By Lauren Gautier. Kindergarten Worksheet. Published at Thursday, October 24th, 2019 - 10:27:08 AM.
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As a parent and educator, when I walk into an environment with early learners, whether that be in a home school setting or preschool setting, I want to see those kids engaged in their learning. Young children should be manipulating materials, testing hypothesis, and exploring the world around them. No matter where I look, I should not see a child doing a workbook. Worksheets are not appropriate for young children for many reasons. Let me start off by explaining what a worksheet means to me.
Worksheets Leave No Room to Challenge The Norm. This is a huge one for me. When I taught in the public schools, we were told to get kids to think for themselves and defend their answers. But, their answers and evidence must match the teacher’s guide and test answer key. Really? How is it possible to get a child to think for themselves and defend their position, but also be correct 100% of the time according to an answer key? It’s just not possible! I look at it this way, if a child can defend their answer to any question using evidence then it’s correct whether the answer key says so or not. In 20 years, do we want people running this country who only know how to give one answer, or do we want people who can be creative and think outside the box?
FALSE. Following written directions? I find this statement very disturbing because preschoolers and kindergarteners can’t read, how can they be following any written directions? “The mere accomplishment of the worksheet task does not signify the child’s ability to read or comprehend.” As for the fine motor part of the statement, there are many more appropriate types of activities children can be doing to develop their fine motor skills than doing a worksheet, again, I find this to be a cop out. It’s easier to copy a worksheet and slap it on the table in front of the student rather than carefully planning out activities that will really engage them and develop their fine motor abilities at the same time.
Worksheets Do Not Challenge Kids, Really all worksheets do is test rote memory, a way for children to just spit back information to you. In the end, do we want a child to memorize concepts, or do we want them to understand them and apply them to different situations? I bet it’s the latter. By using a hands on approach to learning, we give kids the opportunity to test the concepts in different situations, so they can understand how this concept can be applied to different areas of their life. Hands on learning gives children the opportunity to use and refine their problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking skills.
Worksheets Do Not Allow for Higher Level Thinking. Again, worksheets are there for spitting out information. Where is the thinking in that? Hands on manipulation of objects, gives children the opportunity to create hypothesis, test them out, and use their problem solving and critical thinking skills to completely understand how it works. Worksheets May Be “Teaching” What a Child is Not Ready For or Interested In. This is more towards workbooks, especially if you follow the workbook page by page. Just because the workbook says it’s for 3 year olds, does not mean your child is ready for it.
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