Full Day or Half Day Kindergarten? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What do you think I should do?
Full Day Kindy 8 72.73%
Half Day Kindy 3 27.27%
Other? 0 0%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 10 Old 03-22-2011, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Help me decide what to do with my oldest.  He will be 5.9 next Fall, and his sisters will be 4yrs and 9mo.


Full Day Kindy: 9am-3pm

Easy dropoff, Sister would go to preschool 8:45-11:30. (same building, 3 days/week)


He is definitely mentally & socially ready. Smart kid.


I have signed him up for FDK already, but can still change it back.  The only reason I was waffling was due to mama-guilt, which I try to avoid.  Since I won't be working, I could definitely keep him, and kids are only young once.


I will have two younger kids, and DS has lots of energy.  Since he is my first, he does not do well with playing independently ... and so he will repeatedly ask me to play with him or play/fight with his sister.  We have a fenced-in backyard and tons of windows on that side of the house, lots of ride-on toys and a treehouse/swingset, but he still wants company out there.


He LOVES and thrives at his current preschool. But it is only 2.5 hr/day for 4 days/week.


He will be hurt when I take the girls places without him.  Being in school all-day, he will def. miss out on some fun activities or play dates.


Teachers say FDK is better, since they aren't trying to cram SO much learning into 2.5 hours.  They do have time for art/music/recess.



Half-Day Kindy: 12:20-2:50

Sister would do PS 11:30-2 four days/week (different buildings, 1 mile apart)


Dropoff would be kind of a drag, having to kill time for a couple hours each day.  I would basically have to run the dog in the nearby field or read books to the kids in the car while waiting.


The relaxed mornings would be awesome.  However - there isn't time to get anything actually done (grocery shopping or gym) since there isn't THAT much time.  It would just be leisurely time to get ready without stress.


He will likely drive me crazy, since he might be going crazy stuck at home most mornings.  My sweet little laid-back baby turned four, and I learned why they are called the "eff-you fours"!


I would have my little man with me for one more year before the "school thing" starts.




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#2 of 10 Old 03-22-2011, 11:26 AM
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I'd do full day. It sounds like your relationship will be better if he gets more social interaction outside the house, and since it's afternoon K, you won't really have time to do special things in the AM anyway. Morning K would be different, since both kids could be in school in the morning and you could do things as a family in the afternoon. But as it is, you'd have a few hours at home in the AM (but most 'fun' places don't open up until 10), then drop dd off, wait 50 minutes, drop ds off, wait 1 hour 40 minutes, pick dd up, wait another hour, pick ds up. You're going to be a perpetual car driver!

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#3 of 10 Old 03-22-2011, 11:36 AM
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It sounds like you already know full-day will be better for both you and DS... and you're only hesitating due to guilt... I don't think guilt is a great thing to base decisions on, especially when you have other, more compelling factors!! Full-day is my vote.

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#4 of 10 Old 03-22-2011, 12:03 PM
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I had one kid do half (because it was all that was available) and the other do full (again, only option.) I was pretty freaked out at the idea of whole day for DS who was still 4 when he started. However, it was great. Unlike my DD's half-day, DS had 3 recesses, time to paint, play, do actual science experiments, learn about the community, go on fieldtrips, put on a class play, ect. My DD's class was all math and reading... very little time for anything else. 


It's still an individual thing. You know your child. I'm just sharing that our son had a really great experience with full-day.

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#5 of 10 Old 03-22-2011, 12:55 PM
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Just to assuage the mommy guilt some...think about getting 1-on-1 time with your younger kiddos...something your son got before they came along :)

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#6 of 10 Old 03-22-2011, 12:57 PM
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I'd have him do full day. My youngest did full day and he really enjoyed it. His brother did half day afternoons (12:45 to 3:15 p) and there never was a whole lot of time to do much in the morning other than go to the library or playground, things that were close by. Then at school, he rarely got recess and didn't get any specials like art, music, etc.


If your youngest is still taking naps, the half day schedule sounds like a killer! S/he would probably be falling asleep in the car while you were waiting to drop off or pick up. Plus, do you really want to sit in your car for like 2 hours a day waiting for one or the other to start/get out of school? I don't know where you live but I live in the midwest and there are many, many days where you really would be stuck in your car due to weather. And in the winter, you would even be freezing in your car unless you kept it idling (and spent $$$$ in gas).

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#7 of 10 Old 03-24-2011, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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You mamas are awesome, thank you for the validation and advice!

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#8 of 10 Old 03-24-2011, 06:24 PM
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I was just going to chime in that it sounds like full day is definitely the best choice for your situation.  My son loves his kindergarten class and he considers the extra time with his friends a fair exchange for missing out on fun things that I may do with his little brother occasionally.  Don't feel guilty just because you feel like he "should" be at home... you just need to do what works best for your particular kids and your particular family!

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#9 of 10 Old 03-24-2011, 07:27 PM
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I would do FD. Here in Ontario he'd be actually starting Grade 1 with a Dec. birthday. I think full day kindergarten helps with the transition to grade 1 the following year.

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#10 of 10 Old 03-25-2011, 10:23 AM
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Kindergarten is half-day where I live, and I'm glad about that, but it sounds like for you, the full-day option might be a better fit. Our HDK is 3.5 hours, which seems a lot more reasonable than 2:50 -- that's hardly any time! 

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