Several people have asked if I give homework to my students and the answer is “yes”. I do this for a number of reasons.
First of all, the children actually like and expect it, especially if they have older siblings. Doing homework makes them feel like real students. And doing homework in kindergarten lays the foundation for all those years ahead. It helps parents establish good routines.
Doing homework reinforces the idea that parents must work with me to educate their child. It is not enough to just send your child off to school and hope for the best. I want my parents to observe what their child can do, be aware of current and potential problems, and be part of the solutions.
I also give homework because it is necessary for individual progress. I don’t give everyone the same homework- I give each student what they need to practice. If Susie can’t write letter “a” and everyone else can, then she needs to practice at home until she can do it. I’ll include it in my individual work with her, and make sure she is using the right procedure to make the letter, but the practice part needs to be done at home. I don’t want her to miss doing something else in class in order to work on a skill that is merely a matter of repetition.
I give homework because I simply don’t have time in class to repeat, repeat, repeat- nor is it necessary for every student. I don’t want to spend three weeks on writing number words if half the class can do it after the first week. I’ll continue to give homework to those who need more practice and I’ll review each Friday to make sure we maintain the skill.
I don’t give a lot of homework. I don’t think kindergarten students need to spend more than fifteen minutes on paperwork each night. I want my parents to spend at least another twenty minutes reading to or with their child. Reading is the most important homework you can do with your child! Children need to hear new words and hear the rhythm of our language. They need to understand stories and make up their own.
So, like it or not, if your child is in my class there will be homework.
Note to parents: Please don’t DO your child’s homework. I really can tell the difference between your handwriting and theirs, especially if you do it in cursive. LOL