Published at Sunday, October 13th, 2019 - 12:34:37 PM. Kindergarten Worksheet. By Eleanor Leduc.
My kids like them. Wait, doesn’t this contradict a point I made above? Not really. If my kids want to sit at the table while I’m making dinner and do a few worksheets, I don’t have a problem with that. It can be relaxing for them. It’s not a replacement for other learning because I wouldn’t be teaching right then anyway… and I don’t have the space or time to set up a big hands-on learning center while the stove is on, the baby is crying, and the toddler is hanging on my leg. Sometimes a parent or teacher just needs a break. You’re going to use worksheets once in a while? I won’t judge you. Planning hands-on activities takes time and resources we don’t always have. Sometimes we just need something simple. Like when you’re 9 months pregnant to the day and the baby shows no sign of making an appearance. My bottom line? A steady diet of worksheets is bad news. For some preschoolers, worksheets are never appropriate. For preschoolers who enjoy them, I don’t think worksheets are harmful every once in a while for a change of pace. For older kids, worksheets are appropriate when nothing else will do the job. Thoughtful teachers and homeschooling will strive to limit their use of worksheets in favor of activities which promote higher-level thinking and hands- on experiences.
Homework, “My kids beg for worksheets because they want to be like their older siblings and do “real” homework. There’s nothing wrong with sending a few worksheets home, it’s not like we’re doing them at school. FALSE. When we send worksheets home for “homework” we are sending the message to parents that worksheets are the way that young children learn best. Most parents are not professional educators, it’s our job to not only do what is best for our students but to also educate their parents about what is best as well, if we don’t then who will? Many parents don’t know any other way to help their children at home other than worksheets and workbooks. For this reason we hold a “Homework Night” early in the school year every year to educate our parents about how they can help their children at home. Our presentation includes information on how worksheets are not appropriate for young children and why. We explain that worksheets teach children that there is only one right answer and they do not allow children to think for themselves. We explain how writing on paper with lines (two solid and a dotted line in the middle) is not appropriate for certain ages and why (visual acuity, fine motor not developed enough, creates frustration and lack of desire to write etc) We also tell parents that there is a difference between their young child and older siblings and how older children are more developmentally ready to profit from using worksheets occasionally. Then, we introduce our homework program and show the parents specific ways they can help their children at home each night.
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