Benefits Of Full-Day Kindergarten

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Benefit Of Full-Day Kindergarten

Many parents are caught with the dilemma of whether to leave their kids in full-day or half-day kindergarten. Often the dilemma can be distilled into two types – monetary concerns and time management. In either event, kids miss out on some benefits of full-day kindergarten if the parents opt otherwise. It may seem counterintuitive, but there are some good points.

1. It can be cheaper for the parents.
It sounds heartless, but few have billions in their bank. It is possible that full-day kindergarten would cost less than if the parents took care of the child personally.

2. Teachers can use the extra time.
Teachers who spend more time with their students are more likely to be able to teach them. Time spent together develops bonds of trust, which eases the child and allows children to learn better. It also allows the teachers to observe the children, which could lead to a more personalized instruction style.

3. Scheduling becomes easier.
Full-day schooling schedules usually match the daily work rhythm and thus, can potentially save parents two trips. They can save more if they have more than one child, in fact.

4. Students can also use the time.
The more time they spend in school, the more opportunities they have to learn. They have more time to discuss issues they may have with their teachers.

The obvious drawback would be that the parents naturally spend less time with their children. This may lead to problems in the future in terms of bonding, but can be solved by spending their free time with their kids. Should one choose to put their kids in full-day kindergarten, they will find that the risk is far outweighed by the benefits. A parent must choose carefully, as not all kindergartens are equal. It is best to interact with the teacher to personally gauge them before allowing them to handle their children.

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One Response

  1. David Buckna

    September 20, 2010 10:49 pm

    Check out my essay “When did education become a race?” at:

    In the essay I quote parenting author Steve Biddulph ( who was
    a keynote speaker at the Gender and Student Achievement Conference in Kamloops,
    B.C., Canada (Oct. 18-20, 2007)

    According to Biddulph, full-day Kindergarten for 5-year-olds is too long, and any
    younger is a big mistake developmentally. In support of Biddulph’s claim, a major
    review of British primary schools by Cambridge University stated the practice of
    allowing children to start school at age four was found to be stressful. Yet its
    authors found that in some countries where students start school up to two years
    later, many outperform their English peers.

    Biddulph says the calendar is a poor guide for when a child should start school as
    most boys (and some girls) are slower to develop fine-motor and language skills.

    But if we followed the Finland model, children would have access to free, full-day
    daycare (up to age five), full-day Kindergarten (age six), and wouldn’t begin Grade
    1 until age seven.

    Carl Honoré ( writes in “Under Pressure: Putting the Child Back
    in Childhood” (2009): “Their [Finnish children] early childhood is spent at home or
    in nursery programs where play is king. When they finally do reach school, they
    enjoy short days, long vacations and plenty of music, art and sports.” (p. 122)

    “Apart from final exams at the end of high school, Finnish kids face no standardized
    tests. Teachers use quizzes, and individual schools use tests to track their pupils’
    progress, but the idea of cramming for SATs is as alien to Finland as a heat wave in
    winter. This presents a delicious irony: the nation that puts the least stress on
    competition and testing, that shows the least appetite for cram schools and private
    tutoring, routinely tops the world in PISA’s competitive exams.” (p. 123)


    “It was exciting to learn about the approaches being taken in Finland and
    Singapore, especially,” Moss said. (Finland routinely lands atop the
    rankings of education systems around the globe.) “When you have the
    opportunity to listen and talk with these leaders about what works in
    their countries, it’s hard not to appreciate the urgency of education
    reform in the United States.”

    But the kinds of reform in the spotlight at the conference didn’t have
    much in common with the ideas many are championing back here in the United
    States, such as an over-reliance on testing, merit pay for teachers, and
    charter schools.
    Finland’s secrets to educational success
    September 14, 2010
    Kristin Rushowy–finland-s-secrets-to-educational-success

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