49 answers

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.

What can I do next?

More Answers

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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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.

Steph S.

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Hi C.,

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.

~E. H.
Hillsborough, NC

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Hi C.!

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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Hi C.,

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.

B.

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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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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.

Hi C.,
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!

That's crazy!!! My daughter isn't school age yet- she's 2 1/2- and i'm not sure i'll be ok with that sort of school structure. We didn't get homework until we were in, maybe, 3rd or 4th grade when I was a kid (i'm 25), and even then it was pretty minimal. I hear ya, but don't have any advice. Sorry!

We used to live in Texas and the homework was way too much. We have since moved out of state where standarized tests do not run the school districts and things are so much better. School is fun. Homework guidelines are 10 minutes per grade per night. So, a first grader should have 10 minutes per night, a second grader 20, a fourth grader 40 minutes. Plus, now that my daughter is in middle school one of the classes that every child takes is a "do your homework" class, called AA. She hardly ever brings home homework. I think it is much better this way. School is enjoyable and evenings are not a big stress anymore. I did get fed up in Texas and homeschooled - it was awesome. Good luck!

I totally understand your concerns. As a mother of a 3rd grader and 4th grader, the homework just keeps coming. The only advice I can share, is that maybe a magnet school might be a good alternative for you. My children are both in elementary traditional settings, and have had homework since kinder... as well. One of my daughters could've benefited from a magnet school environment with less homework perhaps, and a focus in learning by computer explorations or a school that was project driven......at any rate- you may want to investigate alternative academic environments for your child- hope this helps

I believe that kindergarden is a little young for homework. I also believe that most teachers send way too much work home with the older children, however, I wouldn't make too big a deal of it around your children. If they think that you don't agree with it, it may cause you more problems in the future when they don't want to do it at all. Homework is a good time for both of you to spend together teaching and learning.
I, unfortunately, had to work when my children were in grade school. I wish I had had the opportunity to sit with them to help, to talk and have a daily routine that truly mattered.

Thanks for posting this because this is very similar to how my son acts and he is only 4 and in preschool-- we are purposely keeping him in pre-K next year because he is not ready-- but I can benefit from some of the advice given here as I expect to struggle with him and may consider private school for him as I think he will need to learn at this own pace until he gets older.

Also, age 5, in my professional opinion, is too young to diagnose ADHD-- if there were some SEVERE acting out behaviors towards other and possibly aggression, maybe you could give a tenative diagnosis of ADHD, but I really feel that children need to be older to be properly diagnosed with this disorder. I appreciated the comments from the mother with son who has vision difficulties-- I sent your response to some collegues so that they would be aware of this condition as a possible "rule out".\

Thanks again for posting this and for everyone that responded -- it was very helpful to me.

C.,
I have a 7 yr old little girl. She is in the second grade. She has about 40 to 50 minutes worth of homework. However when she was in kindergarden she only had a little reading and in the first grade, spelling, reading and some math. the teacher did say at the begining of the year if it took longer then 30min, that was to long and to talk to her. However the second grade is different, she reads for 20 minutes, has math and spelling. If she is getting sick, then talk to her teacher. How can a child want to learn if it is making them sick. I don't know how much homework she has, but some reading should be about it. When I say reading, I mean, Dog, Run, The Moon, The Car, The Blue Ball. so forth and so on. No more then 3 or 4 words.
. Good luck to you and your little girl.

That's just how it is these days. My kids do homework for about 2 to 3 hours per night. They even give my oldest daughter weekend homework. It's crazy. You may get a teacher who has the same beliefs as you (no homework), but for the most part, there will be homework every night. My middle daughter doesn't get much homework and if she does, she completes it in afterschool. I totally agree with you because it cuts into my family time. I have three daughters, one is in the sixth grade and one is in the fourth grade, my baby girl is three. I have been upset about schooling since they began. But what can we do? They are trying to raise the standards and make our children as smart as children in some other countries, but we are different breeds. We are not all cut from the same cloth, so we will not be on the same level. I can't even help my sixth grader with her homework most nights because I either don't remember it, or it is so complicated I can't follow. Mind you, I was an A student in high school. I didn't do that well in Geometry (C average), and that is mostly what she is doing now and she is struggling. I had to get a tutor to help her stay afloat. It's really outrageous and we don't have any say in how they are being taught.

