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Although it has long been my intention to homeschool my children, I've reached a point with my oldest son where I'm feeling like it might be a good idea for the whole family if he were to start kindergarten at our public school this fall. He went to one year of preschool, which went fine, and has been home with me again for the last year.<br><br>
I hear so many terrible things about public schools that it seems hard to believe that anyone ever has a good experience there. My boy is bright and very outgoing -- he also has trouble focussing and sitting still. Am I just asking for trouble by sending him to kindergarten 2.5 days per week?<br><br>
I have called both the Director of Elementary Education and the principal of the school to ask questions and request a tour -- neither of whom has called me back. Makes me wonder how responsive they'd be if I were having a real concern with the school. Sigh. Any thoughts?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Meli65</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7962982"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">AAm I just asking for trouble by sending him to kindergarten 2.5 days per week?</div>
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So, he wouldn't be going everyday?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
From what I understand, they have that schedule available (two full days and one half day -- odd I know) as well as five full days, presumably for the benefit of working parents. Of course if someone would call me back I'd know a little better <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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I think that it really depends on the school. The school that Ds is going to attend is wonderful. It is a smaller school with wonderful teachers. It is half days (2.5 hours) 5 days a week. I have done A LOT of research. But there are other schools that are not so good. You really need to tour the school and talk to teachers, see the clasrooms, abserve a class, etc. Also do you know some other parents that are already sending their kids to that Kindergarten? You can usually get a good idea from talking to other parents. Does the school have a website? You may be able to look at the student and handbook and the curriculum and get some other basic information. Get as much information as you can and then make the decision that is best for your dc and your family. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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How would you do 2.5 days a week?<br><br>
Here almost all public kindergartens are a full day (and 5 days a week)<br><br>
-Angela
 

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My kids attend a wonderful public school. They both had the same teacher for K, and she's fabulous. They learned a great deal, made lots of friends and had so much fun. My only complaint is that the district still does half day K, which I think is totally stupid. By the time the kids get there, take off their coats and boots, and unpack their bags, it's time tor reverse the process and go home.<br><br>
The administrators are busy people, but if they don't get back to you within a week, call again.
 

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As long as the teachers are reasonably sane and don't shout at the children or treat them cruelly, I'm sure it will be fine. He's small and it's only for a few hours, really.<br><br>
I personally wouldn't take offense at not getting a call back yet. These people are often insanely, unfairly busy. I wouldn't assume it means they won't be on top of things once your child is enrolled.<br><br>
As far as hearing terrible things about public schools, I have heard of and experienced some private school horrors that would curl your hair, so it's not really fair to judge all public schools as impersonal and bad. You might loathe yours, but honestly, in years of moving around the country and therefore having a lot of friends doing a lot of different things with their kids, I can say I don't know of a single school someone hasn't pulled their kids out of for what they consider irreconcilable differences. And yet plenty of people will love that same school and desperately want to get their kids in there.<br><br>
As someone who's also homeschooled, be careful to be tolerant and patient if you hear something that makes you uneasy at first, or isn't just how you would do it. School is not homeschooling, and we homeschoolers can be a little sensitive at first, I think. Conversely, homeschoolers returning to school can want it to work so badly that we turn a blind eye too long. Just a thought.
 

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My daughter's in public kindy this year, and it's been mostly great. She did come tired and fragile for the first couple of months-- and she was used to full-time preschool. It was hard for her to be "new" and not know anyone, and they do expect the kids to be able to sit and do some work independently. Then she adjusted and has really blossomed; her drawings are amazing, her social skills have improved, she can read, she has taught herself an incredible array of monkey-bar tricks.<br><br>
I have been super-impressed with her teacher and with the school administration. They're very warm and responsive, they obviously love kids. The principal recognizes her and knows her work. They do a lot of art projects, play outside a lot, and they brought in a mime teacher to teach the kindergarten classes some acting exercises; I think that was some kind of outreach program from county art museum.<br><br>
Is there stuff I don't like? Sure! They do fundraisers; they have HOMEWORK in kindergarten, which I think is insane; too many worksheets. But the positives have vastly outweighed the negatives.
 

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Public schools vary so much even in the city I live in that it depends on the school and you really have to go and see it to get a sense of whether it would be a good match for your kid. My son is in kindergarten in a public school (in an integrated classroom, 60 % regular kids, 40% kids getting some sort of special needs services) and has some special needs. There are good and bad things just like you describe with your daughter. For example, homework for kindergartners--my son's school has this and yet another public school in the same city that our friends' kids go to does not do that. I think you have to figure out whether the particular classroom is right for your child. It is too bad they won't return your calls--can you call the department of ed in your district and complain? Or you could do what I did and just show up at the school and wait around in the office till you can waylay the principal. If you live in a place where the classrooms are not overcrowded then you have a huge advantage. Where I live all the classrooms have too many kids, in my opinion, and that is why, if he had gotten in to the private schools that we applied to for first grade, we would take him out of public school and send him to private.
 

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My ds goes to half-day K at public school. At home he's very shall we say spirited, but at school he is quiet and shy, works hard and does well. We are having issues with him not liking school for some reason, but all of his teachers have assured me that he is doing great at school. I do really like his teacher, she is very understanding.<br><br>
If you want a tour, just show up. That is what I did last spring, I took DS and we went around to the schools in our area. We stopped in the office and explained that DS would be starting K in the fall and they were happy to show us around. Of course, they should've called you back but spring is a very busy time for teachers and administrators. Anyway, you can always go ahead and try it and if it doesn't work out then you can reconsider and homeschool him again. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all so much for your thoughts and for sharing your experiences! I totally agree with you, LizD, that as a homeschooler I might be extra-sensitive -- as it is, I admit I am rather aggravated to not get a call back yet.<br><br>
It hadn't occurred to me to just show up -- I think that if I don't get a call back by Monday or Tuesday I will do just that.<br><br>
Here's another question for you with experience -- have you found that there is any "innocence lost?" One of the things I love about my son is that he is not very sophisticated or aggressively boyish -- he doesn't watch action hero shows or like super heroes, still wears t-shirts with Go Diego Go and The Wiggles on them, and is a sweet boy who happens to like mermaids. I'm afraid that he will be teased for liking such "baby-ish" things -- am I overthinking this?
 

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In kindy? Not in my experience. A lot of the kids are going to be very "young," developmentally as well as chronologically. My girl is just as sweet at the end of the year as she was at the beginning, and she hasn't developed an obsession with hip-hop or anything like that. Someone told her that dragons are for boys so she can't like them, but she was pretty unphased -- she has a loooong explanation about why dragons are for EVERYBODY! She's not a shrinking violet, that one, which probably helps.<br><br>
Five is a year when they seem to do a lot of maturing, so he's likely to be less interested in the Wiggles and Diego a year from now, whether he spends that time at home or at school.<br><br>
BTW, I have an awesome book recommendation for him, because the mermaid thing -- "Caleb's Friend," in which a boy who works on a fishing boat makes friends with a merboy!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Meli65</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7971392"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Here's another question for you with experience -- have you found that there is any "innocence lost?" One of the things I love about my son is that he is not very sophisticated or aggressively boyish -- he doesn't watch action hero shows or like super heroes, still wears t-shirts with Go Diego Go and The Wiggles on them, and is a sweet boy who happens to like mermaids. I'm afraid that he will be teased for liking such "baby-ish" things -- am I overthinking this?</div>
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Not in my experience, and my boy was/is just like this. He's so clueless (uh, innocent) that he hasn't even seen Star Wars yet (apparently kids of three these days know all the characters). We don't have a tv, so he's completely out of the superhero thing, as well. He had a wonderful time in kindergarten. Yeah, there was a lot of Star Wars/superhero play going on at recess, and he just ran around with everyone else, talking about his "life-saver" (light saber); but mostly he just gravitated toward the other boys like him, who made up elaborate imaginary scenarios and liked to climb. As far as I know, he was never teased, even when he wore his tights to school...<br><br>
I wouldn't worry about the school not calling back. Our local elementary is terrific, but even its most ardent supporters admit that the admin is pretty disorganized. In your shoes I'd go meet the teacher and see what the classroom looks like and how she/he relates to the kids. Good luck!
 

