Monday, August 23, 2010


Pre-K homework was bad. Kids too young for homework, and then 4 worksheets a night? No way is that appropriate.

Kindergarten homework is going to kill me. Kids are still too young for homework. And what's up with no nap for 5 year olds in full day kindergarten? I went to half-day kindergarten and we had a nap period that was more than just putting our heads on our desks.

Oh yeah, homework. I have issues with it, but at least it is reasonable. (So far.) Practice writing your name. Write the letter A and a. Write the numbers 0 and 1. Okay, so Sabrina had a meltdown when asked to write her name, making the rest of it a little touch and go. (She wrote--traced, actually--her name once, not the recommended three times, and didn't write the letters OR the numbers.) But the rest of it. Oh, the rest of it. Cut out or draw three pictures of words starting with the letter A. Cut out or draw three pictures representing the numbers 0 and 1.

First: lawyer magazines? Great for words starting with A if you are an adult (ooh, there's another one): abacus (in an ad...and yet another one!), attorney (not obvious from the pictures but hey, it was a lawyer magazine), Alan Greenspan. Not so good if you're in kindergarten. (Here I insert another aside: I'm flipping through the magazine and come across the abacus picture. I say out loud "oh, an abacus. If I give you this one, your teacher will know that I helped you. Because five year olds don't know what an abacus is." To which Sabrina replied, "I know what it is." Me: "Really?" S: "Yes, it's like the monument." Me: "Oh close, that's an OBELISK." I'm on a mission to make Sabrina the only kid in kindergarten who knows what an obelisk is.)

Second: Lands End? Sells a lot of things that start with B. We'll be all set tomorrow. Today? Not so much.

Third: IKEA? Also not helpful.

Fourth: I don't have anything else with pictures. Really.

Fifth: Sabrina has this perfection complex so she won't draw anything because she "doesn't know how." I'm working on it, but it's slow. Anyway, I don't know how to draw an ant or an airplane either, so who am I to ask her to do it?

Sixth: We didn't even think about the math part of the homework because hello, zero is a really hard concept and, um, how do you draw zero other than in contrast to something else?

The rest of the week is the same: B, 2, and 3 on Tuesday; C, 4, and 5 on Wednesday; D, 6, and 7 on Thursday; and E, 8, and 9 on Friday. Because yes. It is kindergarten and they have homework on the first day of school and homework on Fridays.



  1. I recommend taking a very low stress approach to homework. Modify directions. If she is supposed to cut out a picture of a c-word and you don't have lots magazines/catalogs, ask her to think of a c-word and then print a photo of a cat from the internet, or let her make a drawing, or go for a walk and take a picture of something.

    Back in the day I used to stress sometimes (okay a lot and I still do). I told the teaching (with great anxiety) "We tried to do it your way, but we had all these difficulties and it didn't work and so we did it like this instead."

    The teachers would look at me and no doubt be thinking "Ah, that's where he gets it" but only say something like, "That's fine. I just really want to reinforce the letters by having her talk about them to you. You can do that any way you want."

  2. Thanks for this recommendation. It really wasn't clear from this post but that is my general approach to homework. I was mostly just tired and needed to complain, so I think my post implied more forcing of the homework issues than I intended. I did write the teacher a note, but then opted not to give it to her!

    I don't know why I didn't think of printing photos from the internet, perhaps it's because it's such an obvious solution and I don't do obvious :-)

    I DID think of taking pictures while we took a walk, but forgot to bring the camera. Seriously, I don't know how it is that I remember to take my keys with me when I leave the house.

  3. I think that campus safety is going to give me a ribbon for being the professor who most often has to have her office unlocked for her.

  4. Tonight we took pictures and found lots of B words just in my living room.

    And I figured out how to do the zero thing. I took pictures of zero train cars on the tracks, one train car, two train cars, and three train cars. And then she pasted them down and wrote the number next to them.

    By the way? Nothing in my apartment starts with A. (Not completely true, as air conditioner starts with A, but close.)