Homework in Kindergarten?!

Homework in kindergartenHomework in kindergarten?!  Every night?  I mean, really, it’s kindergarten!  Should BK really have to sit in class all day and then do homework when he gets home?  There is just something wrong with the way kindergarten is taught today.

BK already dislikes school.  When asked, he will say that it’s just too much learning!  My little guy is a very conscientious, diligent student, but spending most of the day stuck at a desk is just not what BK wants to do.  Shoot!  I can’t even get him to sit at dinner time!  He spends most of dinner standing next to his chair.

I don’t know how anyone else feels, but it truly seems as though the schools have sucked all of the joy out of attending class.  There is, as BK says, “too much learning.”  Just walk into a kindergarten classroom today, and you will see what I mean.

When I attended kindergarten 25 years ago, there were play areas.  Now, when I look at BK’s classroom, I cannot identify any play areas.  Yet, children at that age learn best through play!  In fact, there is hard evidence that children learn best through play and not in an academic setting.

Yet, BK was expected to enter kindergarten knowing his alphabet, how to write, recognize letters, days of the week, months, and how to count to 100.  I learned those things in kindergarten!  Actually, truth be told, I learned them in first grade.  Some of us are slower than others.

When I attending kindergarten, we learned 1 letter each week.  It was fun!  BK finishes up the unit on the alphabet this week.  They started school 1 month ago.

I worry that we are either going to burn out our children or turn them into little robots who struggle with how to think for themselves.  I could already see some of that as I went through school.  So many of my peers were unable to truly think for themselves.  Sure, we could spit back facts and data, but many didn’t truly understand what it was that was being taught.

I don’t know what to do.  Do we refuse to do the homework?  Then, BK won’t get a sticker, and stickers are important to 5 year olds.  Do we do the homework, but only under protest?  That seems dangerous.  Right now, we simply sit down and do the homework each evening.  BK generally has a positive attitude about it, and we provide him with lots of praise.  We do not mention our annoyance with the fact that the homework even exists, because I don’t want to create a bad attitude in BK.

It is my very strongly held opinion that homework in kindergarten is wrong.  In fact, the entire emphasis upon academics in kindergarten is wrong.  Children at this age learn through play.  They learn through socializing.  They weren’t made to sit still for hours.