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October 16, 2007

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Yeah, it makes me twitch. We have 2 homework assignments per week for the Moosh't Pre-K class, which I do, and then turn in. He has little to no interest. As far as I know they're not required, but little goody-two-shoes that I am, I can't seem to wrap my head around not doing them. They are ridiculously easy for someone with a college education. I mean, I was able to find things that begin with the letter F years ago! ;)

We are still adjusting to him being in school anyway. Practically every waking moment we spend together is spent with him crying and me telling him to shut up (not really! but I do feel like it often). He is still not over the fact that I LEFT HIM at school and now demands my presence and physical touch at all times. I have not had a moment to myself in days. So we don't have lots of time to spend doing homework. I worry about next year, but maybe he'll be over the crying by then? Anyone?

Sigh.

Ugh. Truth be told, I am such a rule-follower that I would most likely complete said activities with my child, but privately gnash my teeth and complain to all within earshot.

I cannot even wrap my brain around the idea of homework for kindergarten students. I have a crummy memory, but I don't remember having homework before first grade (which I do remember clearly). Is this a new trend? stemming from a idea in public education that no parents do anything educationally useful with their kids outside of school, so they have to be made to?

I'm passive-aggressive by nature, so I'd likely leave it until it was past due as well.

Makes me twitch too. I can see it being optional, if you feel your kid needs the extra stuff to do. But, by your own admission, you have a daring and handsome math geek right there in your own house. So I doubt that math is being neglected there. That's what bugs me -- the assumption of the lowest common denominator (ha! More math!) without allowing for whether or not your child NEEDS it.

That said, I'd probably do what KatieButler says. That or the passive-aggressive "make me turn it in" stance.

Homework in kindergarten is absurd. What the heck?

Homework for PARENTS and Kindergarteners?! What?!

I don't remember having homework until first grade, and that was just reading one book a night.

I hate how schools put all these demands on parents, as if we don't have enough to do. It will be interesting to see what happens when my daughter starts kindergarten in two years...

Definitely twitch. I could see it if your son were failing at recognizing numbers, or something that would indicate that math never gets discussed at home. I guess since SOME parents plop their kids in front of the tv all day and never teach them things (is it possible not to teach children? They ask questions whether you like it or not), ALL the parents have to do school-approved activities with their kids.

I vote for the letter, but send it through a couple proofreaders first to take the edge off your tone.

Like parents don't have enough to do.

I think of this project and can feel a case of procrastination coming one. It may require antibiotics.

I'd talk to the teacher about it. Maybe you could tell her that your son had a huge interest in math, but found the project too heavy-handed for a kindergardener. I'd take it easy on her though. Remember what it was like being new on a job? I would give her feedback so that she knows what parents are thinking. It will help her shape her curriculum and expectations for the future.

If it were me, I'd do it. Because I am about as likely to do "fun" "math" activities with my child as I am to take up the trapeze. "Fun" and "math" are not things that go together in my head. (I supppose helping me cook would count, huh? Fractions?). Given that it is you, I doubt this is the case in your house. And in any case, required homework activities (versus a list of things you might want to try at home) for a kindergartener are a little much. Let's suck ALL the joy out of learning early, shall we?

Write the letter. On the computer. Delete and rewrite as necessary. Copy over by hand if you think that's important. Don't send it until you're SURE it's right. But the new teacher needs to learn, and how will she if no one says anything?
(Probably many of the kids need these activities; but that doesn't mean yours should do busywork.)

Your reaction does not surprise me, and your opinion seems rational (and research-supported) to me. I found it enlightening to consider the ultimate target of these exercises: not the parents whose lives are casually filled with math-related exercises, but the parents whose lives are filled with subpar childcare and lots of extra TV. In that light, most of the homework directives out of public school are not only counter-productive but insulting or condescending or both, as well.

I would write a letter, edit it thoroughly, and get someone else to read it before sending it. I would also not fret too much. What's the worst that happens here? A kindergartner gets a low mark on the "completes homework" section of his report card.

You can tell already how I approached homework last year, no?

Honestly, I'd rip my kid out of school and homeschool using logic and sense to dictate activities based on actual ability, interest, and academic need.

However, I may be a bit of a Black-and-White thinker. Probably the suggestions in the other comments about carefully writing and editing a note to the teacher would be more reasonable. Perhaps write two letters? One to actually send, and one to vent your vitriol?

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