Some of my readers might be shocked that my two already have homework. I don't remember homework from kindergarten, personally.
Before I go on, I just wanted to explain exactly what the homework is. The first part is reading. Parents are supposed to read to their kids or with their kids three or four times per week.
This part of the homework is pretty easy, since we were already doing that.
The other part of the homework are simple worksheets and some suggestions. They have a list of "amazing" words they are learning, and at home need to use those in a sentence. The worksheets are along the lines of "find the letters in the picture" or match the shapes.
I am not a fan of the current "teach to the test" mindset. I think that it promotes kids who are good at memorizing and reguritating (ahem, like myself - I was a great test taker). Do kids every really learn what they need to know? Some of it sinks in. And schools should have ways to measure a child's progress and make sure that the kids are getting the education they deserve.
I also know that many people lament that kids are growing up too fast, aren't given enough time to play, etc. I certainly don't agree with over-scheduling kids. But reading with one's kids, discussing school and working simple worksheets are not unreasonable to my mind. This homework takes a grand total of 30 minutes some weekdays.
It allows parents to understand where their children are at (in understanding) and for the kids to see how much the parents' value learning. Is it busywork? Probably. Now if the homework weren't age appropriate, that would be one thing.
The school my children attend requires uniforms. Back in the day, I would have chafed at the idea of uniforms (I wasn't nominated as more original dressed in the yearbook for naught).
I have to admit, I really like the uniforms. Basically, the district has said that the kids have to wear a handful of plain colored collared shirts and khakis. There are three or four various colors for shirts, pants, shorts and skirts. So it is still very possible to be original within the guidelines. The brands of clothes aren't important either.
The school is full of kids from different socio-economic backgrounds. Whenever I see all the kids - you can't tell which kids are from families who struggle, and which families are better off. I'm sure if I looked closely, I could probably tell.
But the pressure is off the parents to buy the latest over-priced outfit from an expensive designer store. Or multiples of these types of outfits.
And it's not as if kids won't eventually need to get used to uniforms or a dress code. Almost everywhere I have worked has had a strict definition of what is acceptable and what isn't. Some argue that kids will not have the responsibility or ability to be unique, and I can understand this argument. But for now, it's made getting ready for school a lot easier for us.
I grew up in a neighborhood where many of the families were much wealthier than we were. Some of this will happen anyway - the subdividing and cultural shifts. The longer this subdivision of class can be held off, the better - to my mind.