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