It’s really a sad day when I can’t figure out my 5 year olds homework

I’m a pretty intelligent guy.  At least I thought so, until I tried helping my 5 year old son, Emmett, with his homework.

Here is a picture of the assignment.


The top section was pretty easy. All you have to do is color less than five markers.  However, the second part was confusing because they wanted you to color more than ten markers, but they only give you 10 spaces…..

When you look at the other page, I believe they intended that you would just make your own spaces (See below).


You can see that they just are their own space and adding additional markers.. Having said that, Emmett isn’t going to like coloring outside of the spaces he was given. 

Thankfully, Emmett did okay, as you can see below.  I’m just not sure if we did this right.


Perhaps I’m over-thinking things but it would make sense for their to be more than ten boxes if they wanted you to color in more than ten.  I mean, these are 5 year old kids.

This site is managed almost exclusively from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Please forgive any typos as auto-correct HATES me. 😉

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Dee Brake

he did it right, but really, that is no way to teach a child to count. sheesh. the education system is cracked lately. we had one last week about patterns. the first had a obvious pattern, and it was 2 yellow 1 purple 2 yellow 1 purple. the kids have to fill in the blanks it said
is this a pattern, yes or no
“if this is a pattern, the pattern is ____ followed by _____”
they had to write 2 yellow circles, 1 purple circle
one cant even SPELL yellow or purple. so i had to help
the next one was NOT even a pattern, there was a yellow red yellow yellow red yellow purple
then there was
is this a pattern, yes or no
“if this is a pattern, the pattern is ____ followed by _____”
i was confused. another parent brought that paper to meet the teachers night and asked about it. the teacher had to read it over a couple times before she knew the answer. it wasnt a pattern. my poor kids were struggling with the twins, one ASD and one TYP
nothing is easy in school anymore

Shuky Meyer

Have you thought of using multiple dots in each box? Like multiplication? 2 dots in each box equals 20 > 10.

Yajamalu Charity

Yea is confusing.

Kris Rollins

The directions are in small print at the bottom of the page. The box is to show 10, so you will have to draw some out of the box. But yeah, I hate getting homework sent home that I have to spend forever trying to figure out instructions.

Christin Villarreal Fierro

#1 is finished, number two I would just add another row of boxes and have them color more than ten… the teachers should be understanding if that’s not right. Only ten boxes to show more than ten?? That’s weird. GL!

Rosie Calabro

I struggle at times with my “normal” childs homework

Kari Glaser Margo

Rob, it’s not just you. I am certainly glad I wasn’t the only one confused on their homework when I first seen them. Ayla was trying to explain it to me! Good thing she was paying attention to the teacher!

Margaret Ritzer

I help in a kindergarten class at my son’s school and get this all of the time. They should have had 2 sets for the bottom question

Michelle Moody

Def not just you, I’ve had similar things come home from school and we give up nowadays and just do what makes sense x

Angela McDonough

we got 1 once for Cody in like second grade that people with collage degrees couldnt figure out lol

Lost and Tired

So it’s not just me?

Michelle Moody

Draw counters (I’m assuming in the boxes) to show more than 10 and then only gives 10 boxes so not surprised it’s confusing x

Lori Morton

Instructions would be nice. I find some of the ‘modified’ work has the fewest or least concise instructions! Sad thing is, I work as an educational assistant with kids with autism and I still have trouble with this. Let me know when you figure it out.

Lost and Tired

Full Spectrum Mama MBee that’s an interesting point.  My thought was that this was just a bit confusing for a 5 year old.  I see what you’re saying though. 🙂

Full Spectrum Mama

Ow. My brain hurts.


I wanted to add that even though he may not be ‘there’ yet.  The class may not be thinking about carrying numbers or thinking about the ten’s or hundred’s columns – but many of the exercises are designed to slip some familiarity in without actively teaching the material. 
It took until 4th grade to have these things explained to me.


It illustrates counting in 10’s.  If you have ten in the boxes, and three outside, it is easier to visulize the 1 & 3 to make 13.  You ‘see’ how the 10’s column is made up of ten – 1’s.  KWIM?
And, by encouraging him to line up his additional items, not only are you allowing him to ‘stay w/in the boxes’ without lines, but you are teaching ‘counting by fives’ and eventually, that 20 is two groups of 10 (which are each 10 groups of ones)
You may see something similar when they carry numbers in math.  If the ‘carried one’ is placed at the bottom, near the sum line, rather than at the top like I was taught, it is allow them to easily ‘see’ the whole total of the ones column.