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Community Montessori's Work @ Home vs. Homework for the Elementary age child

Children at the zoo

Our societal belief is that homework is needed to continue learning. However, there is no documented research that this is valid or true. According to Alfie Kohn, author of “The Homework Myth,” the positive effects of homework are largely mythical. There is no evidence of academic benefit from assigning homework in elementary or middle school; and the younger child gains no meaningful academic achievement through doing homework.

Our school’s belief is that Homework is actually Work @ Home. This work is to be meaningful, purposeful and productive, as well as being developmentally appropriate for the child. Research also shows that reading to/with your child, allowing for 90 minutes of uninterrupted free play (outside if possible), and eating a meal together EACH DAY has HUGE implications for their academic success. Work @ Home during Summer Break is to be with purpose, generated by the child if possible, and meaningful!

***Limit Screen time :) Computers, phones, tablets and television: create a media plan with your child and observe what your child is exposed to on the screen.

To support families in this process, we encourage them to use strong observation skills with their child to see when they are ready for new challenges. The work you do with children at home should be more learner-led and self-correcting and should try not to involve the family in correcting the child.

Here is a list of ideas to enjoy with your child (mostly 6-12 year olds) over the break:


  • Read a chapter book of interest each night with your child

  • Purchase a “kid-friendly” magazine and read the articles

  • Read a newspaper article

  • Play “ABC Find” in the car – finding words that begin with a, b,c and shouting out – Who can get to a “Z” word first?

  • Read favorite poems

  • Read and sing a song

  • Read directions on a package

  • Read about a topic on Wikipedia

  • Choose a reading computer game and enjoy

  • Make sight word flash cards and time yourself to see how fast you can read them

  • Find words with the following blends: ph, wh, sh, ch, th

  • Make a list of rhyming words

  • Make up a 4 sentence rhyme

  • Write a paragraph about your favorite food using capital letters and periods

  • Write adjectives (words that describe) about your favorite place

  • Practice your first and last name in cursive

  • Practice memorizing and writing your address and phone number (as well as those important people you need to know)

  • Write a story (a few paragraphs) about your favorite place to go

  • Take a walk around your house and make a list of things you see, hear, smell and touch

  • Take a monthly trip to the library and read a book while you are there – even learn to use the computer to search for books

  • Keep a “running” list of nouns, verbs, adjectives – adding to it once a week

  • Look up new words in the dictionary and write their meanings – catapult, ecstatic, minor, fare, challenge, gingko

  • Practice writing 3-5 syllable words in cursive

  • Do jumping jacks as you spell out challenge words - 3-5 syllables

  • Start writing in a journal or diary each day

  • Find 5 favorite pictures and write a sentence (or paragraph) about each


  • Measure a cup, ½ cup, ¼ cup of cereal

  • Make a list of math terms that go together (+/plus, add, addition, put together, addend) (-/minus, subtract, subtraction, take away,subtrahend) (times,multiply,product, multiple) (divisor, division, dividend)

  • Write out 10 facts that equal ten when using addition

  • Write out ten facts when using 1-10 with multiplication

  • Make a list of 3 shapes you find in your house (with right angles)

  • Draw a triangle, square, circle, rectangle, oval and ellipse

  • Make a schedule for your daily routine in digital time (XX:00)

  • Use a clock to show 3:00, 7:00, 10:00, 9:30, 12:30, 4:30

  • Count 35 minutes from now, what time is it?

  • Write numbers 1735 and 468 in expanded form (1000+700+30+5)

  • Find the tens place in the number 1235

  • Find the tenths place ins 765.39

  • Mark the hundreds place in 479

  • When at a restaurant, add up the bill without tax (or calculate tax too!)

  • When at a grocery store, find the price of your three favorite foods

  • Round 459 to the hundreds

  • Round 17 to the tens

  • Pick three of your favorite numbers, then add them together

  • Add the ages of your family members

  • Practice subtraction and addition facts in the 1000s place with exchanging

  • Measure cups of water – which is more: a cup or a quart? How many quarts make a gallon?

  • Draw a right angle and label it

  • Draw parallel lines

  • Draw a segment, ray, line

  • Use a tape measure to find lengths of favorite household items


  • Find out five facts about your favorite animal

  • Make a list of the 5 kinds of animals and their characteristics

  • Look at a map and find where California is – north, south, east, west

  • Can you name and label all 50 states?

  • Where is Antarctica?

  • Start a leaf or flower collection

  • Make a timeline of your life – include at least 5 important things

  • Find India, China, Venezuela and Nova Scotia on a map

  • Take a walk

  • Find out the parts of a tree

  • Pick out three favorite toys – do they sink or float and why?

  • Write at least one paragraph about your favorite place

  • Discuss your family belief about the creation of the world

  • Draw or write about your wants and needs

  • Put the 50 United States in abc order

  • What are the differences of a carnivore, herbivore, and omnivore

  • Draw and label the planets

  • Research about Pluto – a planet?

  • Research dinosaurs or other prehistoric animals

  • Make a list of the seven continents and at least one animal or plant that is native to each continent

  • Name at least 5 landforms

  • Make a map of your community or house and yard

  • Write at least three facts about North America and Europe

  • Play in water or swim


  • Label your room with words – ex. Door, bed, carpet, poster, shelves

  • Chart the foods you eat every day for a week using the food pyramid

  • Run in place for 10 minutes a day for a week

  • Create a unique sandwich or food item to share with your family

  • Write down 3 jobs you want when you grow up – list pros and cons about the jobs

  • Make a “sitter” list with important information and phone numbers, then place by the phone

  • Practice with your family a fire safety drill – where is your meeting spot?

  • Make a personal safety book to share with your family – include how to speak with strangers, what to do if approached by a stranger

  • Make a street safety guide – about riding bikes (helmets and pads), walking, and what to do if you get lost or separated

  • Paint a picture for a friend

  • Use three “trash” items to recycle and create with

  • Start or add-to your responsibilities at home – try to do without your family reminding you

  • Create a plan to earn money for going out trips

  • Donate gently used toys and clothes to a shelter

  • Collect canned good items from other family members and take to a food bank

Finally, here is a link to a PDF of a handout from a past workshop for parents of learners ages 6-9, with activities listed by level. Feel free to browse this for ideas as well!

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