Early Childhood Education: Homework in Preschool ?

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Should there be homework in preschool? This question is an extension from another question I have asked in this forum. I babysat for my younger cousins, two girls. The older one is 4 and in preschool. Her teacher is supposed to the best. She assigns preschool  homework every night for the kids. She gives the math problems (addition & subtraction). I didn’t start doing that kind of stuff until kindergarten and 1st grade! They also have reading assignments and they have to practice writing their letters and numbers. Well naturally since I was watching her after school I made sure that her homework was done. This teacher is very strict. She wants the homework to be absolutly perfect. Perfect handwriting. No mistakes. No eraser marks. Ofcourse I won’t let my cousin turn in homework that isn’t correct. But naturally she is going to mess up and she will have to erase.


After about a month. My aunt tells me that she got a call from my cousins teacher saying that the preschool homework has been very sloppy. She doesn’t accept sloppiness. I got upset because, the teacher has been sending my cousins homework back with happy faces and stars. Nothing about the appearance. My aunt once sat with me while I was helping her with her homework and told my cousin what a good job she was doing. If her homework is so sloppy, why wait a month to say something? I am not an expert in early childhood education but what 4 year old, who is just starting to learn to write is going to have perfect handwriting? I am not saying that we shouldn’t have hig expectations, but should we also be realistic?


I am not an early childhood education expert, so I don’t know what the expectation is. Short of me doing the homework for her, I don’t know what more I could have done.  This is definately not developmentally appropiate and makes me wonder how she got to be “the best” teacher.

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8 thoughts on “Early Childhood Education: Homework in Preschool ?

  1. You did your job, just making sure she did it. On the note of homework in preschool, I personally wouldn’t expect any unless it was asking parents or caregivers questions about events in their lives.
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  2. Imo, that’s absolutely ridiculous. Four year olds should be learning through play, not sitting and doing paperwork and academics. That is NOT developmentally appropriate. However, some people think that because some children CAN do the work at age 4, they SHOULD do the work at age 4. However, if her parents have chosen this school they must feel that it’s appropriate for their child.

    Given that, then no. I think there’s nothing much you can do except sit with her and encourage her to make her work as neat as she is able. Focus on the positive things about her work so that she doesn’t get too discouraged (although I think in a program like this it’s likely unavoidable). She may not have developed the motor skills necessary for tidy handwriting. It will come as she gets older. I guess you could encourage her to do things that require use of her hands like drawing, painting, throwing a ball, cutting, etc.

    Frankly, I think her parents are doing her a disservice by having her in such a program. I would tear up the homework and send it back uncompleted. I’d find an appropriate play-based program or keep my child home. Happy faces and stars? Ack!!!!

    There are studies that show homework isn’t even desirable, helpful, or necessary in elementary school, so I’m sure it is useless, if not harmful, for preschoolers.
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  3. Yeah, she shouldn’t be a teacher at all for doing that cruel thing.

    I was a teacher and i used to teach kids under 3 years old how to write the alphabets.

    Yeah when we were younger we used to learn how to write back in 1st or maybe even in 2nd grade! lol but back then we never had a "state" exit exam to receive a high school diploma. so i guess they are trying to teach our future how to write and learn their math before, so they can pass those state exams.

    I think we as teachers are not perfect neither. Soo as teachers you will see flaws everywhere you turn, soo this particularly teacher is one mean B****.

    Only thing i can assume why she is this strict is because she has had complains. Its not fair if one parent is mean and talks shit about this teacher that she doesn’t teach their kids to be a GENIUS! while she is teaching others in need of help. I’ve been put in both positions, of course not ME but i’ve seen it happen before my eyes. For example: im teaching your cousin how to write and pronounce the alphabet, but a new student comes in and their parents expects ME to teach them how to SING PERFECT ALPHABETS AND NUMBERS, you get it? it won’t be fair at all that i am not teaching at my paste for the comfort of all my students and because of ONE i am called a mean and rude teacher for ignoring the new student that was taught in a advance paste than my other students.

    What you can do is take it to the dean of the school (if there is such thing at their level lol) and complain how this teacher wants her kids the way she wanted them so she can lighten up on her rules, especially when its from 4 year olds

    I hope i helped, if so, please vote for me to be best answer! thank you!
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  4. This is definately not developmentally appropiate and makes me wonder how she got to be "the best" teacher. Definately not for preschool. Our goal in preschool is to expose the children to many aspects of "schooling" but we understand that much of it is in the exploratory stage…I’ve had 5 year olds who couldn’t even write their name when they came to me..let alone "perfectly" and I would consider almost every child in my son’s Kindergarten class writing "sloppy". They just don’t have the fine motor control yet for no mistakes. "Homework" at this stage in the game should be a book/activity…maybe a scissor suitcase…share ‘n’ tell bag that goes along with the theme or the focus letter sound, etc…definately not worksheets. The "best" preK teachers understand that children learn best through hands-on activities not worksheets.
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  5. that is insane! Mabey you could like make copies and start on the first one then copy it to the second one and then make the third one your perfect copy?
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  6. This is wrong on so many levels. Homework in preschool is wrong. Why teach kids to hate schoolwork at this age ? Demanding perfection is wrong. These are children, not robots. I bet they don’t even get to play.Children this age need to explore the world to help the wiring in their brains grow. They need to do things that give them success. They need to make mistakes and realize that it is not the end of the world. They need to make believe. Unless you want your niece to turn completely off school by the time she’s 6 convince her parents to find a school that recognizes that preschool children are not miniature 8 year olds.
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  8. Homework in preschool is ridiculous!!!!!!!!
    A 4 year old should be learning about self-regulation, social development, and problem solving/conflict.
    Preschoolers shouldn’t be doing this much academic work, it can only harm their self-esteem and critical thinking.
    This child needs to be put in a different preschool
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