Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kindergarteners have it rough

My son started 4-yr. old preschool in August. I'm in shock that he is growing up so quickly. During the three days a week that he is in school, I often wonder where the time has gone. Down the street from us, there are a few kids who are 5 and started Kindergarten this year. My own memories of Kindergarten (albeit very few) include coming home for lunch and then taking a nap if I was really tired out. In this day and age, Kindergarteners have it rough. Our neighborhood kids get on the bus before 8 AM and don't walk in the door at home again until after 4 PM. Is it me, or is this totally crazy?? I can't imagine putting little 5 year olds through such a long day, but that's what we do now. Since when did Kindergarten become an all day affair? I mean, it has essentially become 1st grade, if you think about it. It sure does seem like a lot for our little people to have to handle, and I'm not too thrilled with the prospect of that kind of life for my son next year. Unfortunately, our income won't allow for attendance at a private school, so we're stuck with what is offered here in our public schools. And, no, I'm not even considering homeschooling. My sanity must be preserved. 'Nuff said.

I haven't researched the matter, but I'm assuming all day Kindergarten came about as a result of two things: 1) mothers started working full time out of the home and needed childcare, and 2) our academics across the nation went down the toilet in comparison with the rest of the western world, so we decided our youth needed to learn more at an earlier age.

In spite of those two reasons, you can mark this mama down as not a fan of all day Kindergarten. I just don't think it's necessary for our 5 year olds. Why can't we let them enjoy their childhood a little longer like we were allowed to when we were young?

What's your opinion on this one?


  1. Our school district offers half day, integrated and full-day kindergarten. We chose full-day for our youngest. She has academic skills but, where she will benefit from full-day kindergarten is in the social. She is a high energy curious little girl who needs constant stimulation and constant interaction with other children. Full-day kindergarten provides both of those things. Heck, she is still raring to go even after she gets off the bus at 4:20! So far, she is thriving in this environment.

  2. I agree. Preschool is the new kindergarten. I am homeschooling my daughter for kindergarten, but the kids around here are also on that 8:30 to 4 p.m. schedule. I can't imagine how hard that would be for a 5 year old.

    When do the parents get to see their kids and spend time with them?

  3. Sue,
    Wow, it's fanatastic that you have so many choices. I guess that should be my main complaint - that there isn't an alternative available to all day school five days a week, that I can't choose what I think is best for my child.

  4. I had full day kindergarten, but I was prepared by half-day pre-school. It was the next logical step. I didn't see kindergarten as formal learning, just more playtime while learning my letters. I think our schedule was 8-2:30. I wonder if they changed it to a longer day because more parents are working.

  5. I'd love a compromise in between half day and full day - maybe like 4.5 hrs or so. In our district the kindergarteners are only in school 3 hr + 15 min each day and every Wed it's a shade under 3 hrs. Then the next year they jump up to 6 hr + 20 min. I think they'd be better prepared for that big shift by being in school a wee bit longer. Also they don't eat lunch on campus and I think the socialization of the shared lunch hour is a good thing.

    Thanks so much for swinging by my blog on my Sits Day last week:-)