Play School Homework Games Kindergarten

Homework for Preschool, Pre-K, or Kindergarten

Homework in Preschool and Kindergarten

Homework from vanessa on Vimeo.

Preschool Homework

To do or not to do, that is the question! The topic of homework for young children is one that is fiercely debated in the field of early childhood education. Many parents and administrators are all for it, many teachers are against it.

Some schools mandate homework for Pre-K because they think it’s going to close the achievement gap, others do it because they think parents “expect it” and still others assign homework because it’s what they’ve always done. There’s a little something here for everyone, no matter what your situation.

Different types of homework has been shown to benefit different populations. The type of program you work in may also dictate the type of homework you send home, if any.

Parents and Homework

My goal for homework in my own classroom is to support and encourage parents as partners in their child’s education. It is my responsibility as the teacher to teach the required skills, but it is the parent’s job to help support me in my efforts. In other words, “It takes a village…” Some parents need more help and encouragement than others, it is also my job to offer that help and encouragement to those who need it.

Reading Aloud to Children as Homework


I believe every parent and teacher should be required to read The Read-Aloud Handbook: 7th Edition by Jim Trelease. Jim explains, very clearly and with plenty of anecdotes, humor and wisdom, the importance of reading aloud to children.

If you’re interested in reading more on this topic I encourage you to check out the online book study I hosted for The Read-Aloud Handbook.

Meaningful Homework Activities for Parents to Do With Children

The book Just Right Homework Activities for Pre-K offers many meaningful activities that parents can do at home with their children. It includes detailed instructions for parents for each activity as well as blackline masters.

Structured Homework

When working with Title 1 and programs that serve at-risk populations it may be necessary to provide parent training through educational sessions. All parents want to help their children, but not all parents know how to do so.

I created the video at the top of this page to show to parents at our “Homework Help” educational session.

Printable Personalized Practice Cards


A useful tool that can help you not only assess students, but communicate progress to parents is ESGI. ESGI auto-generates personalized parent letters, in both English and Spanish, that you can use to easily show parents their child’s progress and provide them with personalized practice cards to help their child at home.

With just one click of a button in ESGI, you can quickly generate parent letters for each child in your class along with corresponding flash cards, specifically aligned to each child’s individual needs.

Click HERE to try ESGI free for 60 days and use promo code PREKPAGES to save $40 off your first year!

In the beginning, some components of a structured homework program might include:

  • First Name Identification & Writing Practice
  • Numbers and Counting
  • Color Recognition- for those that need it
  • Shape Recognition-for those that need it
  • Letter Recognition
  • Books for parents to read aloud to their child (See my take-home book program)

As young children mature and their needs change some changes to the homework may be necessary, such as:

  • Last Name Identification & Writing Practice
  • Sight Words (for those who are ready)
  • Number identification, 20 and up
  • Rhyming and other phonemic awareness skills
  • Letter sounds

Of course, differentiation for students performing above or below grade level expectations should always be taken into consideration when assigning homework.

How Do I Get Started Setting Up a Homework Program?

Step 1: Prepare your materials. Prepare the following materials to give to each child.

  • Name Card and Letter Tiles: Prepare a name card for every student using ABC Print Arrow font (see resources section) then print on cardstock and laminate. You could also use a sentence strip and a permanent to create name cards. You can use letter tiles from Wal-Mart or Staples or you can cut a matching sentence strip apart between the letters to make the name puzzle.

  • Number Flash Cards: You can use a simple font to type the numbers into a document in Word, print, laminate, cut, hole punch, and put on rings. The rings are highly recommended so the cards don’t become lost. You can also find free, printable number flash cards on-line.

  • Letter Flash Cards: The letter flash cards at left were made in Word using the ABC Print font, just print, laminate, cut, hole punch, and put on rings. Don’t forget to make one set of upper and one set of lowercase. The rings are highly recommended so the cards don’t become lost.

  • Color Flash Cards: The color flash cards pictured above were made by placing color stickers on paper. You can also find free, printable color flash cards on-line. The rings are highly recommended so the cards don’t become lost.
  • Shape Flash Cards: You can also find free, printable shape flash cards on-line. Just print, laminate, cut, hole punch, and put on rings.

Step 2: Next, you will need to create a system to communicate what activities you expect your students to do each night. One of the most effective ways to do this is by creating a monthly “Homework Calendar.”

You can download free calendars online that you can customize to meet your needs. In each space on the calendar indicate which activities you want parents to focus on each night, this helps parents from becoming overwhelmed. At the bottom of each space on the calendar there is a place for parents to sign indicating they have helped their child complete the assigned tasks. You can mark each space with a stamp or sticker to indicate your acknowledgement of homework completion. The homework calendars are kept in our BEAR books and carried back and forth by the child each day in his or her backpack.

If this method is too much for you then you may prefer the simpler Reading Log method.

Step 3: To implement a successful Pre-K Homework Program in your classroom you must meet with all the parents to explain your program. Do not expect your program to be successful without this critical component. Have an informational meeting or “Parent Night” and send home flyers to invite the parents. Make sure to include this event in your weekly newsletter as well.

When having parent education sessions such as this it is best to have some sort of prior arrangements made for the students and siblings to be outside of the classroom in an alternate location so the parents can focus on the information that is being presented.

