Will my child have homework in Kindergarten?
Most likely. Each Kindergarten teacher will have her own opinion as to how much and how often. This would be a great question to ask during Open House/Meet the Teacher nights if the teacher doesn’t address it. As we’ve mentioned before, Kindergarten has truly changed from the days of art projects and snack time. While those are, of course, still an important part of a Kindergartener’s day, they will also be learning how to read, how to write, basic math skills and various other things about their world and community. In order to reinforce these skills and solidify the foundation for reading, writing and math that your child builds during their first year of school, some form of homework will likely be sent home.
At some point in the fall your child will begin reading groups. The exact start date of these reading groups will vary from school to school and possibly even classroom to classroom. In these groups the teacher will instruct students at their individual reading level and send home small readers for practice. It’s important when these readers come home that you have your child sit and read the book with you. The reader sent home will almost always be the book they practiced with their teacher that day. In the beginning of the year, it may seem as though your child has just memorized the book. They have! Good news is that this is the first and critical step on the path to independent reading. Before you know it they’ll be decoding words and reading increasingly harder material. However, they need to have an opportunity to read this book several times with you and anyone who will listen. This includes the family dog, their favorite stuffed animal and grandma on the telephone. Your child may also receive other forms of homework, though it likely won’t amount to much more than a math practice sheet or a writing activity more than a couple times a week.
Periodically throughout the year you will also be given a take home project of some sort. Examples include: finding show and tell items that start with a particular letter, decorating a sheet of paper to introduce your family, interviewing family members to find out about your heritage, researching a favorite animal, as well as many other fun projects designed to get the whole family involved. Teachers usually give you several days or a weekend to finish these types of projects.
While it may seem strange for five-year-old to be assigned homework, remember that homework should be a quick activity designed for additional practice on a skill. Try to make it fun and painless! If possible incorporate it into after school routines. After a snack and a little time to unwind from a busy day (or however it best fits in your family’s daily schedule), encourage your child to get out their take-home folder and bring any homework they have to you. Make sure you have time to sit down without distractions to help them. Before you know it the homework will be done, and your child may have even enjoyed it!
Remember, whether your child comes home with an actual worksheet or not, you always have homework!! READ to your child every night and make it part of their evening/bedtime routine. Not only is it fun but it will also set your child up for a lifetime of reading enjoyment!