I feel the same. My 5 year old gets homework on Mondays to bring back Friday, which I think is great as far as if we cannot get homework done one night, we can pick up the next. My daughter likes school but it is very hard when I pick her up after 5, to go home and get to homework. She wants to play (and she should, she's a kid) but when it is time for homework, she does not want to settle down and if we do more than 2 pages at a time, she gets frustrated. I feel they demand too much from the kids and the parents to do whatever was not finished in school that way. She always turns in her homework on time, completed, even if a little messy. I sit with her on most of it, but for some, like tracing and writing her name, I leave her to do that as I am fixing dinner, but now the teacher is sending notes basically saying we need to sit with her through all of it.

I totally understand. I have a boy in Kindergarten this year and was amazed that they have nightly homework. I see both sides. I like that they do have homework, but I think it should only be 2 or 3 nights worth. This is kindergarten for goodness sake. I like that homework allows the parents to be involved as I think that is huge. We can't expect the teachers to do it all. But I also feel that they should have no more than 15 minutes worth of homework. They are in school all day, they need some play time, family time, and down time when they get home. I spoke to my son's teacher at the beginning of the year and told her how I felt. That really helped. Be honest w/ the teacher, she/he won't bit. They really only want the parents to be involved.

Good luck.
W.

C., you may as well get used to it. You didn't elaborate on what constitutes 'alot,' of homework, so not sure if it's extreme or not. I CAN tell you, though, as the parents of 2 teenagers, that homework is a part of high school. Life isn't what it used to be when we were kids, and school hasn't been 'fun' for some time now. LOL They have eliminated recess in many of the elementary and middle schools, and they are very focused on moving the kids along and preparing them for the next grade. In this world we live in today, it's just too fast paced and competitive. So, they cram stuff down our kid's throats. Your kids were supposed to have fun in preschool. LOL The only other alternative, if you are a SAHM is to homeschool. NOT an alternative for me..it's for my kid's own safety that they went to public schools. LOL I also work full time. You have to set aside time every night to sit with your child while he does his homework. And it'll probably be that way until he is ready for middle school. Good luck!

I agree with you , homework in kindergarten is a strange thing. Many educators are taught now though that the early you teach something and the more you drill it in the smarter the kids will be. This despite the fact that preschool, and kindergarten children for the most part learn through experiencing things ( hands on learning). Also many kids are not developmentally ready to read and do real math til they are 7 or 8. My oldest son didn't learn his letters til he started kindergarten but once he started learning them,,,he knew them in all in less than two months. ( One of many reasons why we homescool) . If your daughter is experiencing stress this early I would talk to her doctor and her teacher about possible solutions. Maybe there is another kindergarten class she could attend?

I too have a 5 year old in Kindergarten. I do have an issue with homework from school, in the first few years anyway. I think they are being pushed way too much. When I was in Kindergarten we did not have homework or such a tough curriculm. Now it is as if the parents are expected to do half the teaching of the R-W-A. I am a 42 year old Mother of a 5 1/2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old. I just started my 3 year old in a pre-school because he wanted to be with his friend. Otherwise I was going to wait until he was 4,they have to know so much before going to Kindergarten is why I have them go at all. Both my children complain of school being too hard. Three year old preschooler has homework. It is getting out of hand I believe. The people that I know that had the same expierence as I did in Kindergarten all turned out to be successful people.

