Inside: Find out the the absolute best way to put together a meaningful kindergarten and preschool homework plan.
“Miss Mary Catherine, what about homework? Her brothers have homework most nights, and I could really use some help in that department.”
Questions like this one aren’t unusual at preschool/kindergarten Back-to-School Nights or Meet the Teacher gatherings. At least not for me.
Parents want the best when it comes to their children’s education, and it’s often assumed homework is an integral part of that.
But early childhood educators want to do what’s developmentally appropriate and best for their students – and research has shown that traditional homework doesn’t fit into that. So how to do we merge each of these viewpoints?
Do We Really Need Preschool Homework?
As I mentioned above, I’ve noticed that many parents ask about homework. I think some people assume school and homework go hand-in-hand. I’m referring here to the traditional view of homework, with kids sitting down at the kitchen table to fill out pages and pages of worksheets.
I’m inclined to disagree with that, especially when it comes to early childhood students. Young kids need hands-on learning experiences, both at home and at school, to grasp important early learning concepts. I most definitely don’t think the traditional worksheet homework is appropriate for young kids.
Listening to books read by their parents, free play time at home, and maybe some additional hands-on learning activities are more along the lines of the kind of homework I recommend.
The BEST Way to Handle Kindergarten and Preschool Homework
So we’ve established that sit down, pencil to paper homework isn’t that great for preschool and kindergarten. How, then, should homework be handled?
My suggestion – create a preschool homework plan centered around monthly activity calendars.
Explain the research to the parents, and have a quick chat about developmentally appropriate practice. Stress the importance of down time after school, and encourage daily reading snuggled up with the kids.
At this point, parents might still want something more. That’s where the homework calendars come in.
Kindergarten and Preschool Homework Calendars
The printable homework calendars I’ve sent home are definitely not worksheets. They include a variety of tasks that kids can do – sometimes with their families, and sometimes on their own. My goal is for my students, and their parents, to see how learning can take place in a wide variety of ways. Additionally, kiddos with older siblings love having their own “homework” to complete like their big brother or sister.
When putting my students’ calendars together, I try to make sure I have a variety of activities. I brainstorm ideas that cover literacy, science, math, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, helping others, etc.
I try to keep the daily activities simple, with some ideas the kids can do on their own and some they can try with their parents or siblings. Some of the calendar ideas relate to our preschool theme for that week or month, some are seasonal, and some are just based on everyday helping tasks.
These homework calendars can go home in their personalized folders at the beginning of the month, with the kids returning them at the end of the month. They can also just be used as suggestions when parents ask about homework for preschool kiddos.
Editable and Printable September Homework Calendar
I’m happy to share one of my homework calendars with you! Huge thanks to Jamie of Play to Learn Preschool for giving me a tutorial about making the calendar editable. That way, teachers (and parents!) can put their own spin on the homework.
Grab the September homework calendar PDF HERE and open it up. Click on any of the editable areas and make your own changes. You can change:
- The directions at the top of the calendar
- The date (just the number)
- Each of the homework tasks within the squares
Then print out the calendar and share with your students’ parents. You’re welcome to leave everything the way I’ve written it too. That’s what I am loving about editable PDFs – the flexibility of customizing documents.
Take a look at the homework calendars in action in the video below:
Awesome Clip Art
Full disclosure, DJ Inkers gave me a copy of their Kidillywinks clip art and fonts in exchange for sharing this with you. Of course, I’ve had their Kidillywinks work since I was teaching kindergarten (waaaay before Fun-A-Day was born). My most recent copy was just lost to a corrupted hard drive, so I was so excited to get my hands on it again. They’re one of my favorite clip art and font creators, and I use them often with projects I make for preschool – like this homework calendar!
How do you handle preschool homework (or kindergarten homework)?
A Year’s Worth of Calendar Homework for Preschool
I’m so excited to share with you how you can get a hold of the rest of the calendars now! I’ve received a lot of wonderful emails asking for an entire year’s worth of calendars. Thanks so much for reaching out – I love hearing from you!
So here it is – a full year’s worth of editable homework calendars. It’s a set that includes homework calendars for every month of the year. Each calendar is an editable printable, and there are three versions – one has seasonal clip art, one has non-seasonal clip art, and one doesn’t have any clip art. Each month has a version that’s already full of activity ideas, along with a blank version (but you’re able to edit every single version).
The photo below on the left takes you to the calendar set. The photo on the right takes you to Preschool Teacher 101, a membership site I’ve co-created. Members will have access to the calendars, along with weekly lesson plans, future trainings, and more special products. Click on the photo to take you to more information.
Originally published August 8, 2016