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half day kindergarten..letter home today..what can i do? - Page 2

post #21 of 39

Interesting thread. They are in the processing of switching everyone to full days here which I am just not good with. I've been trying to decide whether we will force the 1/2 day issue (because it's supposed to be optional to go full days), put ds in full days or just keep him home altogether so I find it interesting to see how it is working for others.

 

I guess my approach would be more along the lines of why are you doing half days. If you simply want her to have the school experience & are not too concerned about what is covered during that time I would ask that she stay with the majority of the students for the time she is there & then cover any areas she might "miss" at home. If you really want the teacher to be ensuring she is covering all of the academic things they are covering in the full day program what your teacher is doing seems fair.

post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

Interesting thread. They are in the processing of switching everyone to full days here which I am just not good with. I've been trying to decide whether we will force the 1/2 day issue (because it's supposed to be optional to go full days), put ds in full days or just keep him home altogether so I find it interesting to see how it is working for others.


I can understand your concerns. I felt the same way when our district moved to full-day just before my DS started. He was an older 4 and I worried. However, it was a much better experience than my DD had in half-day at the same school. He had 3 recesses and a lunch. He did more art, lots of messy science experiments, learned about their community, participated in school assemblies, put on a class musical performance, were able to have play stations sprinkled in amoungst the work stations, ect. The whole day was more relaxed, more playful and more fun for DS. He didn't have any trouble at all with it and he had just don't 3 mornings a week of preschool the year prior.

 

Half day can be better for some but only when it's a program MEANT to be half-day. Kids really don't like to be the kid who always leaves early. They know they are missing stuff. They know the kids are playing together after they leave. They come in the morning and see the art projects on the wall that they weren't there for. You get complicated situations like this one where the school rightfully feels responsible for the academic content but parents want some of the fun the other kids are getting.

 

The great thing is, you can always try full-days and see how it goes. A month in your child is struggling, try half-days. If that doesn't work, bring him home. As long as you stay positive with your child, it all works out.

 

 

 

post #23 of 39

btw mama - getting used to school - having issues the first month is very common till about second grade. the first month is a huge adjusting period. 

 

our city has only half days. full days while initially hard to get used to would have been much more funner for dd than half days. 

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

Half day can be better for some but only when it's a program MEANT to be half-day. Kids really don't like to be the kid who always leaves early. They know they are missing stuff. They know the kids are playing together after they leave. They come in the morning and see the art projects on the wall that they weren't there for. You get complicated situations like this one where the school rightfully feels responsible for the academic content but parents want some of the fun the other kids are getting.

 

The great thing is, you can always try full-days and see how it goes. A month in your child is struggling, try half-days. If that doesn't work, bring him home. As long as you stay positive with your child, it all works out.

 

yeahthat.gif
 

 

post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

our city has only half days. full days while initially hard to get used to would have been much more funner for dd than half days. 


one of the K teachers in our public school told me that all the K's have to cover the same material. So the half days kids WORK every minute they are they -- they are basically doing what we did in first but during a half day program. The full day kids get recess every day, have specials, play games, have a rest period etc. She said it is actually the more relaxed option. The half day kids get recess once or twice a week. They have almost no free play because there just isn't time for it.

 

She also said the teachers prefer teaching the full day program because it is far less work, with more breaks, than teaching 2 half day programs.

 

K programs vary widely from place to place and I'm only speaking about the programs where we live. I'm hoping that it will help parents asks better questions about their local options and find out what is true where they live.

 

post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

sounds like, what's unfortunate is that the half-day kids *know* they are being pulled from the fun stuff. it would have been nice for it to be less obvious.

that said, have you considered doing a week of "full days" with your daughter, just to be fully informed on what the experience would be like? it might be a better fit that you think.



I'm not sure how the fun stuff could be less obvious. It's all the kids talk about. At least that's how it is with my kid. If I didn't know any better and looked at their actual schedule, I'd think that all they do at school is recess, music and art.

 

post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by samanthasmom View Post

my dd came home today and said she was pulled from music with the rest of the half day kids and had to do math instead.  

i also found out the other k teacher who has a mix of half and whole day kids has no intension of pulling her students from specials and sends any work that the kids missed home to work on.

 


I find it interesting that you are more concerned about her getting the enrichment "specials" than about getting the basic instruction for reading and math. The kids in the other K class missed out on stuff too, but you don't seem to mind them missing the academics.

We've already covered in this thread that there is not enough time in the 1/2 day for her to got both reading/math AND specials. What is your purpose in sending her to school? To get enrichment like the specials or to get the academic instruction? If she is not getting any exposure at home to those "specials" areas, like music and computers, I can see why you're disappointed.

