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Full day K--when did this happen? - Page 2

post #21 of 45
I agree with all of you; full days seem like so long for many five year olds.

Here's the reason districts are moving to full day programs: No Child Left Behind. Every state now must have standards that each child must meet before moving on. (Unfortunately, no child left behind is a terrible misnomer.) Kindergarten programs, regardless of full or half day, must meet the standards.

So in areas where they still offer half day programs (here there are some schools with full and some with half), the students must meet the same standards and complete the same curriculum as the students in the full day program. So kids in half day programs actually have less downtime at school than kids in the full day program, because teachers are forced to stuff the entire curriculum into a few hours, when it's often designed to last a full day.
post #22 of 45
My daughter has been going to a Montessori preschool for a while now. It is half day. She is not yet 5 years old. When I come to pick her up at noon, and often when I drop her off in the morning, she pleads with me to "stay late." She is starting the kinder program (well, 3-6 year old program) at a new school in September and we decided to go with the full day option because she seems to enjoy it so much. The teacher told us though that sometimes if kids are really having a hard time transitioning they start with half days and then try to work their way up. This seems reasonable to me. I think it is really not best for every child to go full days. There ought to be an option for kids that just really aren't ready, especially those who begin kinder before they are even 5.
post #23 of 45
I never knew that schools were doing 1/2 days until I moved to the midwest. I use to live in the southeast and 30yrs ago it was, and still is, full day for K. I think our current district does 1/2day to save $.
post #24 of 45
I live in the midwest and our district is still 1/2 day kindergarten, except for one school that offers a full day kindergarten if you choose. (But I think the afternoon is more like glorified latchkey.)
post #25 of 45
Our K is half-day. I don't think I would have sent ds if it was full-day. I'm having enough trouble with the idea of full day 1st as it is...
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsElle07
So kids in half day programs actually have less downtime at school than kids in the full day program, because teachers are forced to stuff the entire curriculum into a few hours, when it's often designed to last a full day.
This is interesting; I never thought of it that way. But our half day K has so much recess, art, music, free play, etc... I can't imagine a full day K having much more downtime than our kids do...
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmel23
I like the full day for my kids. First of all, I know they can do it--I think they figure that most kids can since they've been in a full day preschool for at least a year, some since they were two years old.
This is interesting--do most kids in your area go to full day every day preschool? I'm interested in where you guys live in the Bay Area (if you don't mind sharing that). I've never heard of kids going full day preschool here, unless the parents are working, and then it's really mostly daycare anyway...
post #28 of 45
Here in the 'burbs of Cincinnati kindergarten is half day. I wouldn't send DS if it were full day. He will be going to preschool 3 days a week for 2 1/2 hours at a time. I think going half days next year will be a nice way to get his feet wet.
post #29 of 45
My ds started fullday last year and I was VERY VERY unsure about it. Our school district is phasing it in and it was the first year at his school. I did a bunch of research/talked at length with folks in our school district and have realized some positives about fullday (though I still would have been fine/preferred 1/2 day to fullday just because I would have enjoyed the extra time with ds rather than because it was harmful)

In our district they keep pushing the age for starting kinder back so that ds actually would have started an entire year earlier back when I was in school (and thus have been in fullday first grade last year)

The teachers felt that the extra time gave them more chances to break the kids into groups, work at the individual level of each student, enjoy downtime, extra recess, specials (music, art, gym)

Fullday kinder helps to close the performance gap between low income and higher income kids well into elementary school. Though I think that ds would have been fine with 1/2 day because we are constantly reading, going to museums, etc. I do think that assisting kids who might not get that assistance at home is a good thing.

Finally --- ds loved fullday kinder. He might have loved 1/2 day too, but I spent a bunch of time in the classroom and was more than ready to pull him out and homeschool if I didn't think it was going well for him, but he (and the majority of his classmates seemed to have a really good year) In the end ds was more ready for fullday than I was, but I am sure that will be true as numerous milestones pass us by

Anyway, it is a shame that there aren't a broader variety of options available within individual districts. I have a friend who lives in Philly and is paying to send her ds to private fullday kinder because she doesn't think 1/2 day will cut it for him whereas I would have been thrilled with 1/2 day and even more thrilled with a program that offers 3 fulldays and four days off a week like some of you have

BJ
Barney & Ben
post #30 of 45
Our public school system only has half day K, which personally, I think is insane. It is one of my two big issues with the school system, which otherwise is great. They do it for cost savings, pure and simple.

My kids were completely ready for full day K. The school tries to accomplish as much in the pitiful couple of hours that the kids are there as they would in a full day, which translates into routine homework in K.
post #31 of 45
We enjoyed our full-day Kindy experience. It was full-day, every other day.

The teacher did a great job of planning activities. Brainy, concentraty stuff was done in the morning. After lunch and recess, they had a quiet time to rest and nap. The kids who weren't napping could do art or play and explore. By Christmas break, almost all the kids weren't needing a nap anymore and the class could do more group activities.

Our public school is starting full day kindy this year and I know their afternoon won't be as relaxed. I guess I'm for full-day Kindergarten, but not full-day instruction.
post #32 of 45
Our local school district has half day Kinder. The school my dd goes to is our
church's school. They offer full day and half day Kinder. They do the same for
preschool. They have 3 yo preschool 2 days a week, half day. Then 4yo preschool
is 3 days or 5 days, your choice, half days.

