Homework for Kindergartners

Iris - posted on 12/12/2010 ( 75 moms have responded )

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My daughter is in Kindergarten. She goes to school from 7:55 am to 2:05 pm. Every day she brings home 2-3 papers of homework and then there are three things we have to do with her.
Sometimes, one paper is cut out things that start with the letter of the week, color it and glue it and then another one where she has to count and write numbers, and sometimes another color numbers. She sometimes comes home with extra homework on weekends.
Also we have to read for her 20 min. a day (which we do every night anyway) and write down the book titles and sign. Then she has this thing called 5x5 grid. It's 5 rows and 5 lines of 5 different letters. She has to sound out the letters and we keep on practicing until she gets it all within 32 sec. and then she has to name all the letters within 32 sec. This we also do every day. When she does, we sign it and let know how many sec. it took. She takes it to school and brings back another grid with different letters. Last thing, a paper with 30, three letter words on it that I read and she sounds out.
Does this seem like a lot of homework for a 5 year old to you?
My opinion it is wayyy to much! I have to spread this out in the evening. I can not get her to sit and do all this in one haul. She gets frustrated and needs her breaks. I feel like it's taking up all our time in the evening, because if we need to go somewhere I feel that we have to be home in time to finish the rest of the homework.

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Krista - posted on 12/13/2010

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on the other hand our children are scoring like crap against other countries. Maybe some schools are trying to step the united states' game up as far as education.

Right, but they're not necessarily going about it the right way. Finland has one of the top education systems in the world, but they do very little homework. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB1...

I think the answer is to teach more EFFECTIVELY, not to drown kids in homework.

Tara - posted on 12/13/2010

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Ridiculously too much homework for a 5 year old. 5 year olds learn best through play and function. Function meaning using the information in a applicable way to life.
Seems like a lot of busy work to me.
And there is NO reason any kid needs to sound anything out within any sort of time limit.
I hate when I read about kids having to do, 60 math questions in 60 seconds or less, or read so many words in so many seconds.
That kind of learning has nothing to do with real core learning, there is no where in society where they will be required to do that kind of work. Forcing a time limit on things like that is utterly pointless.
As a home educator I would say your daughter would learn better if she were simply doing things with you at night that relate to what she is learning during the day at school. For example:
If she is ordering numbers, then have her count potatoes when you are getting dinner ready, then cut them into quarters and have her count them again. If she is studying vowel recognition than you could ask her to go through the cupboards and find packages with "a" on them or ones with a and i. If she is learning to read 3 letter words, then play rhyming games with her in the car.... cat rhymes with bat, hat, mat etc.
I would talk with her teacher and ask if there is a way you can reduce the amount of home work. I would be honest and tell her you think it is too much for a child that age and ask what would happen if she doesn't do this work. Probably nothing. They really just want you to enforce what they are learning at school, the thought being the more she does/hears it the easier it will get.
But really if she is tuning it out and finds it hard to sit for all of it, then it's counter productive imo.
Hope that helps a bit, sorry I have real issues with that kind of structured learning at that age.

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I honestly just read the most recent page.



There seems to be an agreement that that is way too much homework for a kindergartner. I agree. The rule in our school was 10 minutes of homework per grade level...10 minutes for 1st grade, 20 minutes for second grade and so on. It seemed to work pretty well.



Most homework is pointless anyway in my opinion. The purpose of homework should be to teach younger students how to study and keep parents up to date about what is going on in the classroom. Having students make flashcards for vocabulary words is one study skill they can learn during homework time. For the parents, 3-5 math problems or Language sentences in grade 4 (what I taught) should be enough for parents to see what their children are learning and assess if their child is adequately grasping the concept. A full page of 20+ math exercises is pointless and gets frustrating for both parents and students. And don't we want parents involved? Don't we want students to enjoy learning?



In your case Iris, I can understand reading to your child. I can understand ONE worksheet a night at the very most.

Krista - posted on 12/13/2010

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There is still a 6.7 per cent dropout rate in New Hampshire. Mind you, it has declined significantly, so yes, the state is doing something right.

Oh, and Finnish school days are amongst the shortest in the developed world, BTW. Here are some interesting differences between the Finnish educational system and that of the U.S.:

1. Competent teachers: On all school levels, teachers are highly qualified and committed. Master’s degree is a requirement, and teacher education includes teaching practice. The teaching profession is very popular in Finland, and hence universities can select the most motivated and talented applicants. Teachers work independently and enjoy full autonomy in the classroom. As well, teacher training and degrees are fully paid for by the government, making teaching a competitive and attractive profession.
2. Encouraging assessment and evaluation: The student assessment and evaluation of education and learning outcomes are encouraging and supportive by nature. The aim is to produce information that supports both schools and students to develop. National testing, school ranking lists and inspection systems do not exist.
3. Significance of education in society: Finnish society strongly favours education and the population is highly educated by international standards. Education is appreciated and there is a broad political consensus on education policy.