The thing is, this teacher is between a rock and a hard place, and I worry that no matter what she does, you're going to be disappointed because your daughter is not going to be doing all the stuff the full-day students do. You either need to make your expectations more realistic or change to the full-day that meets your expectations.
post #28 of 39

When you put your kid in a half-day program, you don't get to choose which "half" she attends and which "half" she misses. Specials are, well, specials, which means they are not part of the mandated curriculum. I would be pretty PO'd if I found out that a teacher was flaking on the mandated academics in favor of specials. If you want her to have the full-day experience, with specials, then you need to put her in a full-day program that allows for that. I would be thanking the teacher profusely for taking time out of her scheduled "down-time" (which is not down time at all, but for preparing lessons, correcting papers, parent conferences, which this teacher now needs to do after school, on her own time) to ensure that the half-day children are getting the mandated number of hours of instruction. 

post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

K programs vary widely from place to place and I'm only speaking about the programs where we live. I'm hoping that it will help parents asks better questions about their local options and find out what is true where they live.

Linda what you describe is what is true of the private full day Ks in our city except for a couple. one of the schools even factored in sensory play.

 

dd went from a GREAT play bases ps/dc to a mostly academic half day K program. i think her experience spoilt school forever for her. in 3 days time she came home complaining what kind of life is school life when art is only once a week, music once a week and science experiments once in a while. 

 

school is now only tolerable for her (however we dont have great options unfortunately in our city - she would have been better off with sudbury kind or hs which is not an option). 
 

 

post #30 of 39

we only have 1/2 day in our town. it is all academic. i knew this would be the case -- that's why i opted to simultaneously enroll her in the pre-K at her great, play-based preschool where she has thrived as a 3 yo and a 4 yo. she's the only kid i know doing this -- but i have no regrets. she gets morning kindergarten, and then comes home for lunch and an hour and a half break, then goes to the pre-K for afternoon enrichment. she gets free play with other kids, time to paint and do other crafts, story time, circle time, snack time, etc. kinder is 5x a week; pre-K is 3x. the other two days i round out with awesome, free library programs.

 

she's very happy and seems to be learning new stuff all the time.

 

also, she's hungry (for the first time in her life, she's asking for food and finishing what i serve her. very nice!) and tired (going to bed earlier than ever before and without complaint).

post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by samanthasmom View Post

i went directly to the principal because this is not the first time she excluded the half day kids.  their class does a reward system for good behavior.   they get to fill up a marble jar and when its full they get a marble party as a reward.  she has the kids vote on what their reward should be and then has the 'marble party' at the end of the day.  so these kids are expected to participate in a reward/good behavior program but will never ever get the reward.  i feel like i'm getting nowhere with her.  its not extra help in math that she's offering.  she's teaching the math curriculum to the half days in the am while the rest are in specials and then the full day kids get math later on in the day.


My dd's school has always had parties at the end of the day and I can understand why... usually they are hard to settle down after any party or birthday celebration.

 

post #32 of 39

I haven't read all of the replies, however I just wanted to note that my daughter is in a half day program mixed with full day kids and the full day's also get "specials" every day that the half day's do not.  However, the way our school has it set up is with all of the "specials" in the afternoon after the half day kids leave.  I can't understand how they would do it any other way...?  All of the students learn the required curriculum in the morning, and anything extra is just that, extra.  They do not have to move kids around or exclude them.  I doubt your school will change their ways immediately, however maybe you could make that suggestion to the principal...?  Also, ALL kids, half and full days, get "specials" every sixth school day in the morning, so the half day kids get a full morning of specials about once a week, so they aren't missing out on computers, readers theater, music and art either.  I really like their set up :)  Good luck!!!

post #33 of 39

Quote:

Originally Posted by minkin03 View Post

My dd's school has always had parties at the end of the day and I can understand why... usually they are hard to settle down after any party or birthday celebration.

 


True, but I don't think it's fair to use a reward as part of a reward system that the half-day children will never be able to participate in.

 

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kkrpata View Post

I haven't read all of the replies, however I just wanted to note that my daughter is in a half day program mixed with full day kids and the full day's also get "specials" every day that the half day's do not.  However, the way our school has it set up is with all of the "specials" in the afternoon after the half day kids leave.  I can't understand how they would do it any other way...?  All of the students learn the required curriculum in the morning, and anything extra is just that, extra.  They do not have to move kids around or exclude them.  I doubt your school will change their ways immediately, however maybe you could make that suggestion to the principal...?  Also, ALL kids, half and full days, get "specials" every sixth school day in the morning, so the half day kids get a full morning of specials about once a week, so they aren't missing out on computers, readers theater, music and art either.  I really like their set up :)  Good luck!!!


While that sounds like a good idea, many schools prefer to have as many upper grade specials in the afternoon as possible. That gives the older kids a bigger block of time for the more focused work that they do (and for longer periods of time.)

