Recent Posts

Sunshine For Your Inbox

Enter your email address to join our newsletter

Stay Connected

Learning Lately…

  • 16 March, 2018
Learning Lately…

My five-year-old has recently started coming home from Pre-K with homework. I know parents hold different opinions about the topic of young children being given homework from school – it’s so important that they have time to play, after all. But I, for one, absolutely love the concept of homework.

I love that it allows me to closely follow what she’s learning at school and that it gives me a chance to reinforce it. But more importantly, I love that it forces me to make sure the two of us find time to sit down together to focus on it.

It’s not always easy, as when I try to give my undivided attention to Annabel, her two-year-old sister has strong objections – which usually manifest in grabbing and plenty of yelling. I try to distract her with giant colouring books so she feels like she has her own special work to do too, and when that doesn’t work I confess that Netflix is my secret weapon…

But it’s all so worth it. It has been an unexpected thrill to watch my girl proudly forming her letters into words, and to witness her confidence in her reading growing every day. Reading and writing have been my life’s greatest passions, so the feeling it gives me to think she may one day share that is hard to explain. It’s been a gift I never expected.

What are your opinions on homework? Do you think children should be encouraged to read early? Or do you value physical play more? I’m fascinated by the debate.

Recently I’ve been contacted by, which I think is a really good website for different learning-orientated activities for kids. Today they offered to share with my readers their St Patrick’s Day Maze activity – given that lots of us will be dressing in Irish green over the weekend! I hope your kids will enjoy tackling this one as much as mine did.

(You can find more preschool activities on their website.)

Here is the Maze activity

And the answer.

PS – distracting baby sister:

Post Comment


  1. The Skinflint philosopher

    21st Mar 2018 - 8:34 am

    Thanks for the post and the inclusion of the website- I had not come across that one before.
    As a secondary school teacher, I have come across the homework debate before- and from my experience of 11-18 year olds I found it was a brilliant way of engaging and inspiring students who were already motivated/interested to find out more and push themselves, but for those students who were not interested in my subject/learning in general/or struggled with literacy and organisation it was just one more pitfall of either anxiety or negativity, and therefore a waste of time for everyone involved.
    I guess the important thing is to inspire children when they are much younger to understand that there is something to be gained from homework, and this will then validate it in their eyes.
    This year I am seeing it from a different viewpoint, as I have started to teach my own toddler to read. (We are using some resources from This reading Mama blog/site, and the rest we are trying out and making up as we go along) She is attending a preschool a few hours per week which is completely in her second language, (that she has only just started to speak aged 3.5years) and then at home I am now encouraging reading in her first language, English. She loves this! If I say “shall we do some letterwork?” she rushes for her folder of resources, and like you have written in your post, she knows this will be time with my undivided attention. I worry sometimes if I am bombarding her with too much at one time, but surely toddlers are able to soak up new information- this must be the time to do it. If I can show her I think reading is important, then she will think it is important too. And with any luck that will filter through to her education at school and beyond.

    • Catherine Dietrich

      21st Mar 2018 - 2:56 pm

      Thank you so much for this insight. It’s so interesting to hear your professional point of view as a teacher and also your experience as a mother. I’m really happy to hear you talk about “inspiring them from a young age” that they can find value in homework as I hadn’t actually thought of it from that perspective. That’s what we’re doing every day after all, isn’t it?
      I had heard about This Reading Mama in the past but kind of forgot about it. Thank you for mentioning it – I am going to be spending lots of time there from now on! Happy reading!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Catherine

Wife, mum, tea drinker, shoe lover, South African Brit living in the Bahamas with my husband and two small girls. I write about the gloriously ordinary everyday of motherhood - and occasionally about sunshine, shoes and perfect cups of tea.

Sunshine For Your Inbox

Enter your email address to join our newsletter

Recent Posts

Featured On


%d bloggers like this: