Kindergarten: Full or Half Day
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Posted by Bart Freese (+928) 15 years ago
I am curious what parents have to say about this.
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Posted by MIcheal (+17) 15 years ago
Is this one of those,"Is the cup half full or half empty" kind of questions?
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Posted by Katherine D. Akiti (+16) 15 years ago
The Director of the elementary school that my kids attended said, and I happen to agree, "If it is at all possible, let them stay home." They offer the all-day option for working parents, but if the child has the option of staying home, let them enjoy the quickly fleeting time at home. The afternoon schedule was referred to as "enrichment" but was not intended to further the academics of the children opting for the all-day program. I think a good part of the additional time was spent on lunch and naps.
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Posted by MCGirl (+300) 15 years ago
Full-day gives more time to do art, music, and learning-through-play activities (so critical in the early years). Although, I think the idea is to increase time spent on math, reading, writing, etc. Either way, that's a really long time for most 5-year-olds to be in school.
I hope my daughter has the option, but I doubt it. By then, it will probably be a military-style regimine of 2 hours of math, 2 hours of reading, and 2 hours of standardized testing, 20 minutes for lunch, 10 minutes for "rest," and the rest of the time alternating between art, music, PE, recess, and all those other "nonessentials."
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Posted by Toni Lee Rentschler (+222) 15 years ago
I really liek the idea. My son will be there next year and I hope he rnjoys it. I will keep him there all day. If things are going well and he is learning I will keep on doing so. I can see if her wasn't learning more or it was just a bunch or boring things he hates. I will bring him home then. ONLY b.c it is optional. I liek the idea and I hope they try it for at least 5 years before a change. That way there is something to look at. All the data they have resived, and by them the frist class will be big enough to know if it was helpful to them.
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Posted by MattSmith (+49) 15 years ago
Depends on the kid...
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Posted by Joe Yates (+608) 15 years ago
depends on the parent(s)
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Posted by JLB (+212) 15 years ago
My child isn't old enough yet...but I can see good & bad, an all day would be great for the parents, but for the child??? It might be benificial due to the fact they will be starting 1st grade the following year (if all goes well) and it may break them in early as far as the full day schedual goes, or it may be too much all at once, some kids, actually most, still need naps on a daily basis at 5 to even 7 years old. If your child has experienced day care then the seperation will be easier on them but if not they may need to adjust by going half days with the knowledge that the following year will be longer. If the program is well structured it will definately help but if not it may not be that great of an idea. As far as the learning curve goes, that begins at the home with the basics then is utilized more in the school setting.

[This message has been edited by JLB (edited 10/19/2007).]
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4463) 15 years ago
Depends on if we feel like remaining academically competitive on an international level.
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+588) 15 years ago
Yes, I agree we should fund education further. But perhaps a greater difference would be made by making college more affordable and therefore more accessible.
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Posted by eeyoor (+51) 15 years ago
I think all day every other day would be a good start for them to get ready for first grade but not everyday all day. just my two cents
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 15 years ago
My wife's very unhappy with the idea. We have one scheduled to start K next year. I think they're supposed to have the option of either full-day or part-day, but I'd be interested to see how that would be structured.

Would the full-timers and part-timers be mixed in the same class? If so, how would they structure it so the part-time kids wouldn't miss any important stuff?

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 10/21/2007).]
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Posted by Tanneil Kuchynka (+37) 15 years ago
When we lived in Billings I was a substitute teacher. I have experienced full day kindergarten first hand. The extra "school time" is spent on playtime, snacks, and scheduled naps (which many kids still need at this age).

JLB said "If your child has experienced day care then the separation will be easier on them but if not they may need to adjust by going half days with the knowledge that the following year will be longer." I completely agree, the transition is much easier for parents and children starting with half days. Especially if they have the opportunity to be at home.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1672) 15 years ago
I would hazard a guess that very few parents will exercise their option and keep their kids in the half-day program. Like it or not, most parents anymore are extremely competitive and will feel like they cannot enroll the kids in half-day, as they may be missing something that will give other kids an edge.

Preschool is an example of this. Very few kids used to go to preschool. Now, it's impossible to get in to some schools. That's why you hear horror stories in bigger places of parents trying to get their kids enrolled, practically from birth, to the best preschools.

To those parents who are not worried about the competitive advantage, I still feel like most will not opt for the half-day route. If they are full-time working parents, it will be free daycare.

I believe it was Circle, or perhaps Roundup, that did full-day Kindergarten, but only two or three days a week. The other days, they did not go at all. I'm not sure that this is still the case though.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1672) 15 years ago
"Depends on if we feel like remaining academically competitive on an international level."

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Do you really think that the extra three hours of naptime, snacktime and playtime for one year will keep us academically competitive on an international level?