Smarter, not harder. And I think that last one is really key -- Finnish society VALUES people who are book-smart. Unfortunately, a notable segment of American society tends to mock those who are book-smart. The star athlete is still more popular than the valedictorian. And your president is often mocked for his cerebral manner, while your former president was often admired for being a "regular guy" who "went by his gut". There is a distinct streak of anti-intellectualism (particularly anti-science) in certain parts of the U.S. that are probably doing real damage to how education is valued.

Amanda - posted on 12/13/2010

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My son was in kindergarten last year and he went form 8am to 3:10pm and he had homework every night as well. But NEVER that much! That seems like a LOT for a 5 yr old or even 6 yr old! He would have to read 3 books which we would sign off on. Than he would have a sheet of math problems. Now in 1st grade he has homework every night as well, and it's usually 2 pages of math homework, problems and word problems. He also has word sentences he usually needs to rhyme with or practice writing in a sentence. He also has to read books 3 times a week. I think that is quite a bit for a 1st grader but they are buckling down on these kids so early it's no wonder they dread going to school! i mean my son usually doesn't finish with his homework until about 5pm than I start dinner while he gets to play with his siblings and daycare kids for a bit, and than it's dinner time bath time and bed time. He doesn't really have much time do really anything! So I am in complete agreement with you!!!

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Sally - posted on 08/31/2013

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The endless, mindless busywork of the average industrial school is one of many reasons why we homeschool. If she has to do that much at home, what are they wasting her time on while she's there?

Walter - posted on 08/29/2013

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I have the same problem. My patience runs real thin. My boy won't take it seriously. If he had half the work per day I believe we would all be better off.

Jodi - posted on 12/13/2010

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On that compulsory school attendance in NH, I found this:

"Any child at least 16 years of age and under 18 years of age who wishes to terminate such child's public or nonpublic education prior to graduating from high school shall do so only after a conference with the principal, or designee. The principal shall request a conference with the parent, guardian, or other custodian. Written approval of withdrawal must be received from such child's parent, guardian, or other person residing in the state and having custody or charge of such child. The written approval shall be dated and the signature witnessed by the principal of the school where the child is in attendance, or the principal's designee."

So if you decided you kid wasn't cut out for school, and wanted to follow through with a trade, they CAN drop out before they are 18. Just sayin'.

And Amy, you are welcome :) I think our school systems are just different.

Also, I noticed you mention large class sizes too. All of the classes at my daughters school are 20-25 kids. That is normal for Australia. In fact, public schools are higher. And yet, we actually still have one of the highest literacy rates, and tertiary education rates in the world. So obviously the education methods are still effective :)

Lady Heather - posted on 12/13/2010

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Ummmm...wow. I liked doing math and language stuff when I was that age, but even I wouldn't have wanted to have those tasks to do every evening. Can't they just play and learn on their own at night? They're freaking five!

Corinne - posted on 12/13/2010

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Wow! That much for a 5 yr old? My little girl is 4 and gets one phonic sound to learn each day (ish). She has to read it, write it and learn a handful of words that start with that sound. Since she started in September, I've been asking her teacher for more work as we'd already done this stuff before she started and she's sooooo bored of it. The teacher said she couldn't give extra work but didn't mind if I did extra stuff at home. I've bought some extra workbooks and we're now doing the set homework followed by as much of her own books as she wants to do. That teacher needs a talking to.

April - posted on 12/13/2010

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I agree 100% with Sara H and Tara K... they said it all for me!! Sara...if I ever move to Louisiana, I'd want my child in your class!! Tara...if i ever decide to homeschool, I'm coming to you for advice!! I would love to homeschool, but I don't know if financially we could afford it. I may have to get a teaching job once I'm done having babies...

ps...I feel so sad for your little girl to have that much homework...I REALLY think you should bring it up to the principal or the teacher herself. I don't think this is an issue you can be quiet about

Amie - posted on 12/13/2010

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No, Sherri, they are not. It's called being expelled. Schools can and still do this for students who do not attend. Then they are still back to square one, no education when they should be getting one.

I'd say we derailed this thread enough though.

Back on topic.

Sherri - posted on 12/13/2010

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Yes legally they can not drop out until 18 even if they do not attend they are still enrolled in school Amie!!

Meghan - posted on 12/13/2010

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ummm, I just finished my first semester of University and I didn't even have that much homework on a daily basis!

