Pre Kinder Homework Folders

Homework for Preschool, Pre-K, or Kindergarten

Homework in Preschool and Kindergarten

Homework from vanessa on Vimeo.

Preschool Homework

To do or not to do, that is the question! The topic of homework for young children is one that is fiercely debated in the field of early childhood education. Many parents and administrators are all for it, many teachers are against it.

Some schools mandate homework for Pre-K because they think it’s going to close the achievement gap, others do it because they think parents “expect it” and still others assign homework because it’s what they’ve always done. There’s a little something here for everyone, no matter what your situation.

Different types of homework has been shown to benefit different populations. The type of program you work in may also dictate the type of homework you send home, if any.

Parents and Homework

My goal for homework in my own classroom is to support and encourage parents as partners in their child’s education. It is my responsibility as the teacher to teach the required skills, but it is the parent’s job to help support me in my efforts. In other words, “It takes a village…” Some parents need more help and encouragement than others, it is also my job to offer that help and encouragement to those who need it.

Reading Aloud to Children as Homework


I believe every parent and teacher should be required to read The Read-Aloud Handbook: 7th Edition by Jim Trelease. Jim explains, very clearly and with plenty of anecdotes, humor and wisdom, the importance of reading aloud to children.

If you’re interested in reading more on this topic I encourage you to check out the online book study I hosted for The Read-Aloud Handbook.

Meaningful Homework Activities for Parents to Do With Children

The book Just Right Homework Activities for Pre-K offers many meaningful activities that parents can do at home with their children. It includes detailed instructions for parents for each activity as well as blackline masters.

Structured Homework

When working with Title 1 and programs that serve at-risk populations it may be necessary to provide parent training through educational sessions. All parents want to help their children, but not all parents know how to do so.

I created the video at the top of this page to show to parents at our “Homework Help” educational session.

Printable Personalized Practice Cards


A useful tool that can help you not only assess students, but communicate progress to parents is ESGI. ESGI auto-generates personalized parent letters, in both English and Spanish, that you can use to easily show parents their child’s progress and provide them with personalized practice cards to help their child at home.

With just one click of a button in ESGI, you can quickly generate parent letters for each child in your class along with corresponding flash cards, specifically aligned to each child’s individual needs.

Click HERE to try ESGI free for 60 days and use promo code PREKPAGES to save $40 off your first year!

In the beginning, some components of a structured homework program might include:

  • First Name Identification & Writing Practice
  • Numbers and Counting
  • Color Recognition- for those that need it
  • Shape Recognition-for those that need it
  • Letter Recognition
  • Books for parents to read aloud to their child (See my take-home book program)

As young children mature and their needs change some changes to the homework may be necessary, such as:

  • Last Name Identification & Writing Practice
  • Sight Words (for those who are ready)
  • Number identification, 20 and up
  • Rhyming and other phonemic awareness skills
  • Letter sounds

Of course, differentiation for students performing above or below grade level expectations should always be taken into consideration when assigning homework.

How Do I Get Started Setting Up a Homework Program?

Step 1: Prepare your materials. Prepare the following materials to give to each child.

  • Name Card and Letter Tiles: Prepare a name card for every student using ABC Print Arrow font (see resources section) then print on cardstock and laminate. You could also use a sentence strip and a permanent to create name cards. You can use letter tiles from Wal-Mart or Staples or you can cut a matching sentence strip apart between the letters to make the name puzzle.

  • Number Flash Cards: You can use a simple font to type the numbers into a document in Word, print, laminate, cut, hole punch, and put on rings. The rings are highly recommended so the cards don’t become lost. You can also find free, printable number flash cards on-line.

  • Letter Flash Cards: The letter flash cards at left were made in Word using the ABC Print font, just print, laminate, cut, hole punch, and put on rings. Don’t forget to make one set of upper and one set of lowercase. The rings are highly recommended so the cards don’t become lost.

  • Color Flash Cards: The color flash cards pictured above were made by placing color stickers on paper. You can also find free, printable color flash cards on-line. The rings are highly recommended so the cards don’t become lost.
  • Shape Flash Cards: You can also find free, printable shape flash cards on-line. Just print, laminate, cut, hole punch, and put on rings.

Step 2: Next, you will need to create a system to communicate what activities you expect your students to do each night. One of the most effective ways to do this is by creating a monthly “Homework Calendar.”

You can download free calendars online that you can customize to meet your needs. In each space on the calendar indicate which activities you want parents to focus on each night, this helps parents from becoming overwhelmed. At the bottom of each space on the calendar there is a place for parents to sign indicating they have helped their child complete the assigned tasks. You can mark each space with a stamp or sticker to indicate your acknowledgement of homework completion. The homework calendars are kept in our BEAR books and carried back and forth by the child each day in his or her backpack.

