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Discussion Starter #1
Back in February, we went to an open house for Kindergarten for my 5yr old Molly. When we got there, they asked us how we felt about the possibility of having all day kindergarten implemented there. They also asked if it was an option what would we do and if it was MANDATORY what would we do(parochial school so there WOULD be other options). So...I filled out my questionaire...I said I'd choose half day kindergarten. Then they asked us to put "why" we had chosen our answer. I put that (ok ...ok it's selfish I know but)...this is my last child and I want to spend as much time w/ her as I can (even if I do start working part time).
So maybe that is not a very valid reason but hey, at least I'm honest. Ok, so onward to mid march...

We go to Kindergarten registration and again, we are asked that if we had the option to choose, what would we do....and we had to specify at this point...morning or afternoon half day or all day/every day. Again, I put half day and tagged on the afternoon choice. Two of my three that have gone thru this school thus far have been in afternoons and I find it much more relaxing for everyone involved! Anyway...we get a letter on Friday that there were 54 children signed up for Kindergarten. Out of these 54, 25 are signed up for all day/every day, 19 are signed up for morning half days and 10 are signed up for the afternoon half days. They are making the all day optional this year and are looking to make it mandatory next year. Putting my feelings aside about what all day (pro or con..doesn't matter really)...I am a bit concerned about having a class of 54 children ...half are going to go all day every day. Will this effect how they mix next year and effect them as a whole class(educationally and socially). Why not do all or none? Now you have 54 parents wondering if their original decisions are correct. They are now going to do a parent meeting next week. I wish they had done so before the letters were sent out so parents aren't frantic. Anyhow.....my final question is this... if my daughter remains in the class she is signed up for, would having 10 children in a class be a good thing or bad? While they get individual attention ...will this be a bad thing for next year when they get to first grade and may have a class of 20-25? All day kindergarten is new to our community and I believe will come to be a common thing soon. All of the surrounding schools do this and I am not dead set against it...I just wonder if splitting a group of 54 kids up (half/all day) is a good thing...

I really don't have strong feelings either way on this..so I am posting it hoping it will give me some idea on what to expect. I do think my daughter would be fine in all day every day, but the schedule they gave us really didn't impress me too entirely so I don't think she'd suffer THAT much. But am I putting her at a disadvantage by not considering it? I might not have a choice, I might not be able to move her even if I did change my mind...just want some feedback.
 

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Question to clarify your situation......Is it going to be one class and one teacher? Or, are all of the children that go full days going to be in one class and then the morning kids will be in another class, with another teacher, who will then teach the afternoon kids?

I'll wait to give an opinion until I understand the situation better. Just as a general comment, though, my girls both attended afternoon kindergarten (I agree with you that it was less hectic) and they only went half days. I tend to think that kids have their whole lives to be in school, so what is the big hurry to put them there all day. One of my good friends is a kindergarten teacher where the kids go full days. They do their work in the morning and then have lunch, nap, and play in the afternoons. If that is the case, then why rush them off to full days. Of course, anymore so many parents work and they probably love full day kindergarten. I was home with my children and I loved the time with them, and I felt very fortunate to be able to do that.
 

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Hi Triste! I'm going to give my honest opinion on the matter but it might not be the Right decision for you. I graduated in 1990 with a degree in elementary education but have not taught since 1998, having started a family. I was very fortunate that I do not have to work and could stay home full time with my 2 girls. My youngest is 4 and has one more year of at home with mom. Kindergarten here is everyday all day (which I'm not fond of for me but for those parents who work full time or "ignore" their children at home then it may be better). I believe my children have benefited from being with me versus preschool, etc. Having said that, it really depends on if the parent is truly spending time with their child. If your child is spending most of the time watching tv, playing alone then I would say she/he would be better off in school. But if the parent is interacting with the child, having playdates and etc., I feel she/he is learning valuable lessons at home. My daughter and I read, play educational games, bake (measurements), plus she "helps" with chores, and we attend the local library story hour each week, and get together for play time with another child and mother. Hope this helps! Bottom line is follow your heart
: What is best for one child may not be the right choice for another.
 