Tara - posted on 12/13/2010

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Haha maybe it's the 50% Finn in me that makes me value my childrens' education so much.

You can drop out in Ontario at age 16. Lots of kids still do, but often when they don't, it's because they have found a teacher or a subject that they are passionate about and want to continue with that.

I know several teens who attended regular highschool until age 16, dropped out due to boredom and decided to homeschool themselve through the rest of their highschool career. They make use of services through ILC.org or V.C. in Ontario, or they start a co-op position allowing them to gain experience in their field of choice while still earning highschool credits toward a diploma.

Some teachers teach because they love knowledge, some teach because they love teaching, some teach for both reasons and some teach because that is what they have always done.

Not all students are designed for teacher led education. Some 16 year olds are so much more life wise than their peers and find school to be a place full of social drama and angst rather than a place of learning and educational success.

Drop out rates would drop if students were given more flexibility in what they are learning and how.

I think it would be very interesting to take just one city school with a high drop out rate and change it up for one year, allowing students to have input into how things are taught at school, I imagine we would see an increase in student performance and a decrease in drop outs due to boredom and apathy about education.

Not choose what they learn per se, just how it is learned.

I have a 14 year old 9th grader at home, he chooses how he learns his math, his english, his history. He will be attending an alternative high school in February, it's full of adults and youth that learn differently and better in a more flexible, less structured environment. If this were not available he has said he would continue to homeschool until graduation.

Not sure what my point is, except as parents we should be demanding better paid teachers, more in class discussions, more applicable teaching approaches and less assessments, evaluations, and standardized testing. It's not a race to see who is smartest it's about instilling a life long love of gathering and using knowledge, not memorizing and regurgitating it later on a test.

jmo, though. :)



edited to change or to of, cause that's how I roll.

Amie - posted on 12/13/2010

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"There is no dropping out anymore at least not in NH they just raised the drop out age to 18 yrs old."

Rosie - posted on 12/13/2010

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yeah, vinnies in kindergarten and doesn't have homework.what his wonderful teacher (god i am in love with this man) does is make it so the parents are more involved, by having you "grade" their work. like the other day vinnie brought home his work. it was him writing letters, and words, nicely and correctly. i was to use the example Mr H. stapled to the back and see if he did it like he was supposed to. and then he would turn it in.

he also sends things home like flashcards and stuff that he wants us to work on, but doesn't necessariily check up on.

yeah, i think it's definitely too much for a 6 year old to handle and pay attention to.

Bonnie - posted on 12/13/2010

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Yeah so far my son loves school. He wants to go even when he is not feeling well lol. I hope it stays this way.

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I know we've moved past the K homework question, but... K was a long time ago, so it's hard for me to remember.. I think the girls had one or two worksheets plus their reading. No homework (other than to read) on the weekends. It was too easy for them and always went super fast.... except if they had coloring. Then, for some reason, it would take them 3 hours to do their work.

K was too easy for them and I wanted them to do other work, but when I asked for something else it was given in addition to the normal stuff, not instead of it, and that was too much for them to focus on so we quit doing the extra credit stuff.

Burning out a kid in K is stupid and counter productive. I don't just want my kids to GO to school... I want them to LOVE it and, so far, my 4th graders still do... and most nights they don't have much homework.

Amie - posted on 12/13/2010

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Sherri,

It is for the reason Kate already posted

"...wow, really, Sherri? You think all high school drop-outs go "Well, gee, since the law says I'm supposed to wait until I'm 18 I might as well finish!"?"

I highly doubt it's solely because of a law that students are not dropping out as often.

Sherri - posted on 12/13/2010

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I was only saying you can't legally drop out until 18 anymore. Will some kids not even graduate and be able to drop out because they are still in school at 18 yes they will. They are legally adults at that point. Not sure how that is sheltered that there isn't much dropping out at such young ages anymore.

Bonnie - posted on 12/13/2010

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The school my son goes to starts at around 9am and they finish at 3:25pm. The earliest age you can drop out here is at 16.

Amie - posted on 12/13/2010

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Jodi, Thank you for the clarification. It is something close to my own heart since I have had children struggle. Added homework is not always the answer.

Sherri, Are you serious? We have laws like that in Canada too. It's not always easily enforceable, as Kate pointed out. Most places it is 16, a couple it is 18 (or maybe only one, I'll need to look it up again). It does not deter the kids. That has got to be one of the most sheltered opinion I have read so far. As Kate also pointed out, our school days do not start until 9 or just after. Mine are in school for 6 hours a day in total, factor in the recesses they get and lunch, it's 4 1/2 hours.

