Now that Patriot is in full-time school and I've started working outside the home, we've seen a major change in our daily schedule. Of his waking hours, he spends 7 at school, 2 in after-school care, and 3 constructive hours with us as a family (I'm not counting things like brushing teeth and riding the school bus). Part of that constructive time is making and eating breakfast and dinner, and about 45 minutes a day is homework. Yes, homework. In Kindergarten.

I am a big believer in education. I truly believe that learning to learn is a huge factor in future success. Our public school systems may not be perfect, but I think succeeding in public school helps kids learn how to succeed in the world after school. But daily homework in Kindergarten seems like a little much.

We had our first teacher conference last week and his teacher said he's doing great. She's giving him extra work in class because he's advancing so quickly in reading and writing. She said he's one of the top kids in his class. Then she handed us a full-page list of EXTRA activities, customized to Patriot's skill level, that we can complete with him at home. In addition to our regular homework.


In an average week, Patriot spends about 1 hour at church. We try to spend about 15 minutes every morning doing "God Time," a brief devotional that our church sends home each week. We pray together for about 15 seconds before dinner every night. We read a Bible story before bed about 4 times a week. And we say a prayer when we tuck them in at night.

I'm not going to do the math because it would probably make me cry. But his number of minutes spent on school far outweigh the number of minutes we spend on faith-building. And now we're being asked to do more school activities? I am not OK with this.

So we've made a change this week. I talked with his day care about doing homework with him before we pick him up. That gives us back those 45 minutes a day. And I've made the conscious decision to not do the extra activities with him. Instead of talking about the difference between a period and an exclamation point, I'm going to talk about Godly virtues like respect or courage (or whatever they're teaching at church that month). Instead of taking time to build his math skills, I'm going to teach him to build his relationships within the family and with friends.

I am not going to spend my time doing activities with him that anyone else could do. I am going to use my time with him to teach him the things that only I can teach.
4 Responses
  1. Very inspiring post. Thanks for that.

  2. Cheryl Says:

    I would just like to say, as a teacher in the public education system, that our job would be a lot easier if more parents took this view. If more parents spent time faith building and teaching character and morals to their children, the public education system would be greatly enhanced. As a matter of fact, more parents need to take responsibility for loving their kids and building into their lives instead of making excuses for them and building into them a sense of entitlement education would be more effective and we could work together to produce better people for our future. Kudos to you! I also believe that kids should be able to play when they get home from school. I am not a fan of lots of homework. Forgive me for ranting.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I loved this post~ Rest assured that you are teaching Godly values implicitly through every interaction you have with your child, as well as what your child observes from watching you live your life. However, your dedication to add explicit instruction is fabulous, and encourages me (and, I'm sure, lots of other parents, too!)
    Well done!

  4. Joni Says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this, sis! It's awesome being the younger sister to such a godly woman who goes before me, because I get to watch you figure it all out and learn from your experiences! I'm going to print this and post this on my wall in 3 years when Elias starts school. Love you!