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School Is Tiring!

School is tiring business. That's the only thing that can account for a new level of arsenic in those early evening hours that we've been experiencing since the start of school last week.

My sister warned me. Every year, the kids are exhausted the first few weeks of school, she said. Husband and I nodded but privately thought, "How different could it be?" After all, he was in preschool the same number of hours. Yes, it's a new teacher. Yes, it's a new school. But he had that last year, too.

Well, sis, you were right. Over the past week, I've taken an unscientific count of other parents of kindergartners at various schools. Other kids in his class? Tired. Kindergartners at his former private school? Tired! Kindergartners at several other schools in our county? Yes, tired ... and one even had homework the first week! A former kindergarten teacher tells me to expect the exhaustion to last about four or five weeks. Ouch!

According to Maria Glod's article in Monday's Post about all-day kindergarten:

Educators say half-day classes are becoming a thing of the past because young students need more than a few hours of class each day to master the building blocks of literacy and math before first grade. That foundation helps prepare them for more difficult work, such as the reading and math tests they will start taking in third grade under the No Child Left Behind law.

Are the extra hours of intensity worth it? A few days into week 2, I'm not so sure. What do you think? Does school exhaust your kids, too?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  September 6, 2007; 7:15 AM ET  | Category:  Elementary Schoolers
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Comments


Well, it's at least good to know it's not just us! I, too, couldn't figure out what was going on -- both kids are in school/daycare exactly the same number of hours as before, and neither one changed classes (my daughter's school moves them up over the summer to get them used to the new classroom). But I think the transition back to sitting still and really focusing your mental energy on the classwork takes more out of them than we anticipate -- I mean, first week of 1st grade and my daughter was bringing home handwritten, graded paragraphs about what she had done that day, with practice words, punctuation lessons, etc. It's easy to forget how draining that kind of focus and effort can be (at least, it was/is for me, so I shouldn't forget that).

Posted by: Laura | September 6, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

My first daughter came home from half day Kindergarten and took a nap after lunch each day. My other daughter did not require sleep but she did rest on her bed "reading". They both still easily went to bed by 8 pm every night. I can't imagine how they would have been if they had been required to stay at school all day. I'm glad we had the option for half day Kindergarten.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 8:14 AM | Report abuse

It is odd how it works but I'm glad that school tires my kindergartener out. She goes to bed with less problems!

Posted by: Rockville Mom | September 6, 2007 8:22 AM | Report abuse

My little ones will be headed for 1/2 day Kindergarten (Loudoun) and although in theory full day sounds better, I know so many moms who are holding their kids back b/c they don't think their 5 YO can handle full day. Ultimately, I think I am glad my kids will have the ability to ease into elementary school and still rest after AM kindergarten is over. I know I could use a rest mid day...

Posted by: Working Mom of 2 | September 6, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I think it's part of the transition. Learning and playing hard are tiring. It's one of the reasons I plan to quit before my oldest starts Kindergarten next year and not return until after the youngest is in first grade. I want them to get off the bus to a peaceful and well run home, not chaos as my husband and I try to determine who will be home to meet the bus every day.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 6, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

That was meant to be a joke, but it didn't come out as funny as I wanted. Whoops.

:)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 6, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

My 5 year olds Montessori has a 4 week adjustment period of shorter class times with only some of the studants at a time that seems to help avoid this problem. My 4th grader however, is another story! She has been exhausted and very cranky this past week. My 3 year olds just started their school yesterday and were also pretty beat last night.

My oldest went to a kindergarten that was 1/2 day 3 days a week and full day the other two days. It was awesome! It was enough of an intro to full day that the kids had less of an adjustment period in first grade, but it was not overwhelming.

Posted by: Mom of 5 | September 6, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

My child just started 1st grade as well, and I was fully expecting this problem, too. For some reason, it did not happen. He comes home in a good mood after a full day, proud and happy. Sure, he's tired, but not in an "arsenic" kind of way.

Believe me, he's not what you'd call an easy-going kid, and I was expecting the worst. For some reason, though, things are smooth.

I don't know why, obviously. Maybe it's the kind of school, curriculum, classmates? Maybe just luck.

Posted by: Sheila | September 6, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

When my daughter started full-day kindergarten three years ago (one of the first schools in the county to have full day kindergarten), they still incorporated a rest time into the daily schedule. My son went to kindergarten last year and the teacher told us that they were no longer allowing that rest time--they needed to devote as much time as possible to instruction. I could really tell the difference between the two kids. My daughter was fine with the full day schedule, while my son came home exhausted and cranky and spent most of his evenings just staring into space. I think he'd be much happier if he could just get a short break midday.

The teacher tends to agree--by the end of the day, she says she can barely keep the kids' attention and behavioral problems escalate. She wants that rest time back to give the kids the break they need so they can keep learning effectively.

Posted by: Sarah | September 6, 2007 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Full day kindergarten sounds to me like more free babysitting.

I'm in favor of it.

Posted by: Bob | September 6, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The problem with a child attending all day kindergarten is that they come home mentally exhausted, but their physical activity requirements haven't been met. This makes for a very whiney kid that can't sleep well, if at all. Perhaps someday educators will figure out that 5 year olds learn the basics of language and math, (rhyming schemes and counting) by playing outdoor games as well as they do sitting in the classroom.

the emphasis on academic achievement at such an early age is causing many children (and their parents) such abnormal stress that you can expect a continuous increase diagnosis of various mental disorders amung younger and younger children. To expect children to learn to master concepts when their minds haven't matured enough to accept the material is a very destructive component of early childhood education. Not unsurprisingly, the pharmaceutical companies have capitalized from this trend.

