what they have been instructed to do….this is what is wrong with our young society…they are being raised to think it is okay to go against the rules if they don’t like them…this is WRONG!!!! You have to be taught at a young age that you are acountable for YOUR actions, and if you don’t do the assigned work then there should be a consequence for it…and I know, we are talking about kindergartners, but the habits that are made now sometimes last a life time…you are not “helping” them by not enforcing what is expected of them…….just for the record, my babies are now 33 and 27 and we ALL hated homework, but it got done….
Have to agree.
The advice to skip homework if it was causing angst or anxiety came straight from my son’s fourth grade teacher. I wish I had gotten it sooner rather than allowing my own home to become a battleground. My daughter hated kindergarten. Doesn’t remember playing or having fun, just the work and homework. That haunts me. And I feel entirely confident that their future success does not depend on coloring sheets at age five. Both are doing quite well now and do their homework without complaint. But thanks for the concern.
Agreed; I have a snack on the table when he gets off the bus, then we go straight to homework. Gets it out of the way without any “do I have to do it yet” discussion/negotiation — that’s just when we do it, full stop. Milk and cookies help.
I have two self motivated girls now in high school, and a middle school son who will be the death of me. My girls have had hours of homework since the beginning…K about an hour a day…by 5th grade 3-4 hours. My senior now gets home from school and does homework from 3-11pm and about 12 hours on the weekend. Yes, all AP classes, but still… I’m over it. I taught for 10 years and didn’t give much homework but DID give projects. After having kids I’d be a much better, gentler teacher. My son and I have fought over homework to the point we are both in tears. It’s really sad.
I think setting a routine is key. Come home, have a snack, chill out for up to 30 minutes, and then homework. I don’t tolerate whining. Homework is not a choice, it has to be done. Once they get into a routine, it becomes automatic.
For my older daughter, she was and is great. Homework has been a breeze. My son would rather watch TV. I tell him he can only watch TV after his homework is done, which is a good motivator.
When I was in early elementary, I loved having homework because it made me feel like a “big kid”. I didn’t have any older siblings but I knew that homework was something that high school and college kids did so it made me excited to have some of my own. So maybe that’s one approach?
Admittedly, I was a big nerd and homework in kindergarten was a rarity from what I remember, but it may be worth a shot!
It’s sad that the “powers that be” think “Oh, 10 minutes shouldn’t be a big deal” but they don’t realize it usually takes 20 minus to get them to do that 10 minutes of work! It’s sad.
Oh how I loathe homework. We have been doing homework since kindergarten. It’s been a struggle the entire time. What works for us now is having a designated homework night. We do her entire packet for the week and then all she has to worry about itis studying for her spelling test and her nightly reading. I don’t recall homework being the forefront of my elementary school years until I got into 4th grade. I think I hate homework more than my kid does. Only 10 more years + college! WOO
I am appalled at people saying not to do homework. I’m 37. I had homework in kindergarten. Mostly writing and things like Annabelle has. When in the ever loving heck did homework become OPTIONAL? Regardless of age. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. And we wonder why kids today expect the world to be handed to them on a platter and have this overwhelming sense of entitlement. And good for you, Heather, for encouraging her to do it regardless of her disdain for it. We don’t all only have to do what we want to do and when we want to do it. Lessons that will serve her well when she has to make it in the real world.
I hated homework as a young child. My mother and I would routinely engage into a power struggle over it, until she accepted that she just needed to let me fail.
She did. And it was okay, and I learned to deal with homework on my own with no prompting, even as I never grew to love it. I also did fairly well in school, regardless.
For me what did it was realizing that not doing homework did disappoint my teacher (third grade, I loved her and wanted to be her someday, no wonder I do have a teaching degree, among other things), as my mother had warned me it would.
So if and when the point of homework comes up, just remind her that her teacher expects her to work hard, not just on the hard stuff, but also on the stuff she has already learned, so while it is up to her to do the homework and you won’t “force” her to do it, she will also have to deal with the consequences of not doing it on her own (FYI, because some teaching “packages” that districts adopt require homework worksheets be filled as part of learning, this means she might miss out on recess the next day, in order to complete the worksheets. Teachers hate to do that, and secretly feel that it’s “unfair” to take away recess time for any reason, but there’s quite a bunch of punctilious administrators who will otherwise make said teachers’ lives hell, so that’s what might happen to non-compliance to doing homework).
I heard a sixth grader in my building say, “Homework makes everyone sad.” So true, so true!