All day school - need input - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 04-22-2012, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

I need some perspective here, i think.

I live in good ol' germany, where school is usually half days. dd1 will start school this summer and is very excited. the plan was to have her in school and afterwards in an afterschool program, since i plan to start working again beginning next year, and she would come home around 2 p.m.

 

now they stopped the aferschool program and changed the school to an all day school. so the options are for her going to school until 12. p.m. or until 4 p.m. without the possibilities of leaving earlier. She is so small and I don´t really want her to be in school that long, but 12 - that´s to early, I would not be able to work at all (takes at least 20 min travelling for me) - so I guess I have to put her into the whole day program. I feel pretty bad about that. WDYT?


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#2 of 16 Old 04-22-2012, 03:17 AM
 
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I would have her go to the school that finishes at 4pm.   From the time I was 5, my typical school day ended at 2:30pm. That's only 90 minutes less than 4pm. I also sometimes voluntarily stayed after school in primary school, because they had a free after-school program that lasted until after 5pm for the sake or parents who worked until 5.

 

Good luck!

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#3 of 16 Old 04-22-2012, 03:32 AM
 
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I would put her in the all day school. When my DD started kindergarten, she had just turned 5 and I was really worried because it was a full day program, 8-3. Up till that time she was still taking a nap in the afternoon! Her preschool when she was 4 was only 3 days a week for 4 hours.
She loved it. She was pretty tired for the first few weeks as she adjusted to the schedule but they had a half hour rest time in the afternoon. After about a month, she was hoping to win the "no rest pass" lol. Kindergarten was just so much fun for her. They played all day and somehow they learned a lot of stuff too, things I never expected her to know!
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#4 of 16 Old 04-22-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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I would find out what the full-day program offers and how the days are structured. The extra time may be mostly a rest period or quiet time. There may actually be a more relaxed pace on a full-day schedule because they aren't cramming all activities into a couple of hours in the morning every day. 

 

If you decide that the half-day program works better for her, perhaps you could find someone who would pick her up at 12:00 and give her lunch for you. By the time they are done, it would be close to the 2 p.m time that you were counting on for your own work schedule.

 

   

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#5 of 16 Old 04-22-2012, 11:36 AM
 
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I will chime in with the others and say that we have loved the full day kindergarden experience for both of my kids. They loved it. I think that most kids are more ready for full day kindergarden than we think they are.

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#6 of 16 Old 04-22-2012, 10:47 PM
 
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first with due respect, it seems like you dont have a choice. esp. since you are returning to work.

 

at K it wasnt the long school day that was our problem. it was the early morning. dd was not a morning person.

 

i dont know about the german education system.

 

if i had to choose between half day and full day the first thing i'd do is make sure the extra time is spent on fun activities - like art, PE, music. not more math and language. pretty much what olly has written before. 

 

if full day K was all full of math and language and writing - then no no no. full day would be EXHAUSTIVE for many kids. so really depends on what activity they are doing rather than the length of day. 


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#7 of 16 Old 04-23-2012, 05:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

 

I would find out what the full-day program offers and how the days are structured. The extra time may be mostly a rest period or quiet time. There may actually be a more relaxed pace on a full-day schedule because they aren't cramming all activities into a couple of hours in the morning every day. 

 

If you decide that the half-day program works better for her, perhaps you could find someone who would pick her up at 12:00 and give her lunch for you. By the time they are done, it would be close to the 2 p.m time that you were counting on for your own work schedule.

 

   

 

This.

 

For those who are not familiar with how this would work in Germany: legally, they are required to offer the same amount of instruction in the half-day program and in the full-day program. The difference between halfdays with aftercare is that all the adademics are crammed in the morning and the aftercare is exercise, arts and crafts and homework supervision, whereas the full day program is supposed to spread out the academic instruction over the whole day, with exercise, arts and crafts and quiet work times in between to create a balance. Personally, I'd prefer the latter (my child will only be offered a halfday-aftercare program though), but children may have different preferences.

I assume that as your school offers a full day program you will not be able to get a space in a public aftercare program and would have to arrange private lunch and aftercare, which may be difficult. Can your DD try it out and switch into a halfday program if it doesn't work out at all? I assume she'd have to change classes. Will she be able to do so during the school year? Do you know the people who are responsible for the full day program? What experineces are they drawing on? The transition year may be difficult for everyone.


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#8 of 16 Old 04-23-2012, 06:53 AM
 
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As pp have said, in the states, all day programs spread out the academics with other activities (often called centers) like the craft table, or building blocks, "specials" like music and PE class, rest/nap time, and recess. My dd in K has 2-3 recess periods outside a day, and a rest time. It can still be tiring but if your dd gets enough sleep she will probably be fine. I would look into the expected schedule at the all-day K before tying yourself in knots looking for an alternativesmile.gif.
 


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#9 of 16 Old 04-23-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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My dd started kindergarten this year and it's all day (8:30 to 4pm). Personally, I think it's too long of a day for kids that age but we didn't really have a choice.  The first 3 months were hard though as she was very exhausted by the end of the day but she has adjusted and for the most part she is happy. She does complain a lot that she is bored but that's another can of worms. ;)

 

ETA: for the first half of the year they had a 'quiet time' where they could just read or rest (didn't have to nap) for about 15-20 min. But they have phased that out now in preparation for 1st grade.

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#10 of 16 Old 04-23-2012, 09:04 AM
 
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Wanted to add that if your DD can handle the long days, you may end up appreciating the all day program more than you think.

First,  I would make sure that there is a no-written-homework policy or a similar restriction on homework in place so you do not have to make your DD do homework after those long days. Full day school is probably a completely new experience for all the teachers at your school - depending on where you live in Germany, teachers may have been used to sending the kids home at 12 pm to basically spend all afternoon with SAHMs doing an afternoon homeschooling program, completing hours of homework, teaching the times tables and practicing reading. They may have to get used to the fact that this cannot happen if everyone comes home at 4 pm after a long day!

Then you can use the time between 2 and 4 pm to recharge yourself, eat a late lunch, run errands, get the groceries, prepare supper - ofr maybe spend quality time with your little one - and be refreshed and ready for your DD as you pick her up, knowing that school and work for all of you is over for the day.

Each time I put my kids in daycare, I did not have a choice and had to book the full week even though I had one day off work. I kept thinking I would take the kids out of daycare a lot on that day. Turns out I NEEDED that time for myself, for scheduling PT, gym time, dentists and doctors' appointments, grocery shoppping, preparing meals for the reast of the week, and generally recharging.


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#11 of 16 Old 04-28-2012, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi,
we had some more information. it's academics in the morning and "fun" in the afternoon, some cool stuff like swimming and a "dog class" - they have a school dog which is quite cool.

people told me that ir's not as great as it sounds though, food not that great, homework not finished, stuff like that.

i will look into a private afterschool program, but that is "only" playing with the kids (and homework) - not that much fun stuff.

dd says she wants to do the whole day school - we ' ll see.

thanks for the input, i'll will write more

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#12 of 16 Old 04-29-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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one thing about the all day school is that she would be with the same kids all day, so it might foster better friendship. Also if the kids do something really fun one afternoon, they may still be talking about it the next morning. If she is doing something else the in the afternoon, she may feel left out.

 

Nothing is perfect. What ever you decide to go with, focus on the good parts of it.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#13 of 16 Old 04-29-2012, 11:27 PM
 
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also an fyi - kids take quite a while to adjust to school. meaning they are tired the first month or two. most kids do that for the first month of school till about 2nd grade. 

 

so just know the adjusting, tantrums can be part of the getting used to - not really that the school is bad.

 

also some kids like my dd will deal with the homework if it means that's the only way she can hang out with her friends and teachers. 

 

school lunches are nothing new. you can pack a lunch. 

 

but the biggest key is - ur dd is open to trying for the whole day. that is half ur battle won. 

 

i dont think you can do half day there. ur dd will never forgive you for taking her away from the school dog. winky.gif however i will have to say that does sound so super cool. 


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#14 of 16 Old 04-30-2012, 03:33 AM
 
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Not a well thought-out full day-program, then. shake.gif

so what's the difference to the aftercare program from before, except that you don't have the flexibility to pick up your DD earlier? I bet the namechange is nothing but a funding issue, guaranteed enrolment until 4 pm and transfer of the financial responsibility from the corporation to the state or something similar.

However, the homework issue might be amenable to some parental lobbying, and the dog class does sound cool.

 

Unless you have reason to suspect that trying out the full day program will be a disaster (I've seen your recent threads on bossiness, loudness and explosions, will try to answer there) - your DD wants to try it! So why not trust her? I'd check out possibilities of transfer if things don't work out.


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#15 of 16 Old 05-04-2012, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi, thanks for the replies.

 

I don't know why I don't trust her, but i think she is better suited in the private afterschool program, at least for the first year. they are looking much more after the individual kids and their needs. i just cannot see her sitting with thirty kids and doing homework. i can imagine her doing twenty other things instead. she is impulsive. and her attention span is short.

 

i desperately want to set her up for success. if she wants to change to the all-day program - fair enough. that would be free for us :)

 

@tigerle - no, it's not a real all-day program, and it is only about funding. they get the money for aftercare from the government if they call it all-day-school, and they don't want flexible hours so that they are not interrupted in their programs. which is fair enough.


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#16 of 16 Old 05-04-2012, 03:48 PM
 
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i am not sure i am clear about something.

 

at the 'dog' school you will sending her to school only in the morning and taking her out to send her to a private afterschool program?

 

from what i understand the 'dog' school has fun classes in the afternoon. 

 

oh man if that is the case (what i am thinking) i think you will face a lot of problems from her. I recall quite a few mamas here talking about their kids complaining that they missed the fun classes. 

 

can you try her full day at the 'dog' school and then if it isnt working (wont probably for the first couple of months) pull her out and put her in the private afterschool program.

 

i only say this because at 5 i recognised dd was a person with her own views. while i can speak for her even now, at K i started realising what i think is best and what she thinks are two different things. for instance dd tolerated school - the curriculum, only coz she wanted to be with her friends and teacher. 


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