Most kindergarten teachers assign a small amount of homework to their students. Parents can help their kids adjust to the routine of doing homework and can also help explain kindergarten-level academic concepts such as letter recognition, number recognition, printing and introductory math ideas.
Kindergarten homework is now a common occurrence, and many children will need help from their parents as they become familiar with completing at-home assignments. During the kindergarten years, homework activities are generally geared toward teaching letter sounds, letter formation, simple words, number formation, and basic math concepts such as making patterns. When helping kindergarten students with homework, parents can reinforce ideas learned at school while guiding their children toward good homework habits.
Letter Recognition And Writing
These tips are useful for parents who are helping their kids with homework assignments that involve letter recognition, printing letters and small words, and building kindergarten reading readiness skills.
- For printing assignments, encourage the child to trace the shape of the letter with his or her finger, then trace the letter lightly with a pencil. As the child begins to write the letter independently, offer guidance on proper formation.
- For letter recognition assignments, ask the child to correctly identify the letter (capital and lowercase), name the sound or sounds that the letter makes, and identify object names beginning with that letter.
- Help the child to think out loud when forming words on homework papers. ("Sound out the word 'car'. Now look at your paper and write the letter that comes after 'ca-' to make the word 'car'.")
- For short reading assignments, ask the child to read out loud. Offer assistance with sounding out unknown words.
Number Recognition And Introductory Math
Parents can use these strategies in assisting their young children with math-oriented homework papers. These types of assignments involve both number recognition and kindergarten-level math concepts:
- Help the kindergarten student to identify numbers, trace them, and write them with proper formation and in the correct order.
- For introductory math assignments with basic addition problems, use visual aids to help the child find the answer. ("One plus three...draw one dot here and three dots over here...now count all of the dots.")
- For homework assignments that focus on patterns and sequence, encourage the chlid to describe the pattern out loud: ("Red, blue, yellow, red, blue...what comes next? Yellow.")
Adjusting To Homework: General Tips
Children who have not previously completed homework in preschool may have a difficult time adjusting to the process. Parents can help kindergartners adjust to the homework routine in the following ways.
- Choose a specific time of day to work on homework assignments (right after school, just before dinner, etc.). Most children thrive well on structure and will be cooperative about doing homework at an arranged time.
- Allow a kindergarten student to take short breaks if he or she has more than one page of homework.
- Parents should read over the homework guidelines first, then explain the goal of the assignment to the child. ("Today, we are going to make words that end with -at."). This helps the child know what to expect before beginning to write.
- Keep a sticker chart at home, and give the kindergartner a sticker for every homework assignment that he or she completes.
Parents who take an active role in assisting their children with kindergarten homework assignments are providing a foundation for school success throughout the years. Kindergartners can often more readily grasp math skills and reading skills at an age-appropriate level under the consistent guidance of both teachers and parents.