M. S.

I feel the same way. People wonder why children can't sit still all day in school. Well maybe it's because they are sitting at home doing hours of homework instead of running, playing and spending time as a family. As you said, I don't like to work all day and then bring work home so why should I expect to my child to do it. You should check out the Charter schools in your area. Go to http://www.ncpublicschools.org/charterschools/schools/ . Charter schools are NC public schools but they do not have to follow the state cirriculum and children are not assigned there. You can actually have a choice as to the school you child attends. Charter schools tend to be more "hands on" learning and less homework and testing. They are a wonderful options. The only problem is that the enrollment is by lottery and so many children are trying to get in that it can be difficult. You would think that this would be a wake up call to the state but I guess they don't really care about the decline of our children's education.
We attended an open house at a charter school in Davidson last year and the principal said there have been many studies that show homework does not translate into a child doing better in school. She said she would rather have her students sit down at the dinner table with their family every night and talk about what they learned instead of doing homework. The only "homework" she assigned was for parents and children to read together each night. Check out the Charter schools in your area. It may be a great choice for you and your children. In the mean time I think I would have a talk with the teacher and even the principal if necessary to express my concerns about the amount of homework. Maybe there are alternatives you can do like reading together, family learning games and nature walks. Don't let them intimidate you. You should be in control of your child's education! Not the state government! Good luck.

Well, my son is not yet even close to K, but I am a teacher (ESL) and a doctoral student in "Social Foundations of Education", which to put it succinctly, is the study of why we do what we do in schools. The questions we ponder and debate include homework. "No Child Left Behind" as it is now, has dynamically changed the way teachers and administrators are forced to approach school. For everyone it has become punitive and unfortunatly that includes the children. So sad that your baby is stressed to the point of vomiting at such a young age! You're right, she should be allowed to be a child. The whole point of Kinder "garden" (A German concept that was brought over to the US and unfortunatly has been changed for the worse) is that children can explore and learn through play. Some of my students do not yet know their ABC's and I fault the system that wants to push push push kids beyond what they're ready for. Okay, I don't want to write a book here, but if you want to talk more, I'm more than happy.
As for advice, put a time limit on homework time. What gets done in 20-30 min. (that's age appropriate) gets done, the rest, should have been addressed at school.

Hi C.,

I do not have a school age child yet, but I agree with you. When my son is old enough to go to school, we are sending him to the school associated with our church. They do not believe in homework at any level AND no school on Fridays. Even graduating seniors have never done homework...and we have some of the top scores for South Carolina state testing. The difference is small classrooms, teachers who are able to give students one on one time, and a focus on family time. They believe that school work is for school and should never interfere with family and home time. Children should be able to run and play. I do not believe that homework makes children smarter. Sure, maybe they are able to quote more information from a book, but that will never make them a more capable adult. I believe that the most important things in life are not found in a book. Sure, education is extremely important, but so are many other things. A child of any age needs balance in their life!

I don't like it, either. Homework in kindergarten is, unfortunately, standard in WCPSS. However, the amount should only take your daughter a few minutes. If it takes longer, talk to the teacher about the amount. If that doesn't work, talk to the principal.

at kindergarten my daughter's homework was to be read to every evening and she has maybe 2-3 worksheets a week. I thought that is was appropriate. When she moved to 1st grade she went into a 1st/2nd split and the homework went up drastically! I was looking forwarded to us moving but NOW she has no homework and no letters from the teacher saying what they are doing. I feel that this year there is not a happy medium. I think that their should be a good weekly communication from the teacher and SOME homework. BUT not an ALL afternoon thing. Talk with your teacher how you feel, ask some of the other parents of her classmates in how they feel and if there is still concern that had not been taken care of, go up your "chain of command" and go to the office about it. But give your teacher the first few chances. ~H.

Up until I had my baby 4 weeks ago I was a Kindergarten teacher. It was always my policy not to give homework. Each week I sent home a newsletter to parents that described what we were learning in class and I attached a list of suggested "practice" activities. Kindergarten can be stressful enough: a new environment without mommy and daddy, new friends, and new rules. Children don't need to be sent home with added work. But, I do highly reccommend that the work in school is supported by fun, engaging activities at home. And ALWAYS take time to spend at least 10 minutes each night reading with your kindergartener...this will foster a love of reading that will last a lifetime.

Hi C.......
Okay i have a son who started Kindergarten and he does not have homework, but comes home with 10 pages of stuff they did in the classroom, im also really shocked with how much they do...But my friend up the street said her sons K teached is very young and and is making them have weekly spelling tests..Personally, i think its great to encourage your child to think of the sound of the letter they are trying to write but the first half of kindergarten is teaching them to read and learn things as an extension of preschool concepts..
Is your daughter in Private or Public school? Have you talked with her teacher and shared some of your concerns...not to mention, she will be in school for the next 11 yrs plus college if thats her plan...
K. t

I have one son that is 10 and another that is 18. I can't believe the amount of homework these kids have today. They come home from school, start doing homework, which takes at least two hours, and then they eat supper and by that time they may have around one hour to relax. It is too much pressure for kids these days. Since they started the EOG's, teachers are forced to teach so much and at such a fast pace and the ones who are suffering are the kids. My 10 year old, which is in the 5th grade, is suffering with math, but because of time restraints to teach them so much, they don't have extra time to give any special attention. I have purchased math books with stuff to do at home with him, but by the time we finish what the teachers have given them for the night, I almost feel guilty about having him sit with me another hour and work more! I wish they would do something about this and have wished that for a long time now. But, my voice is one voice, but I do know a lot of other parents that totally agree with me and you on this! Sorry to say, it will probably only get worse for her.

I have two sons, ages 19 and 15. While they have been out of grade school a long time, I can definitely relate to this. What really concerns me more is that more is placed on the teachers than what they can reasonably cover in a day in school so they have to burden these young children down with homework to help cover the school board's expectations of what needs to be covered in the length of a school year. What is even more distressing to me is that the quality of the education my sons got what not near what I learned as a young child. Watch Jay Leno sometime when he goes out and asks questions to folks on the street that should have been learned in regular school. Teachers are also teaching to a test. They do not have the freedom to teach as they think will get through to the kids, but to a test that will determine this child's ability to progress through the grades or not. As long as this remains the case, nationwide, the problem of more homework and more expectations, even from younger children, will be made. It's a fact of life. Don't get me wrong, I think every child should have the opportunity to a good education. But, do we hold all kids back because a few have a hard time or may be can't do the work for whatever reason. That's fine. Pull those few out, get them the help they need but move along at a reasonable pace for the others and don't burden children with a problem that isn't theirs. You turn kids off to school early like that, and you are in for a bunch of trouble on the down the road.

i have a friend whose daughter is also in kindergarten and she does have homework as well. i'm not sure about it in kindergarten, but you could talk to the teacher and see the rational behind it.

Wow, I'm years late in finding this thread but I too had a kindergarten teacher who assigned over an hour's worth of homework every night and my daughter learned to read everything by the end of her year. It was my nightmare and the nightmare may have lessened somewhat or I acclimated but I am still sick to death of teachers and homework. If she ever gets a zero it is my fault. It's all on the parents to see to it that all this unnecessary "busy" work gets completed. I had to create the whole entire science project because she's a clueless 8 year old, and the best I could do is just have her watch and explain to her what and why. I have a brilliant 3rd grader who is more intelligent than anyone I have ever had a relatioship with. Thankfully I completed a bachelor's or I would already feel inferior to my child. At any rate, I am sick of the world trying to mold her and push her into some kind of indentured servant, already responsible for as much work and activites as an adult. I just want to run away to the Northwest territories, build a log cabin and guard it with dogs and a gun. Go away you pushy world and leave me and my family to peace.

I totally agree with you. My son is now in 3rd grade and he has had homework everyday since the first day of kindergarten. I just found out from my son they have taken away his recess to do extra work. I feel that recess is a time for my child to relax and get a break. I was told by some that I was wrong but I feel that that is why my child hates reading so much is because they make him do it all day long even during recess time. Am I wrong?

hey C. i also have a child in kindergarten and it seems that he does have alot more homework than we use to i honestly think they push children too hard and his teacher is also kinda young im not sure if thats why or its just that they are trying to push kids to learn more at earlier ages i noticed my niece in 2nd grade and my son are both learning some of the same things kinda strange to me shouldnt they have already done the same things if they are 2 yrs ahead of him oh well i dont really know but just wanted to let u know i also see that they give children to much homework at an early age and are pushing them sorry if i babbled or didnt make sense this is my first time responding to a question on here