Let's compare the U.S. to Japan for a second. Perhaps some of the difference in performance, especially in the 8th grade and above, should be attributed to the fact that they attend school 11 months out of the year. I would think that the extra two months per year is going to far outweigh the snacks and naps at the age of 5/6.
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Posted by Nancy (+290) 15 years ago
Full day vs half day has been a controversy for years. I teach early childhood special education for the public schools so have researched the pros and cons to answer parents ???'s. This is how it is supposed to work: The academic portion to attain grade level skills is taught in the 1/2 day. The other portion is for socialization, fine arts, downtime, and extracurricular fun. This is the best option for children that are in daycare anyway. If a child is at home and has activities to engage in and playmates, 1/2 is fine. Full day is expensive for districts, and many require parents to pay the other 1/2. Many kindergarten teachers say it is hard to teach all the necessary skills in 1/2 day. Outerwear, transitions, bathroom ect. all take a lot of time, and the 1/2 day is usually only 2.5 hour. To achieve the necessary skills, children in half day must spend the time doing 'work', whereas if you have a full day you can have more time for the work and include enjoyment.
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Posted by Mary De' (+61) 15 years ago
I think it is a great idea. My son who is now a sophomore attend full day kindergarten and he learned alot. Back then it was every other day. 3 days one week and 2 the next week. They had time for music and arts not just your ABC's. They had a relaxation time which if they fell asleep it was okay. By the end of the school year the kids were no longer taking the naps regularly and where prepared for school the next year. So maybe they need to transition into everyday kindergarten. I have a child who will be attending kindergarten in a few years and hopefully it is running smooth by then.
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Posted by MCGirl (+300) 15 years ago
I do like the full-day, 3 days/week idea, but I don't know if that technically counts. Is that what Kircher offers currently? That's where we'll go, but that's, oh, 5 years away.
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Posted by Kim (+36) 15 years ago
I'm a big fan of freelance preschool and kindergarten; kids lying in the grass, day-dreaming about clouds and sky, then rolling over and finding a bug to bug, then making a variety of mud pies to "sell" to Mom for 2 rocks apiece. A folded peanut butter sandwich and a nap later, they might want to play some kick ball, ride bike or draw a picture...(sound of needle scratching across record)...okay, back to reality. I'm not a big fan of pre-school OR kindergarten, but I understand it's probably needed in this day and age for various reasons. I am against an all-day program. It seems like we're bound to structured settings most of our lives. What about just playing and doing your own thing, especially at that beautiful young age?
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Posted by Chad (+1765) 15 years ago
That beautiful young age is great, BUT.... far more families have TWO working parents that are not home to care for their kids. Few people live in extended families, with a Grandparent, or other relative, home to help raising the kids. Many families and single parents rely on daycare to take care of their kids and hopefully to teach them some manners, some ethics, some 3 R's, etcetera. Many daycares are a just a place for kids to run amok and sit in front of the TV. Not exactly a good way to learn as more studies prove all the time.

We were fortunate that our kids experienced daycare providers that put time and effort into fun, education, morals and ethics, and quality meals and hygiene. I see some other kids missing out on that- both at home and in daycares. It's unfortunate.

I think the availability of all day kindergarten takes the stress off of parents that are already pressed for time, money, help with bringing their kids up to be "good". In a Gomer Pyle or Beaver Cleaver world we would all have two parent families; one parent would bring home the bacon; Dad would play catch with Jr. after working a 9-5 job; Mom would always have dinner ready at 6:00 PM where the family would eat together; the kids would be "A" students; and there would be a nice house with a dog in the back yard for all; and they would all have a new car in the driveway.

I for one am glad to see all day kindergarten as a means to help families.
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Posted by Roxanna Brush (+115) 15 years ago
Half days are enough for the child, the teacher and the parent. I think that most tax payers may agree that longer lunches and naptime should not be public funding. Currently kindergarden are not in the lunch room and this may create problems. More staff will be needed during this time.
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Posted by Shannon Lamon (+29) 15 years ago
I feel a lot of parents don't give there kids enough credit for what they can do. I think if most parents would give the full day program a go they would see that within two weeks the kids fall right into a schedule and do great. My oldest son (now 7) had full day kindergarten and he did great. They had a 30 minute rest period on their mats and a snack time. Come 1st grade the kids have none of this and I feel it's an easier transition if they have participated in all day kindergarten the year before. My son began learning to read in kindergarten so I know that the day is not filled with all this "wasted time" that people have mentioned in other posts. Kindergarten has definitely changed since I was a child so don't knock it until you try it! The parents tend to be more afraid of this issue than what the child is.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1672) 15 years ago
While we are spending the school district's money, I would like to see the truancy rules enforced. Any advantage that would be gained by going to Kindergarten full-time will certainly be lost when a child misses 20 days or more of school per year. There are quite a few elementary students who miss this amount of school, and the teachers state how difficult it is to keep the kids up to speed with the rest of the class. I would be interested in hearing the problems teachers and administrators face with elementary truancy and enforcement.
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