February 22, 2010,
C.B. asks from Cary, NC on January 22, 2008
Homework in Kindergarten
i have a 6 year old in kindergarten (her birthday is in november) i have been apalled at the amount of homework expected from these children. i don't really believe in homework even at an older level, as we don't bring our work home. (most of us)
i feel like in order for a child to adapt to and enjoy school, that it would be more beneficial to treat it less stringently and make it more fun. learning should and can be fun.
since my child has been in school, she has had nights where she wakes up vomiting, apparently stress related.
my question is, does anyone else have issue with the way young children are being pushed? or do i have a rogue teacher? (i don't really believe that, but she is pretty young) and lastly, does anyone else have issue with homework at such a young age? i don't like the idea of destroying childhood.
K.W. answers from Fayetteville on January 23, 2008
I strongly believe in homework. The US is already way behind on that curve. With the No Kid Left Behind Act in place and the growing problems with our kids, it's so hard to teach them everything they need to know in school. School isn't all about "fun". School is about education and learning, there are some fun aspects like pe, recess, art, music, and so on, but math isn't necessarily suppose to be fun. If you think your daughter just go to school and play all day, you won't have a very bright child. Most say, 10 minutes per grade level on homework, that is a normal kid doing it. Now if you have a smart kid, they may get it done in half the time. If you have a slower child, it may take them 1 1/2 hours? Teaching your child is not just the TEACHER's job, that is what is wrong with AMERICA, the PARENTS are the first teachers a child has and you should continue doing so.
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S.S. answers from Charlotte on January 23, 2008
Okay, I will probably get slammed by people for this - but if your child is *that* stressed, is this really the right environment for her? This is actually one of the reasons we decided to home school our kids. Too much pressure (IMHO) is put on kids these days because of the standardized testing that begins in early elementary. A lot rides on those test scores for the schools, so they really push kids hard. Since you also have a 23 year old, you remember that school was probably NOT like this for her. Public schools have their place, but for my kids, the thirst for learning is a lot more important. Are you a SAHM? Is Home schooling a possibility for you? Let me know if you are interested in information about how easy home schooling can be. I home school two right now - a 9 and a 5 y.o. and we spend about 2 hours per day each on 'book work' and the rest of the day on really *fun* learning. That's it.
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E.H. answers from Raleigh on January 23, 2008
I was commenting to my husband just last night about the amount of homework my 9-yr old stepson has. Granted, he's a little older, but I am still surprised at how long he has to work when he gets home, sometimes before AND after dinner. He can spend up to 2 hours trying to get his homework done, especially on Thurs nights, when there's a spelling test to study for each week on Fridays. He also, we suspect, has some attention issues. This is not the teacher's fault but since all learning abilities are grouped together at that age, I feel there should be more done in the classroom and less sent home. It makes some of our evenings very tiring and stressful at home, when there's already limited time during the week. I agree with you - there should be more "home" and less "work." I wish you luck - keep us all posted on if you decide to speak to your daughter's teacher.
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J.A. answers from Charlotte on January 23, 2008
I am worried about how much homework my son will get when he finally reaches school age because I have heard terrible stories of parents up late with their kids just trying to finish their daily homework. But, I was a music teacher in a state rated very high in education and in a school system that performed above state average and homework is absolutely a part of their education. If you go the route of public school education you just have to make the best of it. The teachers in that state were required to give an average of 10 minutes of homework for every level of grade (1st = 10min, 5th= 50 mintes) every night and with the "No Child Left Behind Act" they have struggled even with that. Schools are forced to take time from their classroom lessons to work on national standardized testing materials. Otherwise depending on each child's test results they could possibly be held back.
Teachers do care about your child and are not the enemy as so many parents believe. They often do not like the homework either. Remember that whatever students take home to work on teachers have to grade the next night (or when they can, being they have lives, too), so try to realize that teachers are not just assigning homework for the fun of it. Many times they are either required by the school system to give that amount or they have so much to teach in the classroom that they don't have even a few minutes for the kids to work on it during the day.
