I am mom to Madison - age 5, and Jameson - age 3, and wife to Zack - tall. I have a passion for writing, my family, reading for fun, and life in general. Here I share with you some pieces from the fabric of our family life, and even more on my blog Smile and Mama With Me.

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The Homework Game

 

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I’m in the midst of the homework game now that my daughter is in kindergarten.  I don’t remember having homework as a kindergartner, but I get it.  They want to start healthy study habits, discipline, focus and so much more at this early stage.  Great!  But you know what else this means, don’t you?  I have to do homework now.  The husband does too, because you better believe this is a chore…errr…a joy that we both get to partake in.

Kindergarten homework is actually kind of fun, though.  Among the double-sided pages are all sorts of activities and exercises to complete.  Some include tracing her alphabet and writing the letter of the week.  She writes her name, brainstorms words that begin with the letter of the week for us to write down, and my absolute favorite part – we get to look through magazines and cut out pictures that start with the letter of the week and paste them to the page.  I am a self-professed magazine junkie so this is definitely the highlight for me.  The last three weeks I’ve given her my Rachael Ray magazines to peruse for picture possibilities.  She’s come up with pictures of m, m, milkshake and r, r, raisins and t, t, taco.  I think for this coming week’s homework I’ll switch up the magazine so she can broaden her horizons beyond the world of food.

While my son is still in preschool and does not quite understand the concept of homework, he is also learning self-restraint, focus and discipline.  Instead of coming home and watching his allotted half hour of cartoons right away, he knows that his sister has to do her homework before we turn the TV on.  Half the time he decides that playing with his dinos or tossing the ball with his Papa is way more fun than a silly cartoon.  Score!

This homework game wraps up at the end of the week and she turns her packet in to her teacher to be graded.  On Monday, I calmly (on the outside) thumb through the papers in her backpack to see if she got a star, a smiley face, a good job, or an A+.  While this is truly her homework and she has to complete it herself, we supervise and help her along by reading the instructions and whatnot.  The week that her homework came home with slightly less than the full amount of points I was shocked and hurt and deflated.  We missed a tiny portion, but I suppose as tiny as it was, that is part of homework.  Reading the directions carefully and following them.  It is a good lesson learned for me after all these homework-free years and one to plant early with the kids, even as young as kindergarten, when all she really wants to do is draw pictures of rainbows and hearts.  At least in the beginning.  I love that she now asks one of us how to spell completely random and seemingly unrelated words like bowtie,  turtle and walnut.

I’m not sure what that’s all about but it sounds like the makings of a story I’d love to read.

You might also enjoy:

Remembering Summer
Getting out the Door in the Mornings
And a delightful (and easy) recipe for Naan

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Comments (3)

  1. Mandi 10/07/2011 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you for the comment @KellyS.

    Thanks for the respectful comment, even though a difference in opinion @Leigh,and for a teacher’s perspective! Much appreciated.

    Our school and their style works for our family and we are quite pleased. To each their own, I say!

    Keep ’em coming folks! What do YOU think?

    Mandi

  2. KellyS 10/07/2011 at 7:19 am

    There are several studies that prove at the VERY BEST POSSIBLE outcome, that homework does NOTHING until high school, and then, even in high school, very little.

    I am homeschooling right now, but if my children should be entered into public school, they will NEVER do homework unless it can be proven to me that it is something they would have to do at home ie, genealogy research on themselves, etc.

  3. Leigh 10/07/2011 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for the article! As a teacher however I would like to respectfully disagree with your premiss that children that young need homework to learn study skills. Although it sounds like your family is enjoying the time together! There are many studies that show that homework that early (in all of elementary school in fact) does not increase later work study habits. Nor does it increase knowledge (except a slight increase in next day test taking) Please see http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2006/09/forget_homework.html for more info if you are interested. I think it’s important for parents and teachers to be educated about this as our kindergartens are becoming increasingly academic.