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newtothis
newtothis asks:
Q:

Are kindergartners still going to recess? How much homework should I expect?

My 5yr old just finished his 2nd week of Kindergarten. His homework for Tues night was to write A-Z upper and lower case, and write 1-100. After 2hrs I told him to stop and that I would write a note to the teacher so he will not get in trouble for not finishing his homework. This seems an obsessive amount of homework to me. Am I overreacting? I wrote an email to the school board asking what their homework policy is so I would know what to expect. (I did not mention his school name, his teacher's name, or his name. I just want to know what to expect before saying something to the teacher.)

My other issue is recess. His class has not gone outside for recess all week. The weather has been perfect and other k classes are going outside. I asked him if they play in his classroom and he said no. His teacher told them they are there to learn, not play. Really??? She expects 5yr old kids to sit quietly at a table all day with no break? Anyone know what the schedule of a normal kindergarten school day consist of?

Thanks
In Topics: Kindergarten readiness, School and Academics
> 60 days ago

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Expert

childpsychmom
Sep 5, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Wow, that does sound like a tough first two weeks at kindergarten! There is a lot of variability between schools, grades, and even classrooms about how much homework is given each night.  According to the US Department of Education, kindergarten through second grade students should be expected to have ten to twenty minutes of homework each night.  So, if your kindergartener is spending two hours on homework each night, you are right to be concerned.  

Start by talking to your child's teacher about your concerns.  His teacher might not realize that it is taking your son (or his classmates) that long to do homework.  If it's a class-wide issue, the teacher will certainly want to know about it.  However, it's just as important an issue if it's only your child who is struggling with spending too much time with homework.  If your meeting with your child's teacher doesn't go as planned, seek the help of the principal or school counselor.

Regarding recess, most kindergarten classes do get to spend some time in outdoor play each day, buy that varies depending on your school system, grade, and classroom.  Get a copy of the daily schedule for your child's class and see if recess or free play is part of their routine.  This is another great question to ask your child's teacher or principal about.  

I'm attaching some resources for how to talk with your child's kindergarten teacher, homework guidelines, and all you need to know about kindergarten, and top ten signs of a good kindergarten classroom.  

Best of luck!

Polly Dunn, Ph.D.
Child Psychologist

www.ChildPsychMom.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/childpsychmom
Facebook: www.facebook.com/childpsych
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Additional Answers (1)

AnneB93
AnneB93 writes:
You have every right to be concerned as a parent.  Kindergarten children should be changing activities and moving around many times a day.  I am not sure where you live so recess rules vary from state to state, but if the others are getting to go out - your child's class should too!  I know as a 1st grade teacher, I try to change activities about every 15 - 20 minutes.  That is about as long as they can stay on one topic - for now...it will increase as the year goes on.  Speak to the building principal if you are not making progress with the teacher.
> 60 days ago

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