18 answers

Homework with My 5 Year Old

It's the third day of kindergarten for my son and he has homework tonight. It was practicing writing his name. Now I have had him do the ABC's by tracing them in a books and then writing them out on paper. Though for some reason tonight it was like pulling out teeth to get him to do it. I would make him trace over each letter first before he wrote it on the paper. He started to get frustrated and acted like he didn't know how to do it. After a quick break and a little encouraging talk we got him to write his name on the first line. We took a little bit longer break, he had a snack and we were right back to it again. Then he again started to get frustrated and act like he didn't know what he was doing. Now I know it doesn't help that I get frustrated or even when my husband starts with his mouth cause he's frustrated. I tried to tell him to trace it with his finger first but he would huff and puff and try to cry at me. He even tried to get me to do it. I don't think I can take my husband being basically not understanding that he is only 5 and he's in kindergarten.How do I encourage my son to where he stops acting like he doesn't know what he's doing or just flat out not want to do it. My husband's parents, I do believe, put pressure on him to be "perfect" from a young age and I think that is where he is coming from. Now we have had disagreements about how we are going to handle our son in school in the past. I came from a home where if I did my best then that was good. I didn't need to be perfect all the time and I don't expect that from my son. I guess what I'm asking is how do you guys handle homework time?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I want to give a huge thank you to all who have responded so far. The ideas are excellent! I'm gonna keep trying to experiment with different things and see which one(s) work for us. I did talk to him and told him that his teacher just wants to make sure he understands what he did in class. Have to wait and see how he's gonna be when he gets his next homework assignment. Thank you again!
Forgot to mention my son is in A.M. kindergarten so he does come home eat lunch first then I let him play a little bit and homework if he has any. I might be doing the homework right after he eats to see if that would be better for him.
Again thank you to all!

Featured Answers

this is just me...but- you're not asking him to do it perfectly. you're asking him to DO IT. to me, that's not doing something i asked him to do - which means a time out. i have a 5 year old boy too....i know how stubborn they can be! which is why i feel it's important to really teach him that no matter how unpleasant something is, if it's something we have to do, tanrums/whining/crying/stalling are just not an option. you do it. or you get in time out. period.

**now, having read some other responses let me say- my son is not a huge fighter when it comes to this kind of stuff. maybe because i am strict about it, maybe because he just enjoys it more than some kids. but we have fun with this stuff too, we color and draw and do cutting and gluing on weekends for fun. so to him, it's not like trigonometry. i think that making it fun sounds great. he is so little still. but ya know, when it comes down to it, this is a good life lesson about having to do something that we don't really want to do. good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I've seen this work several times: "walk" each letter on the floor. You basically "draw" the path that later goes into writing. It's fun and kids learn the strokes easier... Also, it is important no to push too hard. Every child has unique learning speed. Good luck!

More Answers

I suggest you talk with his teacher. I doubt that the homework is so important that you have to push him to do it. It also sounds like the homework was only to practice writing his name. You can turn that into a fun game. Most kids think of writing their name as a good thing to do.

If your son is pushed to the point of frustration he will resist even more. Kindergarten is the time to build good memories about homework. It should be brief and fun. It's not a chore! If you make it into a chore now you will always have trouble getting him to do it.

There are some good books about helping your child to do homework. I suggest seeing if the library has one. Also google homework and kindergarten on the Internet and see what you can find.

I googled parents' guide to kindergarten homework and saw several sites that listed books on this subject.

4 moms found this helpful

My son is in Kinder.
He gets homework like this, too.

A kid when tired, has a hard time doing homework. Especially a child this age.

MANY kids, are at different stages of writing or reading, in Kindergarten. It is no big deal.
Why pressure the poor child, per your Husband? He is only 5.
A child, if expected to be 'perfect'... will ALSO many times, just not want to do it. Because, they will then be 'wrong' and not 'perfect' enough per the Parent's expectations... thus, the child does not want to do it. Thus will not do it. Thus so much pressure on the kid, thus, so much arguing between the parents about the child doing their homework and how... thus, the child seeing the parents argue/get upset over them and their homework... the child then, does not want to do it. Because... it is so STRESSFUL... and the child will NEVER be able to do it, PERFECT enough. To the parent's satisfaction.
Hence the kid, again won't want to do homework.
Because, it is a pain.
Hence, a vicious cycle.

