Can you use public Kindy as free daycare? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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Learning at School > Can you use public Kindy as free daycare?
Polliwog's Avatar Polliwog 12:15 AM 05-22-2010
My son really likes kindergarten and will go again next year. He's got 18 children in his class with a teacher and full time assistant. He gets a lot of (necessary) one-on-one time with the teachers. They spend a lot of time in centers while the teachers work with individuals or small groups. He gets to work on the computer, build structures with legos and other manipulatives, play learning games, go to the library, etc. They've got a wide range of abilities in his class.

praisehimau's Avatar praisehimau 12:24 AM 05-22-2010
I don't think this would work. Maybe something like family daycare? Or perhaps online study/work?
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Purple*Lotus's Avatar Purple*Lotus 12:26 AM 05-22-2010
Yes I think that once you enroll your child in public school you have to go by their schedule. Are there half day Ks in your area?
LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 04:58 AM 05-22-2010
Questions for you:

When are you going to prep your classes?
When are you going to work on your publications? (you're in a 1 year temporary job, right? You won't keep getting those jobs without publications, and you certainly won't get a tenure track job without them)
When are you going to do your grading?
When are you going to meet with students?
Are you expected to do any committee work? If so, when will you do this?

I hate to break it to you, but you're in a profession that was designed by monks and the upper classes who had whole bevvies of people to take care of them. It wasn't designed around the schedules for working single moms. You're going to need some of your breaks to do this. You're going to need some of those extra days in the week.

If you choose to put her in public school, then you have to have some buy-in to the system. If you can't do that, then find a nice daycare and pay someone to take care of her. Or find a nanny. You could probably find college students willing to watch your daughter during the times when you teach and must be on campus. But for your daughter's sake, I'd recommend something a bit more stable.

I'd also caution you not to project your own experiences on to your daughter. I too was doing 3rd-4th grade work in 1st grade, and I had a fine public school experience. A lot depends on the school and the teachers.
amma_mama's Avatar amma_mama 10:40 AM 05-22-2010
I can't see a public school allowing this. It is not daycare, it is school. DD has not started public school yet (this September) but she was in private kindy this past year and eventhough we were paying to be there, there was no way they would have allowed us to do what you are asking. School is school - that's all there is to it. We even have to get "tardy slips" from the main office if we came late.

If you have decided that homeschooling is the right fit for you and your daughter, then that is great. You should absolutely go with what your gut says is the best option for your child. But a public school cannot accomodate what you are asking for - it would be unfair to the teacher, the other kids, and, in the end, to your own child. You need to find a solution that fits in with your own values/beliefs and needs of your daughter. If you honestly believe that public school has nothing to offer other than free babysitting, then you need to re-think this. You are unlikely to find a "free" solution. In any case, public school is not "free" - it has been paid for through our respective tax dollars to provide an education to all our children regardless of income.
ChristaN's Avatar ChristaN 11:37 AM 05-22-2010
Do you have any idea where you might be moving? That might help in terms of assisting you in finding hsing groups that would work well for your family. For instance, there is a really neat hsing cooperative founded by parents of gifted kids in Acton, MA: http://www.voyagersinc.org/wiki/bin/view/Public/WebHome

I've been coveting their program for years and am trying to get something secular and similar up and going in Northern Colorado (we have all kinds of religious hs supplements, but not much for secular folks).

It does sound like budget is of concern, so I don't know if the options others have mentioned of hiring someone to watch her and hs her while you are working is a possibility, but if so, that might be your most flexible option.

The problem if you go with a preschool is that she would probably have to enroll as a kindergartener the following year (like you had intentionally held her out of K for a year) if you find that you need to enroll her in ps a year down the line. If you register as a homeschooler for kindergarten, she would at least be able to enter first the following year if you find that to be necessary. It sounds like it would be a better fit for her if you don't have her be one of the older kids in her grade if she is in school.

We, honestly, found that 1st grade was a harder place for an academically advanced child than kindergarten. Even though it is more academic than when we were kids, the teachers are still generally loving, sweet people who don't pressure kids who already know the material. My oldest didn't mind coloring numbers and singing songs about phonics even though she was reading going in, for instance. 1st grade was much more pressure and not nearly as good of a fit if you already knew the material. We took dd11 out of 1st grade in the last quarter.
Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 11:37 AM 05-22-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by amma_mama View Post
she was in private kindy this past year and eventhough we were paying to be there, there was no way they would have allowed us to do what you are asking. .
My kids will be attending a private alternative school in the fall and they wouldn't allow it. Kids are allowed tremendous control over their day, but they are expected to be there on time and be part of what is going on, they are have they are expected to do, etc. The social aspect of the experience is very important.

The only place I can image that would do this is a home day care, but then you would most likely need to pay for the days that you weren't using to hold your spot.
vbactivist's Avatar vbactivist 01:22 AM 05-24-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
Also, let us not forget that public school kindergarden is NOT in any way, shape, or form, FREE. (jumps down from soap box )
Right. We're all already paying for it, so it's too bad homeschoolers can't get something out of it
vbactivist's Avatar vbactivist 01:26 AM 05-24-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ammaarah View Post
As a professor, how would you feel if a student came to you and said, "I don't want to take your tests, I don't want to come every day because it doesn't really work with my schedule, and I would like to be done six weeks early"?
I'm sorry but I think it's a little silly to compare kindergarteners to college students.
pranamama's Avatar pranamama 04:30 AM 05-24-2010
You could start Kindy and leave to "homeschool" at the point of the year that you wanted more time with your daughter. Your daughter may not want to leave though, which could upset your plans. Kindy is the most fun year in public school, the children get time to play with each other throughout the day and make lots of friends.
lach's Avatar lach 06:15 AM 05-24-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Questions for you:

When are you going to prep your classes?
When are you going to work on your publications? (you're in a 1 year temporary job, right? You won't keep getting those jobs without publications, and you certainly won't get a tenure track job without them)
When are you going to do your grading?
When are you going to meet with students?
Are you expected to do any committee work? If so, when will you do this?
I was wondering about this too. The professors that I've had and that I know spend easily 40-60 hours a week working, even if they only teach 10 or 12 hours of classes a week. They have office hours and lots of meetings (my limited experience with departmental meetings is that they last most of the afternoon one day a week). And research and writing takes lots and lots of time, particularly if you don't have tenure. If you're lucky enough that you manage to get a tenure track job, which is probably unlikely in the current economic environment of most universities, my understanding is that you'll be putting in 80 hour weeks for the next 3 or so years while you participate in probably the most ruthless, cut-throat career I've ever heard of... but which is worth it because then you're set for life and will have much more flexibility with your daughter. And if it's just a non-tenure track professor position, my understanding is that you'll be working just as hard if you want to find another position next year.

Not to tell you how to do your job or anything, but the numbers just aren't adding up for me. My father was trying to make it as a professor when I was a child (the academic job market was almost as bad then as it is now, so he failed), and my mother was in graduate school with a heavy TA load when I was a slightly older child, and they both worked an awful lot. Obviously that was slightly different, because she had classes and teaching and grading and research, but during those years my sister was in full time daycare and I had a sitter or after-school care most afternoons because that was when my mother's classes she had to teach and office hours were. She did her research in the morning while I was at school. When she ended up homeschooling me, she took a year off of grad school because she didn't have a way to do both without leaving me alone all day, and never went back. I still feel bad about that.

