Homework is an essential part of a student’s learning journey – it makes them revise and review the lessons that were learnt that day.
In recent years, numerous parents have taken to forums to complain about their nursery children in Singapore having homework to complete.
Parent blogger mommychuck mentioned that her two-year-old son had some holiday homework which did not seem like “what a two-year-old could appreciate”. The homework, which involved making photo diaries and crafts, was not something a child could complete on his own. She questioned the need for homework but helped him complete it in the end.
Should the kids’ “holiday project” be displayed, she feared her son would be the only one without it. Homework usually becomes more work for the parents as they need someone to guide them with the tasks, since their ability to learn is still at the beginning stage.
Despite the on-going debate on whether nursery children should be given homework, let’s explore how this could turn out to be beneficial for them after all.
How homework benefits nursery school kids in Singapore
After a long day at school, most children look forward to enjoying play-based activities and spending time with their family and friends. Through this process, they get to pick up social skills and hone their motor skills – which in turn is also a form of learning.
To keep the learning process balanced, getting nursery school kids to sit down and complete some simple, age-appropriate homework could teach them some valuable lessons in the long run too.
Homework teaches kids to be focused
Homework instills a sense of discipline in children, teaching them to be responsible for their own learning. They have to focus and complete their task in order to be ready for school the next day.
For restless kids, half an hour of quiet time would do them some good. Homework like art projects could also double up as bonding moments between parents and their child.
Giving nursery kids in Singapore an edge over others
Nursery schools in Singapore also mandate homework because it prepares the kids for kindergarten or primary school, giving them a competitive edge. If they start young, they are likely to get used to it and make it part of their routine.
Research has also shown that by the age of four, 50% of our ability to learn would have been developed. Thus, most schools would push for a maximum absorption of knowledge in the children.
However, the type of homework given to nursery kids matters as well. Most kids below the age of six do not retain information through the written way of learning. Instead, homework should involve parents so as to promote bonding, such as reading a book or completing a drawing together. Parents should also be encouraged to go through words and numbers with their kids to build up their early literacy skills.
While homework can be beneficial for nursery school children in Singapore, it should be designed to be as interactive as possible, so as to stimulate their senses. At such a young age, the goal should not be excelling in academics but to instill a love of learning which they will take with them as they progress in their learning journey in school and beyond.