Saturday, July 17, 2010

Studying and Doing Homework with a Pre-schooler

My son went to most level of preschool education as a Thinking Toddler (Nursery). It was not really a formal school but one that was a company provided/benefit -- a daycare in the office for the employees' children. The teacher & the facilities were more than adequate. It was more of a supervised play with kids about his age. Hence, nurturing his social development as well. It's also a way of reinforcing and supplementing his cognitive and language development we also provided him at home. I remembered his first ever homework...he needed to cut & paste pictures that starts with the letter "S". So, there goes my magazine collections, cutting Santa, Socks, Shoes, Slippers etc. We did it all! My husband, Chase's Ate (nanny) & Chase all helped out. It was like a family project. I remembered being excited about it!

And then came his Kindergarten class (Pre-K in an International School), we oohh,ahhs and wows on his work. I took pictures and proudly showed them around. More than us, Chase enjoyed going to school.

... And then came the occasional homework! If Chase has homework, it means I have too!

 I'm now only responsible for them. They were given normally every other week on Fridays. My realization!This is definitely my weakness as I exhaust all means to get through them! Admittedly, it was a struggle for me. By this time, he just turned 4 years old. He's just learning how to hold a pencil and crayons. It was not really that he didn't want to do them, it was mainly, finding the right time when to let him do them. And he did took his time so I learned! I was so tempted to do it by myself, but I tried showing and doing them with him. It means I'm guiding his hand as he traced & colored, then let him try to do a part all by himself. My son & I fought & then laugh about this ordeals. It was truly an adventure for both of us!

So I said, why the homework?! If we will be doing a lot of this then why didn't I just home schooled him! Yes, it came to that point! I was so frustrated by myself! When Chase went on a school leave for a month, for our US Trip this summer, we brought tons of homework as refresher and follow ups. We ended up, doing them on the little free time we had! We even did them on  an hour hour plane trip from Sacramento to Los Angeles. Suffice to say, that unfortunately we did not finish all of them. Hence, Chase did some make up time in school to finish and to catch up on the lesson. (So I told myself sometimes to cut him some slack, besides he's only 4 years old and a Kindergarten! What was I thinking?!:-) But, we were driven! Most of this time, I asked Chase if he wanted to stay longer in school, and he said he wanted to! :-) ...for him at least he got extended playtime with his friends!

Here is the good part...through time, practice does make perfect! 

  • Personally, I accepted that not only occasional homework are necessary for the parent/s to get a feel on one's child school progress (not that we were not!), but more so about establishing a study habit as early as this age! 
  • As always, I am involved! I take charge on my son's performance! 
  • Remember, personally, a competent teacher will give report on one's child progress in all constructive aspect! No comparing vs. other kids/classmates! It's all about Chase! How he improved vs. last month, what new skills he mastered, what activities motivated him, what were his interests! It's all about building on his strengths! On things that he was not as interested, we worked around--he liked colored pencils than crayons, so we let him experiment with colored pens! Surely, he got more interested in using more colors on his work.

I cannot say that I'm fully past this ordeal, but we build on this habit...

  • With homework or none, we tried to set a a designated study time everyday. So when he did have a homework, it was not really an extra work. It  just means lesser time for other activities like instead of 2 stories to read,we get to read only one. 
  • And then we don't finish them in one seating. We do it in divided portions before the due date. At most spend 30 minutes on them, and another 30 minutes to do other things he enjoyed, like coloring, counting and reading. He regularly borrow a book from his school, so we get to read it every night before bed time.
  •  We count 1-50, sing the ABC, learned the sound of the letter at least 10 letters per day, review on his sight words, and then we read the Bible Stories! (In a week's time,  I'm so happy because we finished the Old Testament. We're now starting the New Testament.) 
  • Of course, this still comes with the occasional bargaining on keeping this activity shorter or longer, if something else comes up.
Chase's Latest Work --mixing crayons & color pencils
  Cheers & Hurray to taking responsibility, and enjoying some rewards --Gifts every now and then from us, proud parents, & from Chase's grandparents, aunties & uncles, on times that Chase feels like showing off to them his school stars & good jobs! After few bumps along our way, this I realized is a good study habit in the making! And so our adventure continues...♥♥♥

4 comments:

Grace said...

It sounds like your doing a great job as mom. Children do benefit when they have parents that take an interest in their education.
Grace

Des said...

Heartfelt thanks Grace! :-)...it's still a long way to go for us and I'm happily looking forward for more adventures with my little man.♥

aira said...

hi, des ang ganda naman ng pinost mo...tnx for sharing :)

Des said...

Thank you so much! :) I'm looking forward to writing more of our adventures! Have a Great Weekend! Cheers! ♥

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Wifey to JB and Mommy to Chasey :) It's said that one's eyes are windows to one's soul. True! My eyes twinkle when I'm happy, they light up with my smile. I’m no frills! I'm easy to read (except during Poker). I easily get teary eyed on practically both happy and sad things. I'm overly emotional! UP,Toy Story 3, and Glee made me cry with delight.My hubby is my source of strength. He balances that side of my personality. He made me a more self-reliant person.I love being a mom. But be it known that I tend to be OC, paranoid, and definitely see my self as a stage mom.I can't help but throw him parties every year.I love to read. If there is a lifetime membership to Book Lover's Club, I've probably signed in as early as Grade 1. I'm blessed to have a special relationship with God. He is my confidante. I practically talked to him anywhere and anytime about anything. I'm a Kapampangan and supposedly known for having culinary skills.This still needs to be found perfected, but for sure, I can say I'm a gourmand!I love to eat and it shows!Oh well!Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder and Happiness is only a state of mind. From today onwards, I intend to live in a Happy Mode!Cheers!