Maybe you were just really lucky in your previous job with how much free time you had, but I would be wary of assuming that your next position will have the same flexibility. And it's nice to say that your child will always always come before your career, but sometimes you have to put your career first for the long run good of the child, particularly if you're a single income family.
Diane B's Avatar Diane B 04:12 PM 05-24-2010
I want to address the level of fear I sense in your post. My daughter is just completing kindergarten. Prior to kindergarten, we had her part-time at a parent coop daycare, which featured organic snacks, play-based learning, non violent conflict resolution, etc. - a lefty, crunchy mom utopia in other words. Our daughter thrived, it completely supported our philosophy about learning, etc.

This year, our daughter has been in all-day public kindergarten. While we carefully researched schools, we were limited financially to a public school situation. She attends a Spanish-immersion magnet, Title 1 school which follows the standard district curriculum. Yes, she was doing "first grade work" prior to kindergarten. And yes, I was nervous.

But you know what? It's been a really good experience. My daughter loves school. She's learned how to get along and navigate socially with all different kinds of children. She has become more self-assured and independent. She's learned a lot of Spanish. We have found families within that school community that we can relate to. We supplement after school with activities, and are doing some enrichment camps this summer. The things we are unhappy with haven't "ruined" our daughter; the good base that she had going in has served her well. Has she been more exposed to media than I would like? Has her excellent diet declined somewhat? Has she had a few difficult days? Yes. But I've found that most of my fears were ungrounded.

Go visit some schools in your new community. Find one you can live with, and give it a try. You might be surprised.
cyberfish's Avatar cyberfish 01:13 PM 05-25-2010
There are some pretty insightful posts here. Thank you. I have a lot more to think about now, which is probably a good thing.

I don't know yet where I'll end up. Or, worst case scenario, if I'll even have a job. I try to keep it secret that I have a kid but seems that hiring committees have ways of finding out and I think in a few cases that has doomed my prospects. See http://chronicle.com/article/The-Aca...herhood/64073/ for more on that idea.

I've managed so far to balance it all but I admit my publication record is less than it would otherwise have been. But it exists. And honestly I don't know how I can keep up this pace. I've been teaching long enough that preps don't have to take unreasonably long but still....

Well after I find out where I'll be possibly the best course of action would be to see if the local kindegartens are something I feel we could live with for a year until I have the stability to homeschool. Or possibly there is a private option that is not outrageously expensive. I like the idea of a homeschool teenager but my daughter thrives on socialization with more than just one person. But I'm keeping very open minded. It's hard because I never in a million years thought I'd even be thinking about sending her to school, ever.

And I try to remember that I really really loved her preschool teachers where she's been the last 2 years. If there are kindergarten teachers like that then maybe it's an option. In my panic I think I just was not even thinking about the classroom level -- just the bureaucratic level of rules I don't necessarily agree with. So if you think I was insulting teachers, to be honest, I wasn't even thinking at that level.

So in short I'm still not sure what we'll be doing but thank you for some good food for thought.
sept04mama's Avatar sept04mama 01:25 PM 05-25-2010
I haven't read all the other posts so sorry if this was said, but if her birthday is in September she probably can't even go to kindergarten. Most states (don't know yours) have an August 31st birthday cutoff for Kindergarten.
sparklett's Avatar sparklett 03:53 PM 05-25-2010
I know you have a ton of posts to plow through, but I thought I'd deposit my 2 cents.

Does your state have a charter school program? Here in California, we have several charter schools that offer very flexible options and offer curriculum that fits the needs of the family. They are considered to be public schools, so they're typically free. Next year my nephew will be attending a charter school that is 3 days a week, and the rest is homeschool. My niece will be starting at an arts-based charter next year as well. I can't even begin to articulate all of the options available through a charter. Some have concentrations in the arts, while others are more academic. It's an option I would honestly consider for my son, and my requirements actually sound eerily like yours.

Again, I don't even know if that's an option in your area, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
cyberfish's Avatar cyberfish 05:38 PM 05-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by sept04mama View Post
I haven't read all the other posts so sorry if this was said, but if her birthday is in September she probably can't even go to kindergarten. Most states (don't know yours) have an August 31st birthday cutoff for Kindergarten.
Well I guess I can add these arbitrary cut off dates to the list of things I don't like about public school, but my daughter's preschool teachers were pretty adamant that if she is in a school environment next year it should be kindegarten because she is absolutely ready or beyond ready for it.

Given my ambivalence about the whole "school" situation for next year I'm not sure I'd be up for this battle if there were such a cut off.
GuildJenn's Avatar GuildJenn 09:12 PM 05-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
Well I guess I can add these arbitrary cut off dates to the list of things I don't like about public school, but my daughter's preschool teachers were pretty adamant that if she is in a school environment next year it should be kindegarten because she is absolutely ready or beyond ready for it.

Given my ambivalence about the whole "school" situation for next year I'm not sure I'd be up for this battle if there were such a cut off.
What do you suggest instead, an entrance exam?
chfriend's Avatar chfriend 11:20 PM 05-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
What do you suggest instead, an entrance exam?
Isn't that how early kindergarten admission is done?

http://dpi.state.wi.us/ec/ec-entr-admiss.html
BetsyNY 11:27 PM 05-25-2010
Quote:
I haven't read all the other posts so sorry if this was said, but if her birthday is in September she probably can't even go to kindergarten. Most states (don't know yours) have an August 31st birthday cutoff for Kindergarten.
New York's is December 1st. I WISH August 31st was the cutoff here; I have late November babies and I hate the cutoff thing. Grrr.
Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 11:39 PM 05-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
Isn't that how early kindergarten admission is done?

http://dpi.state.wi.us/ec/ec-entr-admiss.html
I don't know what point you are making. Here is a quote from your link:

Can a district deny entrance to an age eligible child because there is a concern about the child's "readiness"?
No. State statues clearly define that age is the only criteria required for entrance into kindergarten and first grade. The district is responsible for providing a welcoming environment for all age-eligible children and their families through curriculum adaptation, teacher placement options, consultation with school specialists, and referrals for further evaluations.

Kindergarten cut offs and work requirements are different from place to place. What some one told you in one state may not be the least bit relevant some place else.

Private schools more leeeway with cutoffs, so you want your DD bumped up a grade, that is a path you could explore.
GuildJenn's Avatar GuildJenn 11:40 PM 05-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
Isn't that how early kindergarten admission is done?

http://dpi.state.wi.us/ec/ec-entr-admiss.html
Not here. So if I read that right, if schools admit kids early they get extra money to equalize them? Ha.
GuildJenn's Avatar GuildJenn 11:48 PM 05-25-2010
And, just to be clear, OP - I sympathize with some of your thoughts but I really find it off-putting that you seem to be treating public school like something that exists for your convenience. While I'm not really one for just accepting every single rule without asking or talking about it, I tend to take your posts as that you would not be enrolling your child in good faith.

I personally would not enroll my child anywhere I couldn't at least try to enter into it non-belligerently. It's just not fair to any of the parties involved. If every. single. thing. is going to get you going, then find a different solution.
lach's Avatar lach 11:57 PM 05-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
Isn't that how early kindergarten admission is done?

http://dpi.state.wi.us/ec/ec-entr-admiss.html
I've never heard of a district doing that. School districts tend to be very strict about their kindergarten cutoff dates. Most schools are also trying to veer away from the traditional practice of having children skip grades, because there are too many cases where it doesn't work out either socially or academically. Some districts even have your child skip kindergarten if you try to hold him out an extra year (a popular trend where people try to give their child an academic advantage by being a year older.)
amma_mama's Avatar amma_mama 10:49 AM 05-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
And, just to be clear, OP - I sympathize with some of your thoughts but I really find it off-putting that you seem to be treating public school like something that exists for your convenience. While I'm not really one for just accepting every single rule without asking or talking about it, I tend to take your posts as that you would not be enrolling your child in good faith.