I really agree with you. I was on the fence about sending my son to Kindergarten this year, he's a Sept. baby and we're in year round here, so he would have been four and half (egads). I went to the library for the entire summer and checked out every book imaginable on homeschooling. I wanted to prove that homeschooling is not for me. The facts are positively shocking in my study of public schooling vs. home schooling. Which I have to add, I was NOT going to ever home school my child!!! But turns out it was the best fit. His personality and mine are a good mesh, though I understand this is not for everyone, it really is something to consider if you are able to stay home with your children. Though I offer no advice accept to study alternatives, this is unfortunately very typical. It's not the teacher, it's the schools. The teachers have to follow the state curriculum and prepare the children for state tests.
----------------------------------
Wow! I just read some of the feedback. Paula, you nailed it! I'm so sad to learn that people assume that education is all teacher and home if just for us to teach life skills. I guess there lies the problem. It has to be a team of parent and teacher to insure positive child learning. Once there is a divide, there is little hope. My only concern is that there is a great amount of homework now for little children not whether or not parents should be a part of the educational process! This is startling and sad.
Lastly, Being a parent requires us to be a part of every aspect of our child's life.

As a former first grade teacher - I know I set limits on the amount of HW per night (and I think the school district did as well) We assigned at most 10 minutes per subject per night, with none on the weekends (i.e. - 10 minutes toward spelling/writing and 10 minutes of math) Some children were able to do it in less than 20 minutes and some took about 30 minutes but never more. I also sent a note home at the beginning of the year explaining this to the parents so they knew what I expected and there were no surprises. I think with Kindergarten the teachers did either spelling/writing or math each night - but I am not sure. Have you asked her teacher?

AMEN TO THAT, C.!!!

I have a first and second grader and in my opinion there is just WAY too much focus on homework and the End of Grade testing than on educating children on what's important and making learning fun. This is partly due to the No Child Left Behind and partly due to making sure North Carolina gets certain funding.

Each night they have at least one hour of homework. I am all for education, but this is excessive and it is a struggle each night and it is not fun for them. I am from up north (A Yankee!) and things are MUCH more relaxed in that regard and the children are still learning.

Sorry to say, but it gets worse as the children get older -

I really feel bad for all the single parents out there who work full time + and then have to come home, cook dinner, do homework, showers, etc. I'm a firm believer of what gets done, gets done. If they don't finish it is not the end of the world, not at this age. Once they get older is a different story, but right now they need to be more focused on social skills and getting the hang of school, especially in Kindergarten

Best wishes and good luck to you! It is so nice to know there is someone out there who feels like I do!!

I live in Wayne County, in NC...we have never had an issue with the amount of homework at my children's schools. Now, there have been issues with how long it takes them when they decide they want to dawdle and just not get it done. My children are 17, 15, 9, and 2. The 3 older ones never had more than one or 2 very simple homework assignments in kindergarten, and the teachers at the elementary school seem to really try to keep the homework to the 10 minute per grade level amount. This means that my 4th grader should have no trouble getting her homework done within 40 minutes. Usually she has it done in 20 minutes...when she decides to do it an not play around. That doesn't count the 20 min/night she's supposed to be reading, mind you. But that is fun reading, not school work. She does that at bedtime. Sometimes overdoing extracurricular activities can cause added stress. You don't mention if your childern are involved in extra things (sports, dance, etc), but if you try to fit too many things into a day that will definitely add stress.

C.,

I have a seven year old in first grade (his birthday is in October). Just last year, I was going through sort of the same thing you are. However, I DID have a rogue teacher but a little different. She would send my son home with the stupidest of homework assignments that did not have anything to do with what they were learning half the time. I wish she would have prepared my son a lot more for first grade. My husband and I bought many learning activities and programs to help him know the basics for first grade. They are pushed a lot harder these days starting from kindergarten and first grade. Now, in first grade, he falls somewhere in the middle in his class. We still have to keep on him because it is surprising how much some of those other kids know. I think their parents may have had them in school since they were four years old. Some read fluently already and my son still has to sound out the words.

