Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Kindergarten Debate

I just received information in my school mailbox about Jacob enrolling in kindergarten for the fall. I can tear up just thinking about sending our first born off to kindergarten. I can't believe he is ready to start his academic adventure for the next 20+ years of his life. It blows my mind that our family schedule will soon be filled with field trips, conferences, concerts, and sporting events. I have been looking forward to this since he was first born, but now that we are just around the corner, I am so sad to let him out into the "wild" to learn how to navigate learning, friendships, and other things. I can't be right next to him whispering all the "right" choices.

As I am reading through the registration paperwork, I need to check if he will be half-day everyday or full-day everyday. As a teacher in the school he will attend, I would love for him to be at school all day, so I can pop in and see him, so we can ride to and from school together, and I could hopefully sit and eat an occasional lunch with him- especially on mashed potatoes and turkey gravy day- YUM!

We will be choosing half-day, but really only because of the cost. It's over $3,000.00 to send him full day- ouch! I don't see how people can afford that, especially if you are already paying for childcare for your other children.
However, I wanted to see if there was any clear evidence of full day being better than half day, but I wasn't able to come up with any clear answers. I did come across a helpful and informational website that I thought I would pass along just in case any of you are in the same boat right now.
I would love to hear from parents on both sides of the issue, what do you know, what was your experience, would you do it again???


  1. I have heard from other parents that many kindergarten programs are really just a daycare type atmosphere in the afternoon. They teach things in the morning but the afternoon is more for playing. -Emily

  2. I was a half day guy and I turned out to be a genius! Don't worry about it.

  3. I'm just curious why have to pay an addition $3000 for full day? If that's the case, I'm assuming that the second half of the day is child care, not actual kindergarten.

    Okay and as a kindergarten teacher, if you have to pay, don't bother sending him for a full day. Here's my class's schedule -

    AM - Reading, Math, Calendar Time, Specials (gym, computer, etc) and science if we have time.
    PM - lunch, recess, rest time, learning labs, choice time.

    So you can see that the afternoon is MUCH less academic than the morning. The kids brains have pretty much just shut off around 11:30. So we cram all the academics into the morning.

  4. Thanks for the imput- Brandt, I completely forgot what a genius you are- thanks for reminding me :)

    This is what it says in the flyer for what a full day looks like
    Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Speaking
    Social Studies
    Lunch and snack time
    Outdoor recess
    Health, Science
    Theme related activities
    Story time
    Phy Ed.

    I've taught full day kindergarten before, but my experience is nothing to go by- it was completely a dysfunctional program.

  5. We sent both of our boys to all day Kindergarten and Greta will be going all day in the fall. The cost in Maple Lake is around $2,400. I LOVE the idea of all day Kindergarten. They don't teach them anything extra but they have much more time to work on what they are learning. One of the all day teachers is a scrapbooking friend of mine and she has shared with me that she wishes that it was state mandated so that all of the kids were able to go through the all day program.

    All day Kindergarten is not just day care in the afternoon (at least not in Maple Lake.) They spread out the lessons through the day and have time for recess (half day does not) and they are able to spend more time with reading, etc.


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