Homework is an important part of every student’s life.
However, there is a growing argument with regards to giving homework to children as young as 3-4yo who are enrolled in nurseries. There are debates where parents feel that young children should be only engaging in play and giving homework may interfere with children’s love for learning. While there are parents who appreciate that age-appropriate homework is necessary and encourage lesson revision from home.
Considering this argument, should preschool children be given homework? Is there a reason why we should let our children get homework at such as young age? What should we do as parents if they do get homework?
I, for one, do support giving homework to nursery kids – with the necessary caveats, of course. Here are some of the reasons why they should get some homework despite their age.
Homework benefits nursery school kids
After their classes, children would definitely prefer to focus on playing and bonding with their family and friends. During these times, they learn how to interact with other people and move their body. They also get to explore the world around them and see things from a different perspective.
However, too much play and idle time are not good. They should also have time to sit down and do small learning activities like homework to refresh their memory and help them learn key life lessons. If they just play, they might forget what they learnt.
I’m not talking about sitting down for two hours. Even 15 minutes a day goes a long mile in helping the young child speed up their learning.
I believe some form of revisions are good even if it means having the parents or tutor going through flashcards.
Homework can teach kids to be focused
Having homework helps children to become more self-disciplined and form better study habits in future.
If your child is often restless, allow half an hour every day to use as their quiet time or do their homework. What a wonderful way to use this short time as a bonding moment to work on your child’s homework!
Creating a special room or corner in the house and assign it as your child’s homework area is a great idea. This space should be free from distractions so they can focus better on the task at hand.
Nursery homework allows kids to get an edge over others
Nurseries and kindergartens are encouraged to give their students homework by parents. This ensures that kids will be ready for the workload they will get during primary school.
If they are introduced to homework early, it will also give them an advantage over their peers since they know what to do when they have homework.
Studies show that by the time a child turns four, 50% of their learning capacity is already developed.
As a result, they can pick up on their lessons better and focus on their schoolwork. They also start discovering the things around them and learn familiar patterns. With their homework, they can support what they learn.
It gives children confidence
When a child enters kindergarten for the first time, they will feel pressured to perform well. If they make a mistake, they will retreat to their shell and not perform actively in school. They will also start comparing themselves to others.
If they are given homework at an early age while they are in nursery school, they will feel confident. Since they are familiar with the school work and had been exposed to the lessons early, they can excel easily. They will also take part in the discussions actively.
What Should Parents Remember?
As parents, we can be divided with regards to whether our children should get homework as early as nursery age. There are definitely some benefits and disadvantages to it, but we must have an open mind when it comes to the issue.
Here are some of the things we should remember when our children receive homework from their nursery.
1) Understand the purpose of the homework
The word “homework” often tells us that it is an extra task for our kids and we think it will be difficult. However, take some time to look at the homework and understand its purpose.
Nursery homework is often very simple and parents can do it with their kids. Homework promotes bonding so parents must take time to guide their children along. Once the homework is done, they can let their children play.
If you doubt the purpose of the homework or have any inquiries about it, you can speak to the childcare centre.
2) Try not to overload
However, it is important to remember that these nursery students are still very young.
Schools must consider what kind of homework should be assigned to these students. A majority of kids today also cannot retain information easily through text. There must always be a visual guide as well.
Check the amount of homework your child will receive and see if it is age-appropriate. If a child is given homework that is not suited for their age, it may hamper their learning capacity.
The same effect will also appear if the child is given a lot of homework.
3) Do not pressure your kids
It is also important to remember that parents should not pressure their children to excel at this stage. Children are still growing up so they need to be supported until they can grasp the concepts better.
If you pressure them to excel now, they may become averse to learning and develop a dislike to these activities. It may affect their school performance as they grow older.
Homework does present a lot of great benefits to nursery students since they can get advantage once they enter primary school. But, the homework must be designed in such a way child will be able to use their senses and instill a love to learn. Once they grow older, they will succeed in school and in life easily.
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