Thursday, April 24, 2008

Handwriting- Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Have you ever had the pleasure of teaching a small child how to make their letters? It ranks right up there with potty training or being stabbed repeatedly in the eye with long, sharp stick. My son is in preschool. I went back to work, so as part of my punishment my son has to go to "daycare preschool" not to be confused with "parent volunteer-free love hippie preschool" that my daughter got to attend during the few short years I could afford to be a stay at home mom. So anyway, I digress. My son goes to daycare preschool. Its a nice place. The teachers are lovely. However they feel the need to send home homework. The homework involves lots and lots of writing practice. Its horrifying really. Try teaching your 4 year old boy who can barely hold his pencil how to make the lower case a. The correct way mind you, where you start from the top and go around and then up the stick and down the stick. See I know this stuff. I teach school. I have taught handwriting to whole classes of 1st graders, even Kindergartners. It sucked then too... but nowhere near the way it sucks now. My son is a perfectionist. He HATES to be corrected. But unfortunately letter a can only face one way and when one makes it backward one must be corrected. And then the crying, the whining, the gnashing of teeth. I participated in this for a half an hour tonight and I must say I feel as though I have been tortured. Want to break those detainees in Gitmo? Give them a four year old, a penmanship sheet and tell them the 4 year old must produce legible writing.... within the next hour... without a snack. Yep that should do it.


lowdawgs said...

This is so developmentally inappropriate, it ranks right up there with writing a thesis.

I have taught Kindergarten for 15 years. This exercise is ridiculous.

What is the school trying to accomplish?

Chloe said...

Developmentally, kindergarteners shouldn't even GET a pencil until after Christmas! And the only reason they need to "write" anything is to write their name on the juice/milk list.

Is there a way you can opt out of this? Maybe get Math Their Way for the school and encouage (beg/plead/cry.sob) them to work on math skills on a concrete level.

IamDerby said...

Yes, I realize its developmentally inappropriate but I think the majority of the parents must expect this kind of thing of the preschools because they all brag about their "curriculum". I saw dozens of "daycare" preschools when we were looking. T In any case the Kindergarten isnt much better because of the huge push for kids to read in K. He will be leaving this school in a month because I will be out for the summer so I guess we will just suffer through. FWIW we did not do all the homework... I couldnt force myself to do it, much less him! Poor kid.

tommie said...

What would happen if you didn't do the 'homework'?

IamDerby said...

Tommie- Nothing really except the teacher kind of gives them a little scolding. We have had weeks where it didnt get done but my son always freaks out if it isnt done so we do it. Its not so bad if we do one page a night but this week it got piled up onto one night.

erinkmckinney (stampininthesun) said...

hehe....been through it!
I have a nine year old and a 5 year old...(smack in the middle of it now!)

Hang in there! :)