I've taught half- and full-day kindergarten. I would never want to teach a class where some kids are full day and others leave at lunch. I would never enroll my child in one, either, unless the school was EXCELLENT. For the reasons that have been discussed in this thread. My son just finished two years of kindergarten and the learning/play centers and specials were a highlight of his day., as well as the special classes. I also suspect that the ohter K teacher (at the OPs school) will get called on the carpet for sending work home that should be done at school. And it would probably make more sense to have ALL the half day kids in one class, instead of dividing them into two. I also suspect they will drop the half day option completely in the next year or two.
post #35 of 39
I agree with the pps who suggest giving full days a try. Part of your dd's adjustment issues could very well be being part of a small group that leaves early & misses things, rather than being part of the larger group. Both if my kids have done/are doing full day Pk & K, and, despite my initial concerns, they are thriving.
Currently, my ds leaves one period per week for speech therapy. He hates leaving his group, and, seems to feel he's missing out. He's having a hard time comprehending why this is a good thing.
It's so hard to know what the right decisions for our los are. good luck!
post #36 of 39

My son is also in half-day kindergarten, and he is the only student out of 90 that opted for half-day!  So he is also mixed in with full-day, out of necessity.  The day is structured so that all of the necessary curriculum (basically reading, writing, arithmetic) is in the first part of the day.  As a half-day student, he cannot attend any specials (music, art, PE, etc.) as those are scheduled in the second half of the day.  I completely understand that mainstream thought prioritizes the three R's above "specials", but have a hard time understanding WHY.  Of course we want our children to learn to read and add, but so much research clearly shows that we lag behind in education as a nation precisely because we start the fundamentals too early.  Yet, we know that the prime age for music learning, like language acquisition, is from three to five years old.  So I feel like music especially should be a higher priority in Kindergarten than math.  I understand how frustrating it can be!  And for us, full-day is a non-option right now because my child is still having a difficult time with the adjustment to Kindergarten, and we are two months into the school year already.  

 

It appears your child's teacher has the option to structure the day differently for your child, and there is no reason that your request can't be considered, at the very least.  You can always let her know up front that you understand if there is a scheduling conflict with the library or another school facility, but that otherwise you would appreciate it if she would consider changing her schedule so your child can attend specials.  If you are willing to teach anything missed at home, what is prohibiting her from fulfilling your request?  If you continue to meet resistance, it may be best to gently bring up the issue again via email or over the phone.  I would definitely speak to her in the event that she makes an agreement to do things one way, and then doesn't even let you know why she opted to do differently.  

 

BTW, it isn't as if you petitioned the school board and begged for a concession to be made so your child could attend half-day.  The school gives the option, and just because very few people take the option doesn't mean that your child should be excluded from class parties.  If the teacher is adamant about end of the day parties, would it be possible for you to bring your child back to the school on those days if you don't want her to miss them?  Or would she consider some other arrangement to make it possible to include the half-day students?  

.

post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhimsicalMama View Post

My son is also in half-day kindergarten, and he is the only student out of 90 that opted for half-day!  So he is also mixed in with full-day, out of necessity.  The day is structured so that all of the necessary curriculum (basically reading, writing, arithmetic) is in the first part of the day.  As a half-day student, he cannot attend any specials (music, art, PE, etc.) as those are scheduled in the second half of the day.  I completely understand that mainstream thought prioritizes the three R's above "specials", but have a hard time understanding WHY.  Of course we want our children to learn to read and add, but so much research clearly shows that we lag behind in education as a nation precisely because we start the fundamentals too early.  Yet, we know that the prime age for music learning, like language acquisition, is from three to five years old.  So I feel like music especially should be a higher priority in Kindergarten than math.  I understand how frustrating it can be!  And for us, full-day is a non-option right now because my child is still having a difficult time with the adjustment to Kindergarten, and we are two months into the school year already.  

 

It appears your child's teacher has the option to structure the day differently for your child, and there is no reason that your request can't be considered, at the very least.  You can always let her know up front that you understand if there is a scheduling conflict with the library or another school facility, but that otherwise you would appreciate it if she would consider changing her schedule so your child can attend specials.  If you are willing to teach anything missed at home, what is prohibiting her from fulfilling your request?  If you continue to meet resistance, it may be best to gently bring up the issue again via email or over the phone.  I would definitely speak to her in the event that she makes an agreement to do things one way, and then doesn't even let you know why she opted to do differently.  

 

BTW, it isn't as if you petitioned the school board and begged for a concession to be made so your child could attend half-day.  The school gives the option, and just because very few people take the option doesn't mean that your child should be excluded from class parties.  If the teacher is adamant about end of the day parties, would it be possible for you to bring your child back to the school on those days if you don't want her to miss them?  Or would she consider some other arrangement to make it possible to include the half-day students?  

.

Research does not "clearly show" that we lag behind in education because we start fundamentals too early. There are a lot of reasons why we are not #1 in education and that's probably not even one of them. Just look at the success of HeadStart.
 

 

post #38 of 39

The first half of the day is likely the time when most young kids have a greater chance of being focused, and have the energy and stamina to attend to the more "academic" parts of the day.

post #39 of 39

What are your reasons for declining full day?

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