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half day vs full day kindergarten


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eccentric July 9, 2009


Our school district recently switched from half day to full day KG for the next year. While most working parents were excited, many stay @ home parents protested, and the Principal had to tell S @ H parents that they were in minority!

Are there any reliable studies that show benefits of half vs full day or vice versa?
Which one would you prefer and why?

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healthy11 July 22, 2009


jpb123, I saw your earlier comments, which somehow disappeared and now have reappeared above mine. (You can edit postings for up to an hour after they've been made, so that's what I've done.)
I agree with much of what you've said, but I'm puzzled - is it mandatory that kids in NY attend Kindergarten? I thought the federal laws only state that children must start to attend school by age 7, but while most parents do enroll their kids in kindergarten, it's not required.

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schoolmom21 July 22, 2009


Half day or full day K depends on the child more than any study, friend, relative, etc. I personally chose half day for my children. My reasons were as follows: I didn't feel a 5 y.o. needed to be in school all day. I am an at-home mom and we do lots of educational and fun activities during the day. I also wanted my children to wish they could stay longer than to wish they could go home. The full day program is often just the same as the half day only longer amounts of time to do the same work. Plus lunches and recess which we did not have for the half day. A child who would need to attend daycare or who may have less at-home stimulation may benefit from all day K, but that was not my situation. Both my children have always been at the top of their class so I feel I made the best decision for them. Someone else may choose otherwise. I feel it should be an option, but I see half day K fading by the wayside as working parents see it as a viable (and cheaper) option to daycare.

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jcdewey July 22, 2009


There are pros and cons to half day vs full day Kindergarden classes. I am a FT student at a branch here in Las Cruces, NM and technically a single mother with very little people that I can trust around my son. Yes, full day Kindergarden would be great in the respect that I could get my studying done and be able to spend less time worrying and more time with him when I pick him up from school. Although, on the other hand, I agree with the fact that learning and interaction within the family unit is VERY important. So, fr the best interest of my son I would have to go with putting him in on a half day schedule and putting my needs aside. My son comes above all else

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Child_Of_Ra July 23, 2009


The district my daughter attends for 6th grade (which is not the one in which we live) gives us a choice.

I would choose full-day. Not because I work, and not because I am lazy. As a matter of fact, I used to be a full-time homeschool parent. Now I just augment my children's studies with homeschool learning.

However, the school is fantastic, and my son, who is still in preschool at the moment is a highly active child who needs *way* more than I can even begin to give him. His need for interaction with peers, and various ways of learning is so much more than I can provide.

If he doesn't get a lot of physical activity during the day, which I no longer can provide due to my having Multiple Sclerosis, he acts out negatively at home. The same can be said for being able to interact with friends too!

While I could teach him, I couldn't provide him the ability to run around wild and crazy on the playground with his friends.

I couldn't provide him the other wonderful activities that his schools are able to provide. He's in full-day preschool and it's made a huge difference already.

Some kids need it, some parents need it, and sometimes like in our case, we all need it.

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mrsvalentin98 July 29, 2009


WE have full days here and I think it is great for the kids, they have a whole day to play, learn, and they take a nap so they still get there growing/rest time. I am a SAHM. and I say to all the parents that will miss their lil ones as they go off to school you are allowed to go and volunteer, I do it all the time . My kids love it and the school does too.I know it is hard to watch them grow up, but it is good for them .

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Janette July 30, 2009


The biggest issue for me is that kindergarten is physically and emotionally exhausting-- even for kids who have been in day care since they were babies, even for kids who can already ready, even for kids who gave up naps years ago.

My older kids did great academically, but struggled with the physical demands of half-day kindergarten. They would be so cross and whiny! The first few weeks I was literally putting them to bed at 6:30.

My youngest did full-day K. They had a rest time, but he was pulled out of that for speech so he didn't often get his rest time. Almost every day he would fall asleep on the way home-- and I was putting him to bed at 6:30 just like I did with his older siblings.

So if you are looking at full-day K, I would advise finding out about their rest policy. If they don't allow a rest time or naps, they do not know much about 5-year-olds and I wouldn't want my child there.

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Child_Of_Ra July 30, 2009


For some kids it might be too demanding, but for others it might be exactly what they need. Like my son. Yes, he goes to bed early most days. But that's good. And generally, he's better behaved on the days he's been to school a full day and come home than he has when he's been home all day long with not enough activity to keep his busy mind and body occupied. And he does NOT nap. If he naps, he's up until 3 AM! No naps for my boy.

Some kids need a lot of demand during the day and some kids don't. Each person needs to keep that in mind when they're thinking about this topic.

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MagnetMom July 30, 2009


great points both Janette and Ra.

My daughter had half her class falling asleep after lunch during full-day K. It took a week or two before most could make it the whole day. For many kids, it's just too much--especially late birthday kids who are often a year to 18 months younger than the kids in the class with them.

And Ra, my son was like that. If he napped, he'd never go to sleep, so when he'd start getting a little tired at dinner time, I'd redirect until we'd eaten and he'd had time with his dad, and then he'd still not sleep until 9 or 10. But with a nap he'd outlast both of us!

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eccentric July 30, 2009


I don;t know any kindergarten that will allow rest time or nap time even for 5 year old kids?! I suppose only daycare centers will do that. My boyys stopped napping when they were three (maybe earlier!), but they slept by 8 O'clock. I do agree with physical tiredness of the kids at that age.

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mrsvalentin98 July 30, 2009


I live in Fl and our K still takes naps, we even have to buy nap mats for our children when they start school. It is for an hour long. After lunch they play for an hour then nap for an hour then get up play , story time then home.



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