Full Day versus Half Day Kindergarten??

Heather - posted on 04/01/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )




My son will start kindergarten in the fall. Due to a recent state bill, the full day kingdergartens will now be fully funded and the parents don't need to pay anything. Historically, Indiana doesn't even require kindergarten and my town has typically offered half day programs (for free), a booster program (for free but only for kids with extra needs) and then a full day where parents paid the cost.

I'm torn about what class to enroll in. I'm leaning (quite a bit!) to the half day program because I am a SAHM and the free all day class has no monetary incentive for me and also my son has struggled (socially and seperation anxiety) with preschool and pre-K. I will say this last year he has done much better (with setbacks returning from breaks). My daughter did the half day program and did great. My son is quite different and may never like doing to school but I think the half day program will ease him into the rigors and structure of all day school.

I ask because the school board is pushing parents to do all day classes and I'm second guessing myself.



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Robin - posted on 04/01/2012




Unfortunately, the rigor expected of academics even in kindergarten in today's world is high. Kids starting full day kindergarten take up to 6 weeks learning routines, (a little less for students who attended preschool) what a line is, when is work time vs play time, transitions to PE, music etc. Your kindergarten teachers are professionals. Your child will not be the first child they have ever had with seperation anxiety. I would clearly let the kindergarten teacher or the team know that before coming to school. They will be prepared for him. Many times I have held on to a child who did not want to leave mom. The child is crying the mom is crying honestly, it is hardest on the mom. As a teacher I hate sounding like the meany, but I ask mom to please leave they don't need to see you crying too. Very rarely if ever have we had to call a parent to come and get their child. Once we give them the time to settle down, pull themselves together get them involved with activities in the classroom they are fine. HONESTLY! Your child will not be the only one asking during the day is it time to go home yet, or say they want their mom during lunch. We are prepared for these kids. We want their experience to be pleasant as well. Hardest thing for a parent is to let go. At every stage of their life there is a time we have to let go. I am a single parent as well....and I understand how hard it it to let go. Once your child is well adjusted to school, volunteer in the library or other places so he can see you in school. When you think he is ready, volunteer to help in the classroom. That possibly may not be until December, so don't worry and don't push it! Have open communication with your teacher....she will guide you through!

Good luck!

[deleted account]

All I can offer is my experience. We don't have half day K and I only know of one preschool (it's possible there are others) that offers a less than 5 days/week option (where my son currently is).

My girls started preschool 2 months after turning 3 at 5 hours/day, 5 days/week. It took about a month of minor adjustment since they were used to being home w/ me 24/7. They started K at 4.5 and have always done great (5th graders now).

My son has always had separation issues, so I started him in preschool at 3.5 going 2 days/week. He just turned 4 and will go 5 days/week next school year. Then on to full day K. My son took about a month to quit screaming hysterically at drop off time, but he's doing very well now.

The only experience I have w/ half day K is a boy that came from doing half day K somewhere else and started first grade w/ my girls. After a week they moved him down to the full day K here cuz he was just not ready to deal w/ full days AND first grade.

Amy - posted on 04/01/2012




I think you have to think about your son. Our town just passed a budget for all day kindergarten but here it's mandatory you don't have the half day option. My son is just finishing kindergarten and I'm glad he is out before the full day, I honestly feel like he would of been bored there all day long, academically he was already doing everything he needs to be doing by the end of the year. However having sat in on the class a couple of times, they are cramming full day curriculum into a half day schedule so I can see how it can be frustrating for a teacher to have to cover the same amount of information as other districts in half the time.

My daughter just turned two so we have a couple of years before we have to worry about her but as of right now I would think she's going to need a full day. She is so much further behind then her brother was at this point but she still has time to catch up. She's very smart but just does not have the language skills her brother has. If I were you i would look at where your son is academically and determine what's going to be most beneficial to him. I would also keep in mind that most parents are going to be choosing the full day because of work and because it's free so keep in mind that in first grade your son may be slightly disadvantaged to all his peers.

Heather - posted on 04/01/2012




Oh I forgot to mention my son currently goes two half days a week to preschool.

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