Our 4 year old daughter's preschool gives out little homework books to help the kids start to learn letters and numbers on their own time. They work in these books weekly at school, but participation is largely optional. Our daughter is very active and has some trouble focusing, so she rarely participates in this activity at school. She will be starting pre-K next month, so we would like to start building good learning habits by using the homework books we get from school as practice.
Unfortunately, she is not a willing participant and puts up a big fight whenever we try to get her to do any work. She mostly just stares blankly or flops around in her chair. When she does write, she mostly scribbles or plays dumb about what she is supposed to be doing. I would say she just isn't ready for what we are asking, but on her own, she is actually quite good at identifying and drawing letters and numbers.
I can't really blame her for not wanting to work, because practicing letters and numbers is boring compared to playing, but we are not asking for more than 10 minutes per day. We have tried to briber her with rewards if she completes her work, and have tried giving time outs when she refuses to cooperate. We want to create good work habits early, not poison her against school before she even starts. What are some ways we can motivate our daughter to do her work? Should we avoid negative consequences at this point and only focus on positive reinforcement?