  • After parents have arrived and you have welcomed them and thanked them for attending, show them the homework video (see top of page).
  • Next, use your document camera to show them the actual materials they will be receiving. Model how to use the materials and how to do each activity they were shown in the video.
  • Show them a sample homework calendar and what to do with it.
  • Explain your system for sending materials home in detail, for example will materials be sent home in a bag or a folder?
  • Make sure parents thoroughly understand the purpose and expectations for your homework program as well as your system.
  • Allow parents to ask questions and thank them again for attending.

You could also create a video like the one at the top of this page to show to parents.

Additional Information:

  • Homework should last no more than 5-10 minutes total each night including the book that parents read to their child.
  • Worksheets should never be sent home as homework. This sends the message to parents that worksheets are an acceptable form of “work” and it is a good teaching practice when the exact opposite is true.
  • Homework at this age should be fun and children should enjoy doing it. Advise parents that if their child does not seem to enjoy homework time they should make an appointment to see you so you can help them determine what is wrong and how to make it fun.
  • Emphasize that reading to their children every day is the single most important thing they can do as parents. It is also highly recommended that you show the parents one of the following short video clips about the importance of reading to their children:

How to Help Your Child Read (English)
How to Read Out Loud to Your Preschooler (English)
Como ayudar a tu hijo leer (Spanish)

Homework Links

More Teaching Tips from Pre-K Pages


What They Learn | How Kids Learn


What Kids Learn in Preschool

The Basics
In preschool, children learn about the world through play. Subject areas aren’t separate in their minds or in the classroom. The objects preschoolers find on a nature walk, like feathers, rocks and leaves, might help them figure out math concepts like “big, bigger, and biggest” or motivate them to visit the book corner to find out more about birds. Teachers may introduce children to basic concepts such as shapes, letters, and colors, but preschool is about learning much more than what a circle looks like. It’s where children first develop a relationship with learning.

Language & Literacy
Children spend most of the preschool day working together with classmates. Each conversation, whether talking about the class pet or deciding which color block to put on top of their tower, helps children develop their thoughts and language. Preschool teachers read aloud simple stories like “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle to show children that text runs from left to right, expose them to new vocabulary, point out letter sounds and rhyming words, and help children talk about what they read.

Writing often appears as scribbles in the preschool classroom, but letters or shapes that resemble letters soon pop up as children try to write their own names in creative ways. Teachers model writing for preschoolers throughout the day. Many children will not be able to write words conventionally. However, every scribble shows that a child understands that the printed word carries messages, and that she is excited to be able to create these messages.

Math
Preschoolers use numbers every day when they count milk cartons for lunch or figure out how many children are at a table. They work with geometric shapes such as triangles, rectangles, and squares in the block center, and through art projects. They measure at the water table when they compare the size of their hands and feet. Preschool teachers invite children to arrange items in a series or pattern when they make collages and other art projects. Teachers also use simple graphs to present concepts, for example, determining how many children wear mittens to school and how many wear gloves.

Science
Preschoolers are scientists. They learn about the world by observing and experimenting. Natural things fascinate them, from rocks, to animals, to their baby brothers and sisters. They also notice the many ways that they can influence the natural world. Preschoolers may plant seeds, or watch what happens to an ice cube in a warm room. They’ll test what sinks and what floats at the water table, and which blowers make the biggest bubbles. They’ll find non-fiction books about animals and nature in the classroom library.

Social Studies
Preschool social studies is where children learn about their place in the world. Understanding how to get along with others can often take up the biggest part of a preschooler’s day. Children learn how to resolve conflicts and practice skills like sharing, taking turns and cleaning up. They figure out how to express their feelings using words. The class may also explore its community and the people in it by taking short field trips around the neighborhood.


How Kids Learn in Preschool

Becoming Learners
In preschool, children first learn “how to learn.” They begin to form their attitudes toward school and to see themselves as learners. Strong preschool experiences will help a child think, “I am a good learner. I can find problems to solve. I can master a difficult task.” These experiences show preschool children the power that learning holds.

Learning through Play
If you want to know how your preschooler learns at school, just think about the way she learns at home. When your child helps you measure ingredients for her favorite cookie recipe, she’s getting a math lesson. When he makes sand castles at the beach and then watches the wave wash them away, he’s learning earth science — although he’s probably not ready to understand the term “erosion.”

In school, preschoolers learn through play in the same ways, with the guidance of their teachers. They experiment with the properties of matter at the sand and water tables. They learn phonics when they sing songs together. They master important physics concepts like balance and stability as they build blocks at the block center.

One Skill at a Time
Most preschoolers are not developmentally ready to keep more than one concept in their heads at a time. Take counting, for example. At first, numbers that a child counts in a sing-song manner are just a sequence of words. Then all of a sudden the words become useful as the child learns to match them to an amount by counting fingers. The numbers have now been matched to a meaning.

Forming Pictures in their Heads
“Preschoolers also learn about their world by forming visual pictures — or little movies in their heads,” notes Diane Levin, Ph.D. “Each thought they’re thinking is like a frame of the movie. They construct these visual movies in their minds as they play. One movie could be about how to make the blocks fit together, another about how to make the blocks into something else. More movies might be about how to work with other kids to create what they want to do and how to solve the problems that can arise. These mental movies help them get familiar with a process and figure out a situation.”

0 thoughts on “Play School Homework Games Kindergarten

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *