half or full day kindy? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-21-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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I can only share with you my observations. I put my dd in whole day kindy because I had a rowdy toddler to deal with. She "rested" on the mat after lunch but did not sleep as some kids do. When 1st grade came she was all set.

Some of my friend's kids had done the half day thing and they were falling asleep in first grade.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by octobermom View Post
I sooo agree in theory but the 1/2 day programs around here are sooo darn busy and intense the kids just end up with massive burn out sooo fast.
Deanna
I hadn't thought of that. I'll look into if the expectations are the same for 1/2 and full day.

Lisa, mama to A (3/05) and R (11/07) and L (8/10)
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by eepster View Post
There are 3 things to take into account: the child's personality, the ways the schools are run, and family dynamic.

First your child:
  • Is he social or introverted?
  • Does he need a lot of stimulation or more quiet time?
  • Does he get worn out quickly or is he a ball of energy?
  • Is he a close to mom guy, or an adventurer?

Then the school set up:
  • What are the days like?
  • Do the half day kids go to the same class, but leave early or is it a separate class?
  • Do the full day kids get more of the fun "extras" like arts and recess, or do they just get more academics?

Finally there is family dynamic:
  • Is there stuff (museums parks) you would like to do when he gets out of school?
  • Are you good at doing play dates, or is school time his best opportunity to socialize?
  • Do you need the extra time to get more done, so that when he is home you can be more focused on him?
Thank you! Thats a great list to think about!

Lisa, mama to A (3/05) and R (11/07) and L (8/10)
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KatWrangler View Post
I don't think you can do that once the school year starts. It's not like a preschool.
Wouldn't even be an option in a lot of the preschools around here. By May or June most of the better ones are full and start putting people on waiting lists. When we finally found a school for DS last year, all that was still available at it was 3 half days in the afternoon, and we couldn't choose Wednesday as one of those half days, fortunately 3 half days in the afternoon suited us just fine.

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Old 01-21-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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Our school only has full days - on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Our youngest will be starting junior kindergarten this year, which I am admittedly a little worried about, but I'm sure she'll be fine.

Off-topic but at 5 years old maybe it is time to look into help for the potty issues. I am surprised there are still issues at that age.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
Full-day is all that is offered here (9-4), so that's what we did last year. DS did really well with it - even after being home with me for the previous 8 mos. He gave up napping at age 2, and loves to be around other kids and learn - so I think that is part of why it worked out for us.

I really think it depends on the kid. I wonder if you could do full day and see how it goes and then switch to half-day if it was too much?
i would think it's easier to add time than to take it back...
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:07 AM
 
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If kindergarten is standard half day, you'll have to pay for a full time slot or try to get in, if it's a public school. In some areas, it's a lottery to get into full day because the demand is so high.

So honestly, I would call up the school secretary and ask how full their kindy full day classes are and how much it costs (if anything) so that it's not a shock.

But I would not plan on being able to bounce into full day after half day. You could probably bounce from full day to half day. But that will depend on space as well.
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by spottiew View Post
i would think it's easier to add time than to take it back...

I don't think so... b/c of what Tigerchild said above. Full-time kindergarten slots tend to be harder to come by, so I guess if it was me, I would grab one and then switch to half-day if it wasn't working out. I'm sure there would be a half-day K kid who would love to go full-day and take my kid's spot once it became available, yk?

Anyhow, for us, I posted the other day that full-day was the only option here but I do know that while half-day isn't technically offered, I could have picked my DS up around noon if it was really an issue. The thing is, not only did he do fine with the long day (they offered a nap/rest time, but he never actually slept) but if I only let him attend for mornings, he would have missed out on lunch, recess, library, art, PE, computer lab, and sciences experiments (and anything else that was generally done in the afternoons).

He loved all that stuff, more so than the morning portion b/c he was very advanced compared to most of his peers. If he hadn't had two great teachers who found ways to keep him challenged, I would have kept him home except that he really did enjoy all the "extras". I don't know about anyone else, but I think the PE, art, music, etc., stuff is great for my kid, because while we do do fun things at home, it's certainly doesn't compare to what they did at school.

Again, I really think it depends on the kiddo. I have one in pre-k this year who will be off to full-day kindergarten in the fall. He may be entirely different than my older DS, so I'll just take it one day at a time and see how he does.

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Old 01-22-2010, 09:36 PM
 
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We're currently doing half-day for our oldest son. Our school district only has full days so we get to pay to send him to a private school. He's a mellow, easy kid so he probably would have done fine in either but we chose half-day because he's very smart and we wanted the time to teach him at home at a higher level. His class is great though, 11 kids, 2 teachers. He's only there from 9-12 but they have recess every day and rotate through other classes throughout the week (gym, music, spanish, for example). They have centers and reading groups and library time. They move around a lot and never have homework. It sounds very different from other posters with crammed half day programs. I guess it all depends on the kid and the program. It's hard to know so far in advance too because kids change so fast! Good luck with your choice!
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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I'm homeschooling, but my mom is a Kindergarten teacher and we talked about this recently. She teaches half-day, but she thinks that full-day is great because there is more time for fun things. Half-day can feel rushed when there are requirements that teachers have to get done in a short period of time. She mentioned some districts that have time for yoga and some cool activities because they are full day and can take it a bit slower.

I personally like half-day better. They're so young at that age and the biggest complaint I hear from first graders I know (and I hear from my MIL who is a first grade teacher) that the day is just too long and the kids have a hard time handling a full day even in first grade. Plus, I keep reading about the importance of family involvement in children's education. having half-day allows for more time for the parents to help the kids learn, plus plenty of child-directed time for exploration and personal interests (like dance class or sports or art class).

I guess it really depends on your child, too. If they're used to full-day preschool and are comfortable spending more time away from home, then maybe they'd do better in full-day.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:00 AM
 
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The main thing is if your child is ready for full day K. DD was definitely read - she was wriring, liked to do workbooks, was asking to go to preK every day and was bored when we were home not doing things. She's thrived in all day K (we sought out an all day program).

If your child is more laid back, isn't bored with just hanging out and not already writing (I say that because there's a lot of writing in our all day program and it could fatigue little fingers pretty quick if they're not used to it) or asking for more school time, I'd do a half day.

Jenn
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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Half day, half day, half day!
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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We are in private school and full day is the only option, but Montessori works for my son and as an older K (November birthday, August cutoff) he is so completely ready for it.

If I had the choice, it would depend on the school. There is a lot of pressure in public school to cram in a lot of information in the kindergarden year. It isn't what it used to be. So, if a full day meant more downtime and less pressure, I'd do that. I've heard of half day programs giving up recess b/c there isn't enough time and that just wouldn't fly.

Mom to a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and a cuddly little newborn
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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The schools in my area are slowly going to full day JK. I would have a hard time sending a 3 year old to school full days.

They are also looking into extended daycare for before and after 6:30am until 7pm. POOR KIDS
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