CandBs mom's picture
CandBs mom

40 minutes of homework for Kindergarten?!

My daughter started Kindergarten this year, and although I realize the times have greatly changed since I was in grade school, I am appalled at the teacher requiring 40 minutes of homework EVERY NIGHT! She is one of the younger children and doesn't have the advantage of having any older siblings - just one very distracting 2 year old brother. She knows her letters, their sounds and her numbers. However, she has yet to join the '100 club' (being able to count to 100 by 1's in front of the entire class). Only 3 or 4 out of 20 can't do it yet, but she can count to 100 by 5's. She has all 50 of her sight words down, but is having trouble figuring out how to stretch out words. She doesn't seem to know where to begin. She gets raving reviews from the teacher as far as her attention, listening and behavoiral skills, just says that she is struggling a bit academically. It takes me over an hour to try to get 30 quality minutes of study time in at night - the fidgeting, the day-dreaming, the plain, no holds barred ignoring me. It's so frustrating! She just doesn't seem to have any motivation - I get upset and she asks why it's so important to know this stuff anyway - and when I come up with a quick-witted response, she simply tells me she doesn't care, she's not going to go anymore. I email the teacher who clearly doesn't believe my recount of the issues at home, and she just repeats herself that we need to get 40 minutes in a night. Now she's suggested a 45 minute tutoring session once a week. I'm so heavy hearted and discouraged right now....the poor little kids don't even get a rest time at school - does anyone else feel like they're pushing way too hard? Does anyone have any tips for motivating a kid who just doesn't care? Where have I gone wrong? Do I solve all of her problems for her so she's never had to take responsiblity for herself? And lastly, how do I relinquish this control over to her and quit feeling like I've failed her?

PS The teacher has NEVER mentioned any kind of learning disability...she seems like an intelligent kid - just when it's something she's actually interested in.

Kara's picture

How old is you daughter? If she's under 6, I think they're pushing too hard. Young children under 6 need to have a lot of play time - play develops them. That's why usually children go to school when they're 6 or 7 years old. Maybe you could reconsider her kindergarten?

toddnkim's picture

Just remember you have not failed, 40min is way to much homework for a kindergarten, my 2nd grader does not even have that much homework. And yes the schools do push to keep up with the times. I have been looking into home schooling myself, sometimes other parents will tutor your child along with their child. Some kids need one on one and they can not get that in class. Hope this helps good luck.

acitez's picture

In my state kindergarten is optional.

CandBs mom's picture
CandBs mom

She just turned 5 in May, so she's one of the youngest in her class. She's very well behaved, just maybe not as intrinsically rewarded yet for her accomplishments academically as older kids. The school district didn't act like waiting was an option. I think this teacher is just young, new and overzealous. She also is single and doesn't have any children...shouldn't that be a prerequisite of teachers!? HA!

sunrise's picture

The teacher does not know your daughter's physical development. I think sometimes children can be ahead intellectually but a little slower on the physical end. Sitting still requires a lot of energy for children and its develpomental. My nephew walked at 14 months while my son walked at 10 months. As I was the primary caregiver with my nephwe I know I did not differ much on opportunites to learn how to walk. So why does a five year old need to be pushed?
I encouraged my 5 year old son to sit with writing and phonics but it was challenging. We were lucky if he stayed in his seat for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. I am consisitent with my expecatations. He is 5 1/2 now and he does sit longer some days (35 min) and not others (15).I try to be consistent, patient, and light hearted about it. I allow him to choose the worksheets he wants to do. We need to remember gross motor skills come before the fine motor skills and you can provide opportunites. It Is pointless to push it. I found out that my son's listening skills were much better when I allowed him to jump on a small trampoline.
We could read history and refence books for an hour and a half. I have also incorporated a 10 or 15 minutes break where he can stretch or walk around( for siiting at desk). On 2 occasions we made it to one hour.