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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My ds was accepted to a preschool for the fall. He will be 3.5 yo. We're trying to decide if we'd rather have him in the morning (8:30-noon) or afternoon (1:00-4:30) program. It's a cooperative preschool, so I'll be going too one day/week.<br><br>
Ds and I have had luxuriously slow mornings so far. He wakes up about 7:30 or 8:00, nurses some, we chat (I love that time of day), have a little snack so he doesn't get too hungry before breakfast, dress, I cook, we eat. Unless I want a rushed morning I don't usually schedule anything until 10:00. I've tried getting him on earlier schedules and it always seems to drift back to that timing.<br><br>
He naps in the afternoon sometimes and sometimes not (about 50/50). I like to think that if he has a more active morning, he naps, and that is probably the trend but every time I get confident about the predictability of his naps I'm proven wrong. Who knows what he'll be doing in the fall. He napped consistently until a few months ago, so he seems to be in a transition.<br><br>
The a.m. schedule seems like a "good idea." We could get on an earlier schedule. If he napped in the afternoon that would work out well and we wouldn't risk 5:00 pm naps. Maybe we'd sync up better with dh who is on an earlier schedule.<br><br>
But my dh and I both feel more comfortable with the p.m. schedule, thinking that going against the natural morning flow might create stress for all of us. I also expect that ds might be fighting lots of germs when he starts preschool and that good sleep will be extra important.<br><br>
Any thoughts from folks who have been there?
 

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AFTERNOON! If you had an early bird who was up at 6 or 7 am, I'd say morning. But my experience with my own two kids who were not early risers was that afternoon preschool worked much better. My kids were in daycare 3x a week, and preschool 2 afternoons a week. Daycare mornings were always hard because we had to be there by 9 am. Preschool mornings were lovely.<br><br>
If he's only napping 50% of the time now, I bet that'll be about 25% of the time in fall. And if he gives up his nap, he'll go to bed earlier, and he might then get up earlier.<br><br>
The other thing is that the parents and the kids in the afternoon classes are a bit more laid back, and comfortable. Not sure why, but I've noticed it and our preschool teacher (who did this for years and years) said that it was almost always the case. You got the quirkier, more independent kids in the afternoon.
 

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We also had to make this decision recently. I also used to be a preschool teacher and I went for the AM class. I feel like if your main goal for your child is socialization then to put them in an afternoon class when they maybe would prefer to be napping or even just taking it easy isn't the best situation. My guess is that this isn't a five day a week preschool (maybe it is?) but you could still have your leisurely mornings on the days off.
 

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I've put my two in afternoon. They'll be just shy of four when they start (Aug. 1 cutoff...). Friends who have had children in afternoon classes have loved it - casual morning, get a good lunch in, then go to school. One of the first year teachers at our school used to work for my husband so we have known her previously and I trust her opinion about this and she said hands down, afternoon. She said the morning children get shuffled out of the house in the morning and get to school and just want to play. They have fun but aren't very focused. She said the afternoon group is completely different.<br><br>
My children don't nap regularly (maybe 1x per two weeks?) but I'm guessing that by next fall we'll be done. September is a long time away in terms of a three year old and their naps!
 

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We did am with ds this year and it was fine, but I agree that the mornings are always rushed and I have to work hard not to get cranky at everyone. Next year he will be in pm, and since I'll have a baby plus toddler plus preschooler by then, I have to say I'm REALLY looking forward to not having to get everyone out the door first thing. The preschool director assured me that although most people think they want am, when they actually get into pm they love it!
 

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My oldest son did afternoon preschool, then afternoon K - at the time of the decision, I felt a little bit like we 'should' be doing a.m., and that I had allowed the director of the school to talk me into it. But I loved it, for the reason you mentioned - the mornings were ours, so school didn't seem like an intrusion in our lives. We could do an activity in the morning if we felt motivated to get out, or just lounge around in pj's until noon. He did have a few days of falling asleep at 3:30 when he got home, especially at the beginning, but quickly adjusted to taking a once a week catch up nap on a non-school day.<br><br>
The school also had a completely different feel in the afternoon - the mornings were rushed, loud and kind of crazy. The afternoons were quieter and more peaceful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, thank you all, this is so helpful.<br><br>
About # of days/week, that will be another decision. We can choose 3-5. Probably 3 to start. Maybe 4.
 

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I put a lot of thought into this one as well. Kindie here is half day for both JK (so those four or turning four by December 31 - our cut-off is Jan. 1) and SK. My daughter is in SK, in the mornings but my son will start JK in September.<br><br>
I found there were more things to do in the morning - swimming lessons for one - and nothing in the afternoons. Also, my younger ones nap so my daughter has been housebound in the afternoons which sucks for her.<br><br>
So, I asked the teachers about afternoons - two said hands down afternoon - the kiddos are so much more settled and relaxed. Afternoons is what we will do next year.<br><br>
It will be different for us - as we are morning people (everyone is up by 7am) but I think my son will like having a busy morning - then school - and no house-bound because of younger siblings naps.<br><br>
Neat to see that many others agree with the afternoon routine.
 
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