Friday, May 13, 2016

Ellie's homework: A Sampling

I've mentioned before the mountain of homework Ellie has every week. I thought I'd give a sampling of some of her homework, and you can tell me if I'm crazy to think this is a lot for a pre-kindergartener. That is, a preschooler the year before kindergarten.

Every Monday Ellie brings home a pile for the week, including this vocabulary packet. This is due every Friday. It includes a page of words, syllables, and sentences to read, the vocab words to trace and illustrate, and a page of sentences to rearrange and write.
She also brings home weekly flashcards that she colors, cuts, glues, and I cover with contact paper. She is tested on these every Thursday. Luckily, they are always English words, so she has always received 10/10 and we never have to practice them.

On Mondays she also brings home this reading book that we are supposed to read several times throughout the week to practice and improve her Spanish literacy.

Every week she is supposed to practice writing her name in cursive. We don't do this very often because we barely have enough time/motivation/energy to get the other homework finished.

Once a week she brings home this vocabulary notebook. It contains a list of 5 English words that we are to find pictures in magazines, glue them in the book, and then she writes each word 3 times. This is always due the following day, and is usually accompanied with other homework sheets, also due the following day.

Some homework sheets that she gets a couple times per week, often math or writing:
She has weekly Dictations (in Spanish) every Friday at school, which get sent home for me to review and sign. She's extremely proud when she gets them all correct. Mostly because she gets a sucker.
Other days throughout the week she brings home science projects in English, phonics pages, or more worksheets. Once a month she has a presentation where she has to share about a topic with 4-5 sentences in front of the class, with some kind of display. She's done one on panthers, one "About Me," and one "My Family." The nice thing is that these are all in English, so the prep work and practice are minimized.
On top of all this, we are supposed to be reading to her at least 15 minutes every night, which we have always done as part of our bedtime routine.

On the one hand, this is so much. After being in class all morning she comes home and often has an hour of homework. It's a battle sometimes, though thankfully, she mostly loves it.

On the other hand, we are so privileged to have access to such a great school. She is learning to read and write and in just a few months we've seen her grow tremendously in her skills.

One of our projects with MCC is an adult literacy program for the Kekchi, an indigenous population. I'm constantly reading reports of (mostly) women who stopped going to school after 2nd or 3rd grade to help at home and never went back. Now, as adults with several children, often as widows or single mothers, they are taking the opportunity to go to elementary school or junior high. When I have this perspective, I can't help but pause and just be thankful for education and the fact that my daughters will learn to read and write while I know adults here who can do nothing more than sign their name.

It's all perspective, but it feels like, for US general education standards, this is quite a load of homework for a five-year old. Am I right?

1 comment:

Czarnecki Family said...

You are right! Zinabu (1st grade, dual language) has 2 math worksheets and 2 writing/spelling worksheets every week, plus reading 20 minutes a day. That's it!