Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Mother's Dilemma On Preschool Homework.

Recently I had to deal with homework battles with my little girl. It was stressful to get her to finish pages of writing. I think many of you know what I am talking about. Homework that is just repetitive copying of the alphabets, words, or chinese characters. In a way I don't blame her for losing focus. Come on, all of us would agree that it is down right BORING! It got me thinking if such homework is necessary. Should I or shouldn't I push for her to do it? I must remember that she is only 4 years old. Thoughts and questions rush through my head. I knew I had to take time to sit down and think through this carefully. You must agree with me that how learning is introduced in the early years will effect our children's future attitudes in acquiring knowledge. Also our attitude will effect them. I've heard of kids who are just so turned off with formal learning and reading just because of bad experiences. Sadly those bad experiences stemmed from teachers and parents making bad decisions.

With numerous questions and confusion clouding my mind, I embarked on a mission to find a pleasant solution to my dilemma. After searching for articles on the subject, talking to a good friend of mine who teaches English to children and taking time out to ponder, I finally came up with 6 ways to reduce the homework tension in my house.
My article entitled A Mother's Dilemma on Preschool Homework has been posted to my website. Check it out.

Please share your views and your side of the story in winning the battle of the preschool homework.


  1. Hi Ai Lian, I can totally relate to what you're going through with Karina. Pages and pages of homework for pre-schoolers? Wow! That is one kindergarten I will stay away from. Laura comes home with one page of homework a day. No work books. It can be a struggle sometimes with homework but I think (hopefully) we have worked out a happy medium. She does her homework as soon as she gets home from school. Then she is free to do whatever she wants. Sometimes, after Laura is done with her homework, she takes out her colouring or activity books to do. Or she decides she wants to watch some TV or paint or play with playdough. Laura gets rewarded when she gets a certain number of stars in her exercise book. I am not entirely sure I am doing the right thing but so far so good!

    I've spoken with some parents who send their children to the same playschool as Laura's. These are children aged 3 - 4 years old. I am quite shocked what some parents perceive as good playschool/kindergartens. One parent (she's from Hong Kong married to a Malaysian) raved about an education centre which HQ is based in Singapore. My curiosity was piqued so I asked her for more info. She said that this centre gives lots of work and 3-year-olds are able to recognise 1000 chinese characters in 6 months (or something like that). This same parent send her 3-year-old to a Mandarin playschool in the morning, break for lunch and then send her to a Montessori playschool in the afternoon. As I found out, she is not the only one. When does her child get to play?

  2. I still can't comprehend why early childhood programs insist on going against extensive research indicating that young children learn best through play! I am an early childhood professional teaching children ages 3-5 years old in a mixed age, play based, developmentally appropriate setting (the only educational program in the area that meets all of these criteria). I send homework home with my kids because they request it (they see older brothers & sisters doing homework & want to be "big"), but it's completely optional. They are neither awarded nor punished for finishing, or not finishing, their homework. And much of my homework is activity-based (motor skills activities like jump up and down ten times, or literacy activities such as "dictate a story about your favorite stuffed animal and illustrate it"). Much more meaningful than copying endless lines of letters!


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