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My daughter is starting next fall and she can't wait. We know her teacher because sometimes we pick up friends children at the school and because it is a small community. We love her and I think my daugher will have a great experience in her class. We stopped there on our way home yesterday and got to watch a chick in an incubator in the classroom crack its way out of its' egg. It was very cool.<br>
Anyway I agree that it would be great if you could talk to other parents and get their opinions about their experiences there.<br>
When you called did you leave a message or talk to someone. I would try to make an appt. on the phone if you can get anyone on the line.<br>
I would look online and see if they have a website too, just to check it out and also to see if there is a more direct way of setting up a tour. Our school just had an open house and they had a morning set up for assesments for the incoming k's. We heard through word of mouth but they also had a sign up that you could see passing the school with a number to call.<br>
Good Luck!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My only complaint is that the district still does half day K, which I think is totally stupid. By the time the kids get there, take off their coats and boots, and unpack their bags, it's time tor reverse the process and go home.</td>
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Just wanted to point out that I disagree with this. I would be dissappointed if our K was going to be full day. I think 2.5 to 3 hours of school a day is more than enough for a 5 year old.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kalimay</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7972482"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think 2.5 to 3 hours of school a day is more than enough for a 5 year old.</div>
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I agree with that. It's why we're on the fence between PS and homeschool. PS's here are 5 1/2-6 hrs a day, 5 days a week. Starting at 8am. It seems insane to me, for a 5 yr old. We looked into private schools and they were the same or worse, and often with a long commute involved. Besides financial reasons if we do choose school we'll go the public route partly because at least they're done at 1.30 in K. Still, it's daunting...
 

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I wouldn't worry about not being called back either. Most schools have one secretary so I don't want to sound harsh but really the last thing they have time for is returning calls to someone who isn't a school member. They're struggling to keep up with all the needs of the kid's, teachers, janitors, parents, etc. They really expect you to just show up then if they can't handle you right away they will make an appointment. You could also just call again because it's rare at our school that they don't answer the phone during school hours.<br><br>
My son did pick up a lot of the super hero boy-centric stuff at school and it did bother me but I don't want to raise him in a bubble so I trust him to handle it. He's now in grade 1 after JK and SK (we have 2 years of kindergarten here) and he's starting to realise that a lot of that stuff is crap and he still prefers to play in the sand box.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kalimay</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7972482"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Just wanted to point out that I disagree with this. I would be dissappointed if our K was going to be full day. I think 2.5 to 3 hours of school a day is more than enough for a 5 year old.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:
 

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I personally believe the all day kindergarten can be good for some kids.<br><br>
I wouldn't have sent my ds to all day, as he wasn't ready. He has a later birthday (March) and has a hard time with transition, so 1/2 day was great for him.<br><br>
Fast forward two years to my dd - she will go to all day kindergarten in the fall. She'll be 6 in October and can't wait. She can't wait to go all day with her brother. She loves being at school with friends.<br><br>
In our district, it's still an option. You have to pay for the all day program.
 

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Well, in our district we had 1/2 day Kindergarten, but they still tried to fit in all the "stuff" the full day kindergartens in surrounding districts do. It was INCREDIBLY rushed, and as a result stressful for dd. And, Kindergarten today looks alot (academically) like first grade did when I was a kid.<br><br>
I'm hoping that by the time ds is old enough, we'll have full day K.<br><br>
1/2 day here was 12:45 to 3:20 -- shorter than most preschool programs in the area. Full day is 9:20 to 3:20, w/about an hour in the middle for lunch and recess.<br><br>
-Michelle
 
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