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Here is just my opinion.... My son is now 7 he went to all day kindergarten. I think it was the best thing for him. It allowed him to get used to spending all day in a structured enviorment while learning and still giving him the time he needed to goof off. From my point of view, as a mother who does work full time it wasn't any easier than half day kindergarten. I still had to find care for him after school. I kept my son home with me until he was 2 and a half then I went back to work I didn't want him to miss out on what I consider vital socialization skills. Being an only child he is quite advanced in his knowledge base but he still needed that time adjust to being in a large group of kids and still following rules. Learning how to be patient and interact with others in areas outside the home. Evan loved every min of kindergarten. He grew so much that year learning educational and social things. All day kindergarten for us was from 8 am to 2 45 mttf and 8 to 1 on w. I know the thing that amazed me the most is the fact that the things he learned in kindergarten I swear we didn't work on until 1rst or 2nd grade, things seem so much more advanced these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by msmagnolia@Apr 11 2005, 11:16 AM
Question to clarify your situation......Is it going to be one class and one teacher?  Or, are all of the children that go full days going to be in one class and then the morning kids will be in another class, with another teacher, who will then teach the afternoon kids?

I'll wait to give an opinion until I understand the situation better.  Just as a general comment, though, my girls both attended afternoon kindergarten (I agree with you that it was less hectic) and they only went half days.  I tend to think that kids have their whole lives to be in school, so what is the big hurry to put them there all day.  One of my good friends is a kindergarten teacher where the kids go full days.  They do their work in the morning and then have lunch, nap, and play in the afternoons.  If that is the case, then why rush them off to full days.  Of course, anymore so many parents work and they probably love full day kindergarten.  I was home with my children and I loved the time with them, and I felt very fortunate to be able to do that.
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The all day every day teacher(we'll call her Mrs X) will have 25 students w/ an aide(though it has not been made known to us if it will be a full time or part time). Mrs Y will teach the morning half day and the afternoon half day classes as it has been in the past. The "half day" kids only go half of a day w/ the same teacher every day. If they are morning, they go from 8-11am...and then go home. If they are afternoon, they go 12:00-3pm. The schedule for the all day/every day has them doing work all morning w/ one recess...then lunch and play, then 30 min quiet time, then activities that "reinforce what they are learning" ...then recess and wrapping things up, then dismissal. I am a full time mom who might go to work part time but we are talking maybe 2-3 days a week but only 3 hours at a time so most of my time is here at home with the kids. I kinda feel that they have to grow up so fast as it is and want her here w/ me but I also don't want her to be at a disadvantage.



I wanted to add that she's been going to preschool for 2 years now and hasn't been 'home' ALL of the time w/ me. Being the youngest of four, she does her homework w/ the other kids
I wish it was that easy when they are teens!
 

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Here in NJ, kindergarten is not required. Although not many parents do this, some children don't start school until the 1st grade. Having said that, all three of my kids went to full day, every day kindergarten. All three also went to pre-school starting at age 3. That was a 3 day a week, half day program. My youngest attended pre-k at 4 years old in a full day, every day program. She was the only one of the three to do that. The other two went to a traditional pre-k program (mostly play, learn ABC's, numbers, and how to write your name.)

My children attend a private school and none of their classes has more than 15 students. To me, the large number (greater than 25) would be more of a concern than the length of the day. But what works for us might not work for others. I say go with your gut because you know what's in their best interests.
 

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My school district doesn't offer full day kindergarten-there are too many children in the district and kindergarten teachers are too few. (and classroom space)

My son, Joseph, goes to half day, every day, pre-k. I pay extra for the every day thing, but he loves it, and get's more socialization-all my friends children go to the same thing.

Next year, it's half day Kindergarten. If they had full day, I don't know if I'd like it-How much can a 5 year old take? He is dogged by half a day. We spend the afternoon playing outside, and resting.

I know that parents that work full time are pushing for all day K. They are the ones that have the kids in all day daycare now. I understand their position of working, but I'm not in that position, and while they're babies, I'd rather they be babies with me.

My son who's in 1st grade, adjusted from half day K to full day easily, as did my daughter who's now in 3rd.

They will have so many years to be out of the house all day, and away from me-I'm not rushing it. Not at all.
 

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Triste,
Thanks for the clarification. If it were my child, I would probably go with the class with the smallest number of students, so that the child would get lots of one on one time with the teacher. Therefore, I would stick with the afternoon kindergarten that you've already planned on. My girls went to Pre-K 2 mornings a week for a year, then 3 mornings a week for a year, then half day kindergarten and then full time first grade. For us, that was a really nice progression without being overwhelmed. Again, I just didn't feel that there was a big rush for full time school.

I'm sure you'll make the right decision for your child and for your family.
 

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i don't think i can answer your question as a 'parent'.. but heres my opinion.

stick w/ the half day choice. i can still remember being in kindergarten, and it was soooo overwhelming going every day. i'd be disoriented and miss my mommy
i cant even imagine suddenly going to school at that age and going all day.

i think kindergarten is such an 'adjustment' year for kids.. they get used to being away from home 5 days a week. and its soo important you dont overwhelm your kid.

anyways, on the whole ten kids in the class thing - thats fine! they'll interact and make friends, and then in first grade just make more friends.

i'm soo sorry this is hard on you, i'd love to be able to relate but i cant, so i'm just extending my sympathy cuz i DO know how hard it is to make important decisions :lol:

good luck! let us know how the meeting goes
 

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I'm for the 1/2 day program. All the necessary work can be done in that time frame. Socialization and play are the main things at this age. My baby started at four because he wanted to go where his sisters were. It was a private Episcopal school with a reputation for advanced learning. The first week, his teacher had him in the hall telling another teacher she didn't know what she was going to do with him. At home, he was reading and doing first grade math, but he was expected to color and paste. He learned to hate school then, and didn't take an interest in it until he got into his major subjects in college. He just formed the opinion that what they were trying to teach him was a waste of his time, and he continued with that idea, even telling his teachers along the way his feelings. Looking back, I think I did him a great wrong by putting him in this situation. He had to go all day because we were 25 miles from the school, so he got even more nonsense staying the whole time.
 

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As a teacher (granted I'm secondary) I personally dont have any opinion on the matter.. (gotta be a first) I went to half day kindergarten, (morning) but I think I would have been just as happy.

My problem with this whole thing is class size. It's been found that students with smaller class sizes in k-3 do better in school all the way up into high school. There's federal money that can be received by schools to have smaller classes, which is probably why the one class will have an aid.
 

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My daughter started Kindergarten this year, and this is the first year the school implemented the full day classes. I was a bit concerned that she would be overwhelmed. Being a [selfish] stay at home mom of course I thought full day K was absurd! How could a child endure that much school!? She NEEDS to be home with ME! But when she came home from her first day full of smiles and said she loved school, my concerns melted away. Plus, I figure I get to have some quality one on one time with my 3 year old son while my daughter's in school. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Originally posted by Boom Boom's Mom@Apr 11 2005, 07:04 PM
As a teacher (granted I'm secondary)  I personally dont have any opinion on the matter..  (gotta be a first)  I went to half day kindergarten, (morning) but I think I would have been just as happy. 

My problem with this whole thing is class size.  It's been found that students with smaller class sizes in k-3 do better in school all the way up into high school.  There's federal money that can be received by schools to have smaller classes, which is probably why the one class will have an aid.
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so you think half day w/ smaller class would be more of a benefit than full day w/ 25 kids?


And Carrie...See, this is my BABY baby..last of four. I really think she'd do fine w/ all day, but I am not convinced w/ the curriculum they've presented to me...is MUCH better.
 

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Oh, I understand now.... It's got to be tough sending the "baby" off to school. I was just stating, since it was mandatory for my little girl to go full day, that it wasn't as rough as I thought it was going to be on her. But if I had the choice, I would go with the half day-smaller class. Better teacher-to-child ratio, and the socialization and structure is still there. I'm sure, which ever choice you make, will be fine!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If she were my oldest, I probably wouldn't have such issue. I hate that they are giving us a "choice" this year. All or none and none of us parents would be second guessing ourselves..
 
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