If this method is too much for you then you may prefer the simpler Reading Log method.

Step 3: To implement a successful Pre-K Homework Program in your classroom you must meet with all the parents to explain your program. Do not expect your program to be successful without this critical component. Have an informational meeting or “Parent Night” and send home flyers to invite the parents. Make sure to include this event in your weekly newsletter as well.

When having parent education sessions such as this it is best to have some sort of prior arrangements made for the students and siblings to be outside of the classroom in an alternate location so the parents can focus on the information that is being presented.

  • After parents have arrived and you have welcomed them and thanked them for attending, show them the homework video (see top of page).
  • Next, use your document camera to show them the actual materials they will be receiving. Model how to use the materials and how to do each activity they were shown in the video.
  • Show them a sample homework calendar and what to do with it.
  • Explain your system for sending materials home in detail, for example will materials be sent home in a bag or a folder?
  • Make sure parents thoroughly understand the purpose and expectations for your homework program as well as your system.
  • Allow parents to ask questions and thank them again for attending.

You could also create a video like the one at the top of this page to show to parents.

Additional Information:

  • Homework should last no more than 5-10 minutes total each night including the book that parents read to their child.
  • Worksheets should never be sent home as homework. This sends the message to parents that worksheets are an acceptable form of “work” and it is a good teaching practice when the exact opposite is true.
  • Homework at this age should be fun and children should enjoy doing it. Advise parents that if their child does not seem to enjoy homework time they should make an appointment to see you so you can help them determine what is wrong and how to make it fun.
  • Emphasize that reading to their children every day is the single most important thing they can do as parents. It is also highly recommended that you show the parents one of the following short video clips about the importance of reading to their children:

How to Help Your Child Read (English)
How to Read Out Loud to Your Preschooler (English)
Como ayudar a tu hijo leer (Spanish)

Homework Links

More Teaching Tips from Pre-K Pages

Guest Blogger- Kinder Alphabet {Homework Folders}

Hello friends! This is Lidia from Kinder Alphabet. I am excited to guest post for Miss Kindergarten today. I hope that you are able to use the resources that I will be sharing with you today.

Teachers do take home folders in many different ways. I usually have two different folders that the students take home. One is their daily folder which includes homework for the week, a behavior calendar, student's work to keep at home, printables of basic skills that students should review when they do not have homework, parent handbook and more. The other is a Thursday folder which includes any flyers from the district or the school.

As I was working on the contents of the take home folder, I thought that this is something that I want to share with you today. Even if you do things a little different, these printables might come in handy to you at one point or another. If you are able to use these and would like the rest of the contents for your own student folders, make sure to come visit my Kinder Alphabet blog. I will be posting additional resources for these folders as soon as I finish them:)

So this is what I have come up with so far:

1- Label for the cover of the folder. Any name label should work just fine. I like this one because you can add student name or picture in the top box and then write the teacher's name in the bottom box. When you laminate these labels, you can also make extra blank ones. This way, you will have them ready for new students. I use packaging tape to apply them to the front cover of the folder or binder.

2- Basic Skills Chart: You can probably trade-out this one with new skills as the year progresses, but this is the one that I like to use at the beginning of the school year. Students can review these basic skills on no homework days like weekends or holidays.

3- Alphabet Chart: I always include an alphabet chart that they can refer to. It can be used to practice reading or writing the letters. A fun game that I just thought of is "Cover and Guess." This can be done at school first so that they know how to use it at home. Students can use counters, beans or cereal to cover random letters on the chart. I would say that they can start out with about 5 letters to cover and add a little more as they become more familiar with the alphabet. Anyway, they can cover random letters. Then, they will have to recite the alphabet pointing to each letter as they do so. When they come to the covered square, they have to guess which letter comes next. Later, when they become better, they should not recite the alphabet. They should just look at the letters before and after the covered letter and guess which letter is missing/covered.
4- Hundreds Chart: This hundreds chart can be used in different ways also. One way is to simply point to each number as students count by ones from 1-100. They can also use it to count by 2's, 5's and 10's. Or even refer to it when learning to write their numbers from 1-100.
I will be working on other things to add to this student folder. They will include a list of sight words for the year, absent notes that the parents can use when writing an absent excuse for school, a parent handbook and anything else that I can think of. You will be able to find them on my blog as soon as I finish them so make sure to follow my blog if you are interested. I would love to see you there :)

In the mean time, feel free to download these homework folder printables by clicking on this picture. If the picture is too large to view in google docs, make sure to click on download so that you can get the complete files. Enjoy!

Lidia R. Barbosa from


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