Kindergarten Homework - Baby Steps in High Heels

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kindergarten Homework

The guided reading bags have been collected and will not be sent home for the remainder of the year. 

Seriously, this is the BEST thing I have heard from my child's teacher ALL YEAR.

I LOVE to read. My kid loves to read. But, these things may be the death of me. Or at least the death of our stress-free, fun-loving, enjoyable family time together in the evenings. I cannot yell it from the rooftops loud enough … we’re finally through with kindergarten reading homework!!!

Am I the only parent who hates these things? (And I don’t typically throw the ‘H’ word around lightly.) I can’t be the only one who doesn’t see the value in reading six times about Matt’s cat who sat at WHAH WHAH WHAH WHAH.

I’m sorry. I know I’m on a bit of a rant here, and I DO understand why it is important to read together at home. My daughter’s kindergarten class did a four hour reading block every day this year. Our twenty minutes of homework reading was not meant to teach her how to read, but to teach her that her parents also value reading, that we enjoy it. Our time together is meant to foster a love of reading in our children.

But it just doesn’t. I’m sorry. I think it’s crap.

The reading bags were packed up at the end of last week, so we obviously didn’t have it last night as we sat down to read together. What did we do? We wrote songs! We sang songs. We read chapter books about characters that captured my six-year-old’s attention. We snuggled and laughed and enjoyed reading together. We did not moan or groan or snap at each other to just get it done so we can do something else.

We read together longer last night than any other night this school year.

I do realize that there are many layers to this onion. That there are children who would not read if these books were not sent home, parents who wouldn’t take the time without the requirement, low funding that doesn’t allow for updated books to be purchased very often. I know our teachers are doing the best they can with what they’ve got … I just think that there has to be a better way.

My daughter has come home from school once – ONCE – this entire year talking about the work they have done in their reading/writing time. This was shortly after spring break, when the teacher had to reign in their end-of-year unruliness and they were asked to write apology letters to her. Aside from that ONE time, her interest is minimal at best.

What she does talk about are the times when she is immersed in an experience … when they plant seeds, water growing vegetables, and even taste (every single) vegetable that their class has grown. When they incubate eggs and watch baby chicks hatch.

When they feel connected to their lesson, they do not even realize they’re learning.

This is not to say that she hasn’t learned wonderful lessons this year or that her reading level hasn’t improved. She has, and it has. But does she love it? Does she love school? Does she love learning? I’m not sure. And, that might be the saddest thing ever … because if you can’t love school in kindergarten, will you ever? 

1 comment:

  1. Jenn, thanks for writing this so honestly. As a therapist and coach I have a contract that allows me to work a few days per week in the public school system. The excessive homework blows my mind, even though I can see both the perspective of the teacher and of a parent (because I'm on both sides). I get a little rant going myself, fairly often. :)