I personally would not enroll my child anywhere I couldn't at least try to enter into it non-belligerently. It's just not fair to any of the parties involved. If every. single. thing. is going to get you going, then find a different solution.

That Is Nice's Avatar That Is Nice 09:40 AM 06-04-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altair View Post
I'm a public school K teacher-- no that would not work, for both legal and practical reasons, many of which have been mentioned by PPs. It's also just pretty demeaning to all the hard work I do every day with my kids to be thought of as merely their babysitter. It takes a crapload of work to educate a class full of students, and one coming back and forth would be highly disruptive for everyone. When we have foster students and homeless students who are moved around and pulled out it is really hard on the class and the students who don't feel a real part of the community. We spend a lot of time working on integrating them and catching them up to our current units and we do it gladly because these kids need any measure of stability we can offer. I can't imagine choosing to do that just to get free childcare. What happens when she comes in Monday after not being there Friday and she doesn't have the first half of her story written when we write the second half? What about all of our group projects that she would have a hard time coming in and out of? Good curriculum is integrated day to day and unit to unit and builds on itself.

Btw I fully support HSing, I just don't think public schools are there merely for convenience. If you want to enroll her, you will likely need to follow all of the school requirements, and for good reason.
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
Also, let us not forget that public school kindergarden is NOT in any way, shape, or form, FREE. (jumps down from soap box )
And yes.
Snugglebunnymama's Avatar Snugglebunnymama 03:28 PM 06-05-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
And, just to be clear, OP - I sympathize with some of your thoughts but I really find it off-putting that you seem to be treating public school like something that exists for your convenience. While I'm not really one for just accepting every single rule without asking or talking about it, I tend to take your posts as that you would not be enrolling your child in good faith.

I personally would not enroll my child anywhere I couldn't at least try to enter into it non-belligerently. It's just not fair to any of the parties involved. If every. single. thing. is going to get you going, then find a different solution.
Agreeing with this.

Also, to reiterate: Depending on where you end up moving, this whole conversation may be a moot point. Here, the cut-off is Sept 1 (FL). If your dd's birthday is AFTER the cut-off date for wherever you move, you have no choice but to find childcare. Even then, though... while you may be able to drop her off and pick her up whenever you please, I would personally hate the idea of paying for full-time daycare and only receiving part-time care since (from what I've heard--never actually used daycare or preschool) you pay the whole thing to reserve your spot.

However, most places seem to have a pre-K type of program that is run similar to how ps is run.
rabrog's Avatar rabrog 06:08 PM 06-05-2010
OPer, if you move somewhere that your DD doesn't meet the cutoff date, there will be no fighting over it, she just won't get in. I've never heard of a state where there is any "give' to the cutoff date at all. They either meet it or they don't.

Another idea for you: could she go to preK (assuming cutoff dates, etc.) or even half day K and could you get a grad student (with a teaching degree or working toward elem. ed.) to work with her in the afternoons?

Jenn
cyberfish's Avatar cyberfish 09:34 PM 06-08-2010
Well, it's going to be Virginia. And I discovered that since DD will be 5 before the end of Sept., she's required to be enrolled in kindergarten or have homeschool paperwork filed. Not sure which direction I will take. Apparently there's a democratic school in the area where you can pick your hours/days and reduce tuition (which is not as bad as I thought) by volunteering. And there's another school there that takes homeschoolers part time. And I've been told the public schools are "excellent."

I may try to visit a public kindergarten and maybe meet a teacher if possible before moving there. I'm trying hard to think about all the really great early childhood teachers I already know personally (and there are several) and approach with an open mind for my daughter's sake. I really just want her in the best place for her.
Polliwog's Avatar Polliwog 09:54 PM 06-08-2010
Where in VA?
cyberfish's Avatar cyberfish 10:08 PM 06-08-2010
We'll be in Harrisonburg -- James Madison University. It's a one year position (again) but I'm hoping it can become more permanent.
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