Anywho, I would suggest, as I did, and speak to the teacher AND principal together. Make sure you understand what is going on in your child's classroom to know if your child is truly being unnecessarily stressed out. Come to an agreement of some kind with them and make your point to them. Maybe your child can use a different teacher. It made all the difference for me. Hope this helped.

I think that's the norm, from what I've heard, and I think it's absolutely appalling! Our son is only 2 but we are planning on homeschooling. With the amount of homework they give, you might as well home school! I watched my niece and nephew go through that with all the homework and just couldn't believe it! They had maybe a 1/2 hour a day to play after school and homework and dinner - and they are both very bright kids. I just think that's terrible! It was never like that for us growing up (until about high school), and I did just fine in college and had a very successful career as an accountant. I really think parents should protest and push for changes (if they aren't going to home school).

I have Five children, 12,8,4,4 &2. I agree with the HW! We teach our children so many things in life why not help with their education??!! We as parents have the responsibility to show them to absorb this info and HW also teaches a responsibility to do things that are required. I found that when my kids come home we have a snack, talk about the day then set the timer for 30 minutes of free time/play then tackle the HW. It seems to work well and they feel they have a moment to "breathe" after their day before starting their tasks. My best friend is a teacher (10 yrs) and she does all she can but the ultimate responsibilty is to the parents, as with everything in life!

One thing I feel is really important for children just starting school and even growing up through High school, is parents that help them want to do their home work. Homework doesn't necessarily destroy childhood, it just gives children more opportunities to prove themselves. Help your child with her homework each night. Do not stress anything, but make it fun to sit down and work together. You will find that your child will not only begin to enjoy homework, but she will enjoy spending the time with you, learning from you.

C.,
My daughter is now 20 yrs old and in college. I don't remember her ever having any homework in kindergarten but to study a few words or read a small book of some sort, nothing that took much time. She excelled in grade school and made straight A's. When she went into junior high, the first week, she had homework every single night from two of the teachers, would start on it as soon as she came in at 3 and was sometimes still working at 11 and not done. She was staying stressed out, sick, for the first time didn't want to go to school at all, crying and lots of emotional problems. After about the first 6 weeks, I had enough and went to parent conference when the grades came out. Before I went though, I found out from other parents the same things was going on with their kids also. Plus if any of the kids on the block were here in the evenings, they all were sitting at my table doing their homework and it was the same although they may not have had the teacher at the same time during the day. The kids had no life, we even had to miss church thru the week for her to do her homework. All the warm evenings when they should have been out playing they were sitting and doing all this homework. At the conference I was told by one teacher that my child just stared in space and didn't do anything in class when I asked what they did in class. I then asked if all the kids were doing that because it seemed they all had the same homework every night. The teacher was really rude and got up, turned the light out in the room and walked out. Needless to say, I was very upset then and went straight to the principle. I explained it all, and the principle told me the county rule was no more than 30 minutes of homework a night could be assigned in junior high, and it was even less in grade school. She then said she would put a stop to it, the teachers knew better than that and they would be teaching in the class and not expecting the parents to do the teaching at home. It did stop after that. I don't know the rules of the county you live in, but it might be something you might want to look into. They do need to learn study habits, and responsibility of doing homework as they age, but it needs to be age appropriate too. From what homework my daughter has now in college doesn't even compare to what she had then in junior high. Also, too much will absolutely cause more problems when they get stressed out over it, I saw that first hand. Keep a handle on it and talk with the teacher, if it goes on, go higher than that, don't let your child get burned out too quick. There are some good teachers out there, but occasionally you will run into one that is just there for a paycheck and does no teaching in the classroom. So beware and be informed. Good luck!

My triplet boys will be going to kindgerdaten next year, and I'm dreading the homework. However, with that being said, I think it is part of the program, and as an ex-eighth grade teacher, I can promise that will only increase. I can personally tell you that the amount that the state requires us to teach to our students is impossible to cover without giving homework. And, homework is often a process of repetition, which is good to reinforce the basic information. Many children don't absorb the basics right away, and it takes going over it multiple times for it to "sink in." Homework gives that opportunity without taking up 1/2 of class.