Kate CP - posted on 12/13/2010

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And obviously the larger cities of NH are going to have a higher drop out and truancy rate.

Sherri - posted on 12/13/2010

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Well that doesn't only go for my town Kate that is for the the entire state of NH.

Sherri - posted on 12/13/2010

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Oh I am sorry I just looked it up in China they attend school 9 hrs a day.

Kate CP - posted on 12/13/2010

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Yea, that works great in a small town. That doesn't work in big cities.

Sherri - posted on 12/13/2010

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I don't know about elsewhere but in my town we have a 100% graduation rate so although I can't speak for elsewhere here they do. Also in NH if your child is caught so many times truant the parents are fined and they are caught again the parents are charged and put in front of a judge that can result in jail time for the parents and/or removal of the child from the home and placed in a juvenile detention center where they will be made to attend school.

Kate CP - posted on 12/13/2010

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Other countries don't start school until 9am in the morning. They don't attend school for 10 hours a day.

Sherri - posted on 12/13/2010

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See I view it differently other countries go to till 4pm at night. I would much rather have my children home with me and doing some school work then at school for 10hrs a day. The US needs to start stepping up as far as education and I am definitely in a school district that is promoting that. Our school district has been measured up to some other countries and faired amazingly well against some other countries actually the only country that beat us was China. We tied with a few others. So evidently they are doing something correctly.

Kate CP - posted on 12/13/2010

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...wow, really, Sherri? You think all high school drop-outs go "Well, gee, since the law says I'm supposed to wait until I'm 18 I might as well finish!"?

Sherri - posted on 12/13/2010

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There is no dropping out anymore at least not in NH they just raised the drop out age to 18 yrs old. So legally in order to leave school you have to be an adult.

Caitlin - posted on 12/13/2010

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Seems crazy to me.. Let kids be kids! I can understand a tiny bit of work, but kids need downtime too.. By the time these kids are old enough to opt to drop out thats why a lot of them do, they are sick of all the work, I never coped well with too much homework, and I burned out, stopped caring and trying in school.. A bit of homework to reinforce in class learning (like cutting out pictures of things that start with whatever letter) is fine in my book, but not EVERY day and not for long..

The problem with all these things is that often it's the parents doing most of it, or signing off on it when it's not done because THEY don't have time (work, other kids, sickness).. And the idea of rewarding kids with a surprise if they do the 5 extra things is HORRIBLE becasue then i'd think it is the parent doing most of it, because they want their kid to not be left out. In the first fwe grades AT LEAST the kids should be excited abotu school or any extra assigned learning, they shoudl NEVER dread it...

Kate CP - posted on 12/13/2010

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This concept of sending home homework for a child who's not even in grade school boggles my mind. My daughter doesn't have homework. She's almost five and has been in pre-school since she was about two and a half. They did a summer reading project once where they encouraged kids to read books at home and bring them to school but the kids never received grades or marks for them.

What is the point of this, again?

Bonnie - posted on 12/13/2010

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It does sound like a bit much. I don't even remember getting any homework when I was in kindergarten. I mean I know times have changed, but geez, they need to get accustomed to school first. They are only in kindergarten. It's enough that they have to go to school all day at that age and they are tired when they get home. My older son started junior kindergarten this year (he just turned 4). What he has had for homework so far is learning the sounds the letters of the alphabet make and knowing a word that starts with each letter. He also brings home a book of about 6-8 pages with 5 words on each page. I am suppose to read it with him, then have him try to read it back to me (a lot of the words are repetitious) and ask him what certain punctuation are.

Kate CP - posted on 12/13/2010

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WHY are they sending home homework for a FIVE YEAR OLD?! This is why I hate public school. >:(

Sherri - posted on 12/13/2010

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Nope I think that is great. My kids had that much and now they are in 7th & 8th grade and avg. anywhere from 3-4hrs a day in homework.



Also in order for our kindergarten kids to move to 1st grade they have to read fluently 100+ words and have mastered an extensive math program.

Tah - posted on 12/13/2010

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I don't know...it is alot of homework and i have said the same thing...on the other hand our children are scoring like crap against other countries. Maybe some schools are trying to step the united states' game up as far as education.

Lindsay - posted on 12/13/2010

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Wow, that is a lot of homework! Madeline has to read everynight and she also gets the reader booklets to go through. She has to go through magazines each week and find words that start with the letter of the week. They use those and make a dictionary or something out of them. She has a skill book that she's tested on each week so we go through that most nights as well. We spend about 10-30 minutes per night working on homework. I think that is plenty if not borderline excessive. It's a long day for such little kids.

