Every day my 5 year old twins get home from school and almost immediately… they sit down to do their kindergarten homework. There is a math sheet. There are spelling words. There are very basic early reader books.
I have to help them with it all. Which is okay. But I’d rather be reading them a book. Or jumping on the trampoline. Or watching them make a fort which I will love because it’s so creative and then hate because they start fighting over the construction and then hate even more because somehow I always end up cleaning it up.
But that doesn’t happen. At least not right away. Because of homework.
My son flies through it. And then runs off to fight imaginary enemies and bother real older sisters.
But my 5 year old daughter inches her way along, with great frustration. She stops so often, to moan about homework, that it can take her more than an hour to get it done.
It all seems sort of ridiculous. My older daughters never had homework at this age. They barely had it in first grade.
After 6 1/2 hours of school, shouldn’t a kindergartener be able to run, jump, hide and seek, color, climb trees, draw treasure maps, create science experiments and whatever else they can come up with in their creative little brains.
I don’t blame the teachers. Not at all. They are rock stars. They are just trying to keep up with impossible academic standards for younger and younger children.
The United States just never seems to get it quite right when it comes to education.
Can’t we learn from countries like Finland? Finland, one of the leading countries in education, gives far less homework and has a shorter school day. And only one standardized test. Which is not in kindergarten. It’s in high school.
Can you imagine that? One standardized test. And teachers get more time to collaborate. And kids get more time to (yup, you guessed it)… play.