Friday, February 22, 2008

Fulltime Kindergarten

Advocates of fulltime K say that the program enhances a child's early educational development while opponents say that it's fulltime childcare at taxpayer expense with no history to prove the expense is worth the effort. What do you think?

Select your answer in the reader poll in the right nav bar, and feel free to add your comments to this post.

16 comments:

K-Feasterville said...

I think full day kindergarten is a great idea. At that age they are learn so much. Think about what there day involves. Arrive at school 9:00 start class 9:15, then they have recess, and other breaks and leave by 11:30 so how much are they really learning?

Anonymous said...

I personally feel that there are so many pressures that are placed on our children in this day and age and to start that pressure for a child at an even earlier age is a mistake. Kindergarten had always been a time of transition for kids and the 1/2 day program has always been the opportunity for kids to gradually be introduced into the school system.

I do agree with K-Feasterville in that this age is a time for huge growth for a child, but I feel a one-on-one approach from a parent-child relationship gives a child a better opportunity to flourish and grow than to be placed into the public school system at an earlier age. Unfortunately very few people are afforded this luxury and if there is to be full-time kindergarten in the future maybe there can be a compromise made that allows families to make a choice.

Anonymous said...

I think we should stay with half day kindergarten. They are still so young and I truly don't believe that developmentally they are absorbing all that much in full day anyways. I think at this age parents should still be most responsible for those "after school day" learning experiences.
It makes sense to me on a personal level (they leave home for all day school soon enough unless they are in all day daycare) and on a financial level. (Our money should be spent elsewhere IMHO)

Anonymous said...

The district should provide early intervention prek for those who qualify. Early intervention is the key to servicing at risk children.

Anonymous said...

I think we should stay half day as well. Let the kids be kids for a year, they have the next 12 to really get down to work. I agree that this is a good time to transistion. Parents should spend more time teaching at home. Both of my children were reading very well and were pretty proficient in math due to lots of enrichment at home.

I do see the other side that full day may help many kids that either need additional help or dont get it at home. It could also reduce the amount of students that end up in pre-first.

Anonymous said...

K Feasterville
I'm not sure what K your children go to but if they are having several breaks plus a "recess"...something is wrong with that curriculum. If they are a neshaminy student they have instruction time and special. Please clarify what "breaks" you are talking about

Call me skeptical said...

A child's attention span at that age is limited which is why fulltime kindergarten programs have to build in time for games, rest, and social interaction. Nice things if you can afford it, but taxpayers shouldn't have to fit the bill for daycare.
Here is a link to JD Mullane's most recent column on the topic:http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/219-02072008-1483992.html

Anonymous said...

I personally agree with anonymous that half day kindergarden is sufficient at that age. There is so much pressure on kids these day--let them enjoy being kids. I can see where full day may be more beneficial for the working parents but having been there with my own kids and see what lies ahead as far as work load---let them enjoy their free time being kids!

AB

k-feasterville said...

Most kids go half days for 3 days a week in pre-k even everyday at some pre-k school. It's not about baby sitting it about teach at at rate that can be absorbed instead of throwing something everyday. As far as transition In most cases it's the parents that can deal with it. I just feel in todays age when can provided our children with an outstanding education we should take advantage of every opportunity we can. Have you looked at the higher education in this country how many are foriegners in our top universities because they put an emphasis on education at a young age.

Anonymous said...

The absolute LAST person on earth I would consult regarding full day kindergarten would be J.D. Mullane...

Anonymous said...

Early intervention begins at home...reading to your child..making eye contact, encouraging langugage skills, pre-reading skills, enhancing socialization, limiting TV...etc. You don't need a PHD to prepare your child for school. Many children are raised by TV, grandparents, divorce...a huge mix of factors that affect them before they even reach the school house gate. Parents are the first educaators. Schools just pick up where parents left off and for some of these children it is tragic.

Anonymous said...

agree with the JD comment 100%!!!

no need said...

My children have done very well with only ½ day kindergarten. They were prepared for 1st grade and my older ones have continued to excel! We must remember that we are our child's first teachers. It is up to us to start them with the basics and for school to expand on the foundation we have given them. It's not the job of the taxpayer to pay for child care. The majority of us have both parents working, but I wouldn't dream of asking the taxpayers to foot the bill for my child to be in all day kindergarten. I'm sure if you did a study asking who would want all day kindergarten, it would be overwhelmingly requested from those parents that both work. Childcare is expensive and having to only pay for a couple of hours of after school care is cheaper than 6. It's tough for all of us, but we made a choice to have children and can't look to everyone else to pay for something that is our responsibility.

MamaSaid said...

I am an at-home mom of 4 children. All of our children went to a private full-day K outside of the district. We felt this would build on the foundation of learning we had laid for them, while allowing time in class for individual differences, socialization and the other more subtle learning that takes place in a classroom. It was a good decision.
I was very surprised when our first child entered 1st grade, at how varied the skill levels were of the children in the class. Our daughter was a good reader, but others in the class didn't know their alphabet yet.
I think that the experience of full day K can help level the playing field for when kids enter 1st grade and there needs to be a greater emphasis on academics, not just learning the basics.
Also, though to some parents this may serve as convenient babysitting, the fact is we as a community are called to pursue academic excellence in our schools. I believe full day K does a better job of putting our children and the district on that path.

Karen said...

If Neshaminy offers full day kindergarten will it be in each school or the lottery system like Pennsbury had? (and now have gotten rid of)

I want the opportunity to put my child in half day K.

If you do some research, you will see that many school districts are bucking the trend of full day K and keeping or going back to half day K.

Food for thought

William O'Connor said...

Karen: Even though the McKissick options include f/t K, the board really hasn't discussed that issue at length. I really don't know which way a vote would turn out since I haven't spoken to each board member, but my guess is that the majority vote would be no.