Krista - posted on 12/13/2010

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That seems really excessive, and definitely the type of thing that would turn a child off of school altogether.

From what I've read, children should have no more than 10 minutes of homework per grade level. So in grade 1, you'd have 10 minutes. In grade 6, you'd have an hour, in grade 12, you'd have 2 hours.

A lot of schools are overloading the kids -- I know my nephew's school is bad for that. Have you talked to any other mothers to see how they feel about it?

Katherine - posted on 12/13/2010

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What sort of school does she go to?



Oh MY gosh you should see the stuff my daughter brings home!

Addition and subtraction. Algebra (draw a rhombus, how many triangles?) Or is that geometry?

She has pages and pages that are due every week so she does have a week to do it. But still.

She has a book and comprehension everyday too. They are expected to know punctuation, groups of shapes and how many there are without counting using their fingers....it's nuts!

I work in the classroom and have done assessments, and quite frankly I'm floored.

Jenn - posted on 12/13/2010

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My son is in Junior Kindergarten and the only "homework" he's brought home is a book that every Friday (he only goes every other Friday) he's in school they add another page and we go over it - it's just a cute poem or song to practice reading skills with. Your daughter has a LOT of homework for someone that age - that's insane!

[deleted account]

My son started kindy this year too and I didn't expect so much homework, but we get about the same amount. He gets a "homework calendar" at the beginning of the month with an assignment for every weekday on it. Then he has a "weekly project" which varies--we have the whole week to do it, but it usually only takes one or two evenings to finish. Then he has his "weekly letter and number study" which is 2 worksheets front and back (4 pages) that he brings home Monday and are due on Friday. We try to do one side of a worksheet and one calendar assignment ever night. On nights that we don't have Taekwondo or Baseball we work on the project.

I like the way his teacher does it though, b/c if we do have a very busy evening, then we can catch up the next day without having him be penalized for turning in assignments late. Also, he is learning to prioritize and manage his time.



He also has to read 8 books a month, but we read every night anyway. EDIT: Actually, it's more than 8..he has to read 8 books on his own, and he brings home a "bag book" and a library book every week, so really it's more like 4 books a week is you spread the 8 he does on his own throughout the month...still, there are 5 nights in a week plus weekends, so reading is not a problem for us...It's those projects.

The projects are supposed to be a collaboration between child and parent, but I never know how much to help him do.

Iris - posted on 12/13/2010

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Thank you Nikki.

And yes she does have children, teenagers. It just makes me think if she ever had to deal with this much homework? I didn't have this much homework for my older one. It was some papers here and there during the week, but not nearly this much.

Nikki - posted on 12/13/2010

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I have taught Kindergarten, readers were compulsory, but other than that homework was left up to my discretion. I opted out of anything extra unless the children or the parents asked for it.

I don't think you need to be conformational at all, honestly the stuff that teacher's deal with coming from parents on a daily basis, I am pretty sure this subject will not pose a problem. Just be honest and explain your concerns I am sure that she will be more than happy to accommodate if she can.

Does this teacher have children? I wonder if she realises the time restraints involved in having a family.

C. - posted on 12/13/2010

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See.. That's a shame.. Kids shouldn't dread doing their homework like that. They should be excited about it. When they start dreading it at such a young age, that should be a red flag for the teacher.

Also, how do they expect you to always have enough time to help with all that homework?? I can understand that much homework every now and then, but everyday? And then extra on the weekends?? It just seems off to me.

Iris - posted on 12/13/2010

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Yup, she's been teaching over 10 years. In the beginning of the school year, Saga loved to do her homework. It was fun and simple and over with in 10 min.
Now I feel like I'm nagging from the time she comes from school, because she has to do a bit here and a bit there and then some. And because it's so much she has started to dread it.

Jocelyn - posted on 12/13/2010

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Yeah that seems like a LOT of homework for a kindergartner. Does she realize that these kids are only 5 years old? I would think that ONE sheet of homework, and some reading would be more than enough...

C. - posted on 12/13/2010

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A question.. Does this teacher realize she's teaching KINDERGARTNERS??? That's way too much homework!



I hope she realizes that if you overwork your students, it can have the same effect as if you're not teaching them enough. Except in the situation where they're giving too much work, it's harder for certain things to actually sink into the kid's brain. When you don't teach them enough, there are things missing.. Same thing b/c SOMETHING is going to get lost along the way. There HAS to be a balance somewhere!

Iris - posted on 12/12/2010

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I probably could.... I'm just not the confronting type (can I say that?). Specially when I have to sit in her class and help out. She isn't very pleasant to be around... I rather just bitch about it here and work with it at home, although I don't agree with the workload.

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