Homework can be a highly debatable subject in the education world! Just as there are parents who love it and parents who don't, there are also teachers who love it and teachers who don't!
What to do?
In all honestly, as a teacher, I am not a huge fan of homework, especially not for full day kindergarten students. Now that many kindergarteners attend school all day, 5 days a week, I feel like they really need to go home after a long school day and just PLAY. Go outside, run, jump, yell, and spend time with family.
I do also understand that sometimes it can be helpful to set up "school night routines" and I also know that reading at home is crucial to early literacy.
So, my version of homework is "School to Home Book Bags!"
I used to send home a nightly reading log. However, while some parents filled it out, there were many who forgot, or it got lost, eaten, left on the bus - you name it.
Plus, after awhile, they just weren't that FUN. For some classrooms they are - but mine were losing their touch!
I needed something to motivate kids to read at home and encourage their parents to read to them as well.
My teacher next door told me about take home book bags, and I was hooked!
Each school day, the kids may take home ONE book from the classroom. I know what you may be thinking at first. "EEEK! My books! They may lose them!!" I have not had that happen yet.
They are not allowed to borrow another until they return the previous book, so they are very motivated not to lose them!
However, if you have a limited selection of books, there are sites like Reading A-Z that you can print books from and avoid the issue altogether.
Each student gets a ziploc bag with their name (cheap and easy to replace if they rip, etc) to store their book. They also get a reading log that their parents can help them fill out with the date and name of the book they read (it can be one from home or the library too)
My kids may change books every single day, every other, or however often, but they may only have one book out at a time.
I have found this to work very well for my class. I have some students who may not have a lot of books at home, or need an extra bit of motivation to get interested in reading with mom or dad.
This provides a boost of excitement, and parents also like it because they get to experience new stories with their children.
Plus, we know how important it is that kids are reading and being read to!
You can download your own copy of the book bag from HERE if you are interested!