I like having the choice. It makes it so that parents can do what is best for
their child.
My dd is addicted to school. Most of June was spent with her asking how
long summer would last. The last two weeks she has been marking the
calendar until school starts. She was in the 5 day program last year. This
year she will be in full day Kinder.

I think it really depends on the child. My niece was put into full day K last
year and everyday would fall asleep on the bus coming home. It was too much
for her. My dd and her are they same age (my dd is actually 2 months older) and
I held her back a year. So she is entering full day Kinder at age 6, this might
make a huge difference for many kids.
post #33 of 45
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses! It seems like full day is more common now from what you all are saying.

I really, really wonder if that has more to do with both parents working, than it does for what is better for the children. Not that that is a bad thing, but I wish there were options for those children who still have moms at home. I know the kinders here (and some of yours, from the posts here) have rest or nap time in the afternoons. I just figure, my kid can come home at noon and nap here if he wants to, or not nap and spend time with our family.

I just don't understand it. Children in the US are NOT ahead academically from where they were 30 or 50 years ago, but they are made to go to school longer and earlier in life.: For what?
post #34 of 45
Full day K is optional here. Not every elementary school in the district offers it, but we can choose any school in the state depending upon what space is available. It costs about $100/month, I think, which is considerably less than the cost of afternoon daycare.

I'm observing that K today is what 1st grade used to be. Half day programs are high on the cram stuff in because they feel so much pressure to keep up with the full day. It's telling that all the teachers and administrator I talk too are very happy to hear of kids starting late, especially boys. (By late I mean holding back a year for early fall, summer, and even spring birthdays.)
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by slightly crunchy

I just don't understand it. Children in the US are NOT ahead academically from where they were 30 or 50 years ago, but they are made to go to school longer and earlier in life.: For what?
And they are expected to cope with sit down academics and homework earlier and earlier and I don't think we're seeing that they're ahead as it's assumed that they will be.
post #36 of 45
I will go back and read the rest in a minute but my oldest daughter who went to K in 1998 went to full day K. They had a lot of behavior problems in that class and my daughter was often sent to the principals office. I think she has like three referrals before the end of K. She also had 1 and was often keep in at recess if "I" forgot to send her homework back on Friday. It was her responsibility to bring it back not mine so she should have made sure it was in her backpack. : I switched schools and she has NEVER EVER had another behavior problem since.

My 2nd daughter went to K in 2003/2004. It was half day.

The school where we live now does something odd. They go full day Mon, Wed, (another group Tues, Thurs.) then everyone goes a half day on Friday.

Seems to me like the traditional half day AM/PM classes would work better.
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpmomtoboys
This is interesting--do most kids in your area go to full day every day preschool? I'm interested in where you guys live in the Bay Area (if you don't mind sharing that). I've never heard of kids going full day preschool here, unless the parents are working, and then it's really mostly daycare anyway...
Yea I was thinking that when I read this the first time as well. We are orginally from the North Bay and I have never heard of a full day preschool either.

Anything after X amount of time was just free play outside and as you said, day care.
post #38 of 45
My town has no public kindergarten whatsoever! I wish they did b/c it would save us money and I think kindergarten is very important for kids to get ready to start 1st grade! Since there isn't a public one here, we paid for our twins to go to a half-day school. A half-day was definitely enough for them though I'm sure they could've handled more. They loved it!
post #39 of 45
Slightly Crunchy - I have heard the question about working parents raised a bunch of times, but at least where I live I don't think the school system is very responsive to working parents. It is VERY difficult to get before or aftercare for children (which you are likely to need even with fullday kinder since most people need to spend 8 hours at work plus a commute...)

I think the people that advocated for it in my state really believe it is better for the kids. I don't know whether or not they are correct, but I do get the impression that they felt they were creating a more level playing field for all kids rather than helping working parents.

Your question about kids not ending up better educated is an interesting one to me...I am always hearing kinder is what first used to be, first second, etc. etc. and I can't help wonder if they spend some year in middle school staring blankly out a window since in the aggregate SAT scores are pretty stable???
post #40 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys
I think the people that advocated for it in my state really believe it is better for the kids. I don't know whether or not they are correct, but I do get the impression that they felt they were creating a more level playing field for all kids rather than helping working parents.

Your question about kids not ending up better educated is an interesting one to me...I am always hearing kinder is what first used to be, first second, etc. etc. and I can't help wonder if they spend some year in middle school staring blankly out a window since in the aggregate SAT scores are pretty stable???
It could be that it has nothing to do with working parents. I was only speculating. I really don't know what happened in my area; I guess it has been this way for a long time.

It is so funny that you say that about middle school. Just last week I toured a private elem. school that is a feeder school into the private (and some public) high schools in my town. The principal went on and on about the curriculum and how kindergarten is what first used to be, and how their students in 4th and 5 th grade were doing 6th grade level work. She then said that students and parents come back and say how well prepared the children were for middle school, and that sixth grade is basically a review for them. She seemed to think this was a great thing. :
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