In defense of HW, reptition is neccessary when learning something. And taking HW home in an environment other than the classroom teaches them to think about the subjects they are working on in a different way. If you had a presentation to make but were forced to go to an unfamiliar site to make it you would need to have the skills to adapt. I don't think hours and hours of it is good, but I think it is the system's fault. Your child's teacher may be finding it difficult to fit in all the requirements of the curriculum during the day. Or maybe she's a fantastic, energetic teacher and is teaching them through activity based learning which takes more time. Or maybe she needs to hear your concerns in a kind way. Unfortunately teachers have been the scapegoats for the failure of our education system and I think parents tend to believe the negativity that is out there. I had many colleagues who worked hours and hours to make their students' learning experiences fun and meaningful but still made very little money and had parents complain about little things. Your daughters teacher may be wrking very very hard. Or maybe she's not. Maybe you could volunteer in your daughter's classroom. And, maybe there is something at school that is bothering her that has nothing to do wih the homework. But I agree with the previous poster that your daughter needs to see your support in her teacher and her education or she'll rebel and do poorly in the long run. That would be a disservice to her.
Personally, I hate to hear that kindergarteners receive homework at all - I think it should be a time to get used to school and to learn the skills that they will need to go to 1st grade in a fun, playful way. But now our kids have to read by the time they go to first grade.
I wish you the best!
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B.M. answers from Charlotte on January 22, 2008
I have ALWAYS had an issue with this. I have even gone so far as to express my opinion of it to school teachers, principals etc.
Their response has always been, "Education is not just the responsibility of the school, parents need to take part in the education of their children" to which once, after getting tired of hearing the same broken record, I responded with "No, It is the parents job to teach their children, manners, compassion, kindness, honesty and how to be a decent human being in this world, it is also our job to instill a sense of safety, belonging and happiness basically LIFE skills" "It is YOUR job to educate our children in Math, S.S., Science and English" "this is what you get PAID to do, SO, if my child cannot finish something at night because he cannot remember what you taught earlier in the day, or simply does not understand, I will be sending him to school the next day with the unfinished work and a note. I will no longer put my child through the crying spells and sitting there forever trying to get it right for you, And YOU will go over it with him, make sure he understands it and let him finish it in school" "if you do not like your job, might I suggest you find another, because I am sorry but teaching my child and making sure he "gets it" is YOUR JOB. I know that this made me sound like a b***h but I have to tell you, I am never going to have these people over for dinner or go shopping with them. My concern lies with the raising and education of my children, and I do not care what these people think of me as long as they do what is required of them, they will not have to deal with me but I will not let them drop the ball or pass it off as not being their problem when it comes to educating my kids.
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S.L. answers from Wilmington on January 23, 2008
My daughter is in kindergarten and they have a lot of work. I don't particularly mind though. It's all for the learning of the child. I use to feel like they are only supposed to do work in school and that is what teachers get paid for and I am not a teacher but it's all for the sake of learning. It helps me to teach my child and to see where my child is at and where she is lacking. Now if you get all stressed out about the amount of homework your child is doing then your child is going to feed off of your emotions. Make the homework fun and praise the child on the good job they are doing. My daughter gets homework everyday and it's already made out for the whole month except on Fridays and weekends but on those days my daughter reads or will practice writing. And it's kindergarten work. It's not hard at all. Don't stress out about it. It's all for the sake of learning and it's preparing them for the work ahead when they get older. Nowadays they are teaching subject earlier then when I was in school. Relax. Hope this helps.
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C.B. answers from Charlotte on January 23, 2008
I think some teachers do give a lot of homework in kindergarten. But have been lucky with my 5 year old and that has not been an issue. I know a family that has triplets and they are all in different classes. One is in our class and has an more experienced teacher ( not much homework ) The other two have younger teachers and have homework every night. The other two children do almost the exact same things in different classes.
I spoke with the parents and they seem to think that the children are learning the same things. So I guess it is just different teaching methods. But I can't imagine that much homework for a child in kindergarten. It is a big adjustment and they do need to enjoy it. I have noticed even in my son's class they are expected to be very quiet all day. He come home and told me they can't even be loud on the playground. No wonder he is so wound up when he gets home.
It is a shame that a 6 year old child is that stressed out.
Good Luck and I hope things get better.
A.G. answers from Greensboro on January 23, 2008
I have a 2nd grade girl in public school in NC. She had no homework her kindergarten year - I don't think any kindergarteners in her school did. She has had nightly homework in the 1st and 2nd grade - usually one math sheet or math game to be played w/ a parent, reading, and writing a couple of sentences or studying spelling words each night, Mon-Thurs. Except for the reading, it takes about 20 minutes or so, depending on how much she fights with me about it. I don't think homework in k-garten is a good idea - just get them used to school and let them see that learning can be fun, like you said. Do you know parents of students in other k-garten classes at your school so you can compare notes? If you think it's a problem, I would encourage you to talk to your child's teacher/principal, but start with the teacher. Maybe something else is going on at school that is stressing your daughter out. Good Luck!