Monday, November 4, 2013

Pre-kindergarteners and homework

Getting Parents Involved

A lot of teachers feel the need to give pre-Kindergarteners homework, and some parents are delighted to see it.

I am all for closing the gap between preschool and elementary school,  if students will be getting homework in elementary school, why not give them that experience in pre-Kindergarten.

The only problem is; teachers send home worksheets; they will be doing enough of those in Kindergarten.
Why not give them something that will improve a skill that they need to develop now, such as; small and fine motor development.

Send home individual bags of gummy bears, the ones that come 20 in a box. Instruct the parent to allow the student to open the bag by themselves, and give the parents the reasoning behind your instructions.
Tell them that the student is allowed to eat what is inside the packet, but must return the wrapper.

Take all the wrappers and tape or staple them to a poster board, label the board, “Our homework; developing our motor skills;” with the instructions. Put each student’s name or picture under their wrapper, and display the board in your classroom.

You can also purchase individual containers of play dough for the students to take home. Allow the students to play with it for a week, and then have them return it with a sculpture that they made. Again ask the parent not to assist them, and give the reasons why.

Have each student tell you about their sculptures, then put them on display for all the parents to see, have a Homework Appreciation Party and show the parents all the things each student did for their homework assignments. 

Provide coffee/milk and cookies as a special treat for the parents’ that attended. During the party do a brief speech on why you feel it is important for students to get experience in applying themselves at home and the experience of doing homework.

Have an award ceremony and give each student an award for completing all of their homework.

There are many things you can do for Homework assignments that don’t require writing worksheets. Have students do a project at home, based on their favorite book, each one will be unique and it gives the parents the opportunity to work with their child and gets them involved in their child’s learning experience.

During my years as a teacher, many parents shared with me that their child didn't listen to them when they tried to work with them at home; because they weren't their teacher.

It’s because most of those parents didn't work with their children on anything school related until they were in Kindergarten, that’s why they weren't  taken  seriously.

By involving the parents in the process, it will help the parent and child establish an academic relationship in their Early Years.

Students can be prepared for their next academic future, while having fun.


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