I hope that makes some sense. I do feel your pain, but I also know that homework is part of school, unless you choose to homeschool (which is why many parents make that choice).

P.

PS I just read other people's responses, and I have to say that I am SHOCKED that some people feel that a parent has no role in educating their child. Yes, no parent wants to see their child in tears and stressed out (and neither does the teacher, btw), but to totally say that 100% of education has to be done in the classroom is a diservice to the child and the education process.

Well C. B, I agree with you that Kindergarten is a bit young, but they do learn from repitition, and almost all teachers at the first grade level and actually younger than that encourage reading 15 minutes after school, and I do agree with the reading thing, but I think that home work should be limited. I also am quite aggravated at the way that the school system is done now. They do push kids, and have made it less fun for alot of kids, and that should be changed, but on or in their defense the no child left behind leaves the teacher with very little recourse in how the class rooms are run, thye have to cover a certain amount of materials. Just wait until you get in the older grades if this is still around. THey fly, and even the average kids have a problem in keeping up, they cover things so quickly. I think that you will be shocked since you have already had one to go through the school system at how things are now that they passed the no child left behind legislation. We need to change some things with unfortunately legislation, and that is always bad. I think that they should restore some authority to teach to the teachers. In other words that the teachers would have some leaway in what they teach to who. We are not all from the same cutter cutter if you know wht I mean, and I believe that no child left behind has no regard for that, and does not give the teacher any room.

C. B

I am with you 100% on the whole thing. School is for learning and home is for family and they should do there work in school not at home. What the heck do teachers do with the students if they don't help with there school work?

I think that's ridiculous. It's more important for a child to be a child, to play, socialize, and exercise. If she's sick from stress this is not healthy. There's plenty of time for hard work after childhood. I would tell her she doesn't have to do it. I can't see any benefit at this point.

I am also a midlife mom with a 5 year old at home who is reading, writing, and tests first grade second semester in math . . . we homeschool . . . having a ball (both of us)!!!! Contact k12.com for more expertise on this subject.
(HUGS)
S.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Alfie Kohn's book, The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing. You might want to read it if you want to learn more about this whole issue. Even if you completely disagree with it, there is a lot of food for thought there that I think it's important to introduce into this conversation.

The thing is, kids learn and integrate their experiences through unstructured play...and our kids don't get much of that nowadays! That being said, of course it's almost never the individual teacher's fault, it has a lot to do with the system, so I think if we're unsatisfied with it, we should try to change it--and the teachers will probably thank us!

But right now I'm struggling with what to do when my child starts school, because teachers ARE so limited by no child left behind, and there isn't a lot of variation allowed. But, it seems like almost everyone is in agreement that that was not a good piece of legislation, so maybe it will get changed soon enough.

I don't think more homework is EVER a good thing. Reading with your kids at night is good...but if you need to be "assigned" it, I think that probably makes it lose its luster. Hopefully we do it because we enjoy it! But I highly doubt that kids learn much from doing repetitive worksheets...maybe they learn something once or twice, but what are they losing in its place? I think we forget that kids don't learn like we do, and we also forget that even if we DO learn through worksheets, that does't make it fun for us and it's not something we usually want to pursue in our free time. I wish schools could encourage kids to WANT to learn and make learning fun...which I know they try to, but the system and the legislation and even sometimes our own ideas about "proper learning" get in the way of that right now!

Good luck and I hope you find a good solution. I hope we all do!

What school or county does your child go to? Mine is at Sanford Creek Elementary in Rolesville, NC. She only has a bout 5 min on paperwork that is sent home to review and they suggest reading for 10 to 15 min depending on the book and then do a story telling walk thru. Sometimes we write instead of reading. It takes up about 15 ot 20 minuets. I don't think that that is to much this far into the school year. But at first she had nothing for HW. I hope things get better for you.

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