My Daughter, in Kindergarten, even if we did NOT pressure her, she would CRY... while doing her homework and then not want to do it. Because... she tended to be a 'perfectionist.' Even the Teacher noticed. And thus, she really got so much in ANGST over homework. Even if we did not pressure her.
It took time, for her to enjoy homework.
We taught her to just 'do your best..." and that every child is different.
YOU are your own, person.

My kids, both do well with homework. They are not perfect, but they enjoy doing homework.

3 moms found this helpful

At this age, I figure that writing his name once a day would be good for homework. He's probably tired after school and maybe would do it again in the morning or on the weekends when he's not so tired. I don't think it's worth a fight especially since he was at school already. He needs time to decompress. =) Just my thoughts!

3 moms found this helpful

in kindergarten our teacher had some fun ideas to help with spelling words and or name.

Get beans, beeds, m&ms, nuts, pennies...... whatever and spell out the name. Or take choc syrup and a paint brush and write the name. Water colors, paint, crayons, rainbow letters......... the idea is to make it fun and not to just do a pencil and paper. When he has some fun time writing with fun elements, then the paper and pen will come. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful

I would skip the homework. It is WAY more important that your son learn to love school and learning than that he trace his name x number of times. You could try presenting letter writing as a fun game at a time when he is not tired or late in the evening. There is no evidence that there is any benefit to homework for kids prior to high school. The evidence for high school kids is inconclusive. He is in kindergarten - he will learn to write there. I specifically picked a kindergarten that does not have homework - I think family time is way more important and happily so do my son's teachers.

2 moms found this helpful

I think you need to have him sit down the minute he gets home and start his work. Give him a little snack and a drink and then get right to it. Tell your DH to stay out of it. If you can get the homework done before he gets home, even better.
Remind your son that homework is not something you assigned, but that his teacher thinks it's important. Remind him that she only asked him to do this one thing and that once he is finished, he can go play.
Homework was not negotiable in our house. You got off the bus, you sat at the table with your snack and you did your homework... end of subject. It is still that way.

2 moms found this helpful

Using the creative approach with writing the name is a good idea. I would add to the list making the letters out of play doh. Finding letters in nature is fun, too, as is writing one's name in the sand or making it out of sticks.

Do talk with the teacher and find ways to have fun while doing homework. Do not get stuck in this battle for control. As a high school teacher, I have seen the far end of homework battles, and it gets even harder to reverse later on. Nip this in the bud.

I was wondering how many times the teacher is expecting your son to write his name. Ask.

Brain Gym has a clever way to write the small letters by using a sideways 8. It helps kids remember where to start when forming the letter. Look online.

I'm also wondering how many letters his name has. :) My daughter starts kindergarten next week. I'm wondering what I'm/she's in for. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter is very smart and when she starts to act EXACTLY like your son is acting, I know she is just overwhelmed. It's not that they can't do it, it's that they can't do it perfectly and aren't living up to our high expectations for our smart children.

Wow, I didn't even read the part about you putting pressure on him to "be perfect" but now I see it, and that just cinches it for me! I do this to my daughter sometimes (because I know how well she can do) and this is EXACTLY how she acts.

A few months ago, I realized she does a LOT better, and is a LOT happier if I just let her be a little imperfect. Really, since I've relaxed a bit, she's done a LOT better. (With us it's math, not handwriting, but still...same issue.)

So just try to relax, let him know it's okay if it isn't perfect as long as he tries...and maybe do it with him? You do your own sheet while he does his? Or tell him he can make a worksheet for you to do if he does his...my daughter loves that. They don't realize that they're learning while they're making the sheet, so bonus. :)

2 moms found this helpful

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