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Ready or Not Here We Come

Homework – the very word makes students and parents alike cringe. Let’s be honest, the homework isn’t generally too difficult. It’s the sheer volume that is daunting. What’s even more alarming is that most schools are beginning to assign homework even earlier. Parents of PreK4 students are generally shocked to find that their preschooler has now entered an initiation year, where the primary intent is to prepare these 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds for the ensuing years of homework. Isn’t this a bit too early? Is there any basis to this early introduction to homework?

Truth be told, not really. If you look at the research on homework for young children, no real benefit has yet to be found. On the contrary, early childhood experts reiterate that the top priority for preschool children should be playing. At this young age, they tend to lack focus and discipline which makes concentrating on homework instructions even more difficult. Preschool children who are basically too young to wipe themselves, are also too young to be burdened with this level of responsibility. So what can parents do?

Don’t be afraid to speak up and let your child’s teacher know that homework tends to be a frustrating experience for both you and your young child. You can point out that there really is no correlation between how well a preschooler does on her homework and how well she does later on school. There simply is no need for weekly homework at that age. Perhaps if we spent more time teaching young children how to socialize and work together in groups rather than focusing on individual homework assignments, the world would be a better place for them when they grow up.

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