When my wife and I notice the synptoms of school stress (mental exhaustion, confrontational behaviour, sleeplessness, chronic stomach aches..) are impacting one of our children, we simply give them a "work from home day" that includes activities and excersize. Don't be afraid to take your child out of school several times a month in necessary, especially for all day kindergarteners. if you don't give them a break, expect them to get sick with colds and the flu, and then you'll have to take them out of school anyway.

Posted by: FatDaddy | September 6, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

FatDaddy, your idea of taking the kids out of school to give them a break might work for your family, but it doesn't in ours. My 2nd grade son has always thrived on routine and consistency, and my prekindergartener needs to learn that you go to school as part of the workweek. Also, not everyone has a stay-at-home parent or liberal leaves from work that would even make electively staying home several days a month even doable. Oh, and my son only missed a couple of days of kindergarten due to illness; he'd gotten all the rounds of colds and built up his immune system when he was younger in daycare. I can't recall the last time my 4 year old daughter was sick, either.

As for the topic at hand, my son, who had been in full-time daycare, was tired at the end of a full kindergarten day, and we just had to move up his bedtime by an hour or more (towards the end of the week). As he neared age 6, his stamina increased, and he was much better in the evenings as a 1st grader, not nearly so tired. Even though full-day kindergarten is tiring, I think the upsides of it are too good. They get art, music twice a week, PE twice a week, computer lab, and extra time for science and other fun activities.

Posted by: Arlington, VA | September 6, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Poor dears. Just wait until they have to work for a living and put in 13 to 18-hour work days five days a week.

For what it's worth, when I leave for work at 6:15 A.M., school kids are standing out in their driveways waiting for the school bus to pick them up.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

My daughter just goes to be a little earlier during the school year. She wakes up better in the morning and isn't tired after school - only hungry!

Posted by: 21117 | September 6, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I've got news for you - it doesn't end in kindergarten. My 9th-grader is still adjusting to getting on that 7 am bus... this morning I caved in and drove her to school. She is not a morning person.

The first two weeks went relatively smoothly (we live in Prince George's) but this week she is crashing.

Posted by: Loren | September 6, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I think the biggest driver of full-day kindergarten is the increased number of families without a SAH parent. If both parents work, a child in a half-day K needs to go to an after school program or something anyway. Heck, a lot of kids in full day K to to before or after school programs.

As for being tired at the start, I think it makes a big difference if the kids have been in daycare. Our son has been in full-time daycare since he was 6 months old, so full-day K is nothing new for him. He hasn't been any more tired than usual.

Also, they have recess twice a day and gym class twice a week. They also have some time to play outside in the morning before school starts.

Posted by: Dennis | September 6, 2007 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"my prekindergartener needs to learn that you go to school as part of the workweek."

Well, I didn't have to read past this sentence to know it was coming from a poster in Northern VA. It's typical of that culture to begin preparing kids for a life of long hours in the cube farm before they even get out of diapers.

Posted by: FatDaddy | September 6, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

As I drove my bawling 4 y-o to open house the very day he stated, "Why do I have to wait so long to go back to school?" I ignored him knowing it was a momentary objection to being separated from toys. An audio essay was on NPR, and my boy was listening. The narrator was expressing how stressful the beginning of school is for teachers and students. My boy bawled out, "I am stressed out about school, mom!" Well, I know how I feel when I am stressed out. Lethargic, ill, cranky, unable to sleep, combative, and in need of ice cream. So, a little mint choc chip went a long way that day.

Posted by: Sluefoot | September 6, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

My older children struggled in all-day Kindergarten - not academically, but it wore them out and made them miserable, and I'm not sure what "academic benefit" they received from it.

I sent my younger ones to all-day K at age 6, and it works out much better for them.

All day-K must be adult driven, b/c it doesn't seem to work well with children unless they get a nap and a long play period and what's the point of having them in school to sleep and play? They can do that at home.

Plus - if you're going to shove all this expectation of them learning to write (developmental), read (partially developmental), etc., then why not just wait until their old enough for it to be developmentally appropriate. Sure, some kids thrive in all dayK and some are developmentally ready for more earlier - but that doesn't seem to be the norm.

Back when K was what my husband describes as "playing with blocks", 5 seemed a good age. Now that K is reading, sitting still in little chairs and learning to print, etc. - 6 seems more appropriate.

Posted by: Juliette | September 6, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Wow. If any of my kids were stressed or exhausted after going to school I'd have them out of there so quickly their heads would spin. When I saw the headline of this blog I assumed you meant school was tiring for the PARENTS, and I was going to say "yep!!" But I guess I can't relate to this at all.

On the all day kindergarten subject - don't let yourself buy into it. Your kids will do just fine in first grade if they only go to half day kindergarten. Their preparation for first grade depends a lot more on their natural academic and social abilities and what your family life is like than how many hours they spend in a classroom before they turn 6. Take the extra time to spend with your kids before you send them off to school full days - when they're 15 you'll be glad you did, and you'll wonder why you were so worried about preschool and all day kindergarten.

Posted by: oldmom | September 6, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"I think the biggest driver of full-day kindergarten is the increased number of families without a SAH parent. If both parents work, a child in a half-day K needs to go to an after school program or something anyway. Heck, a lot of kids in full day K to to before or after school programs."

This is true in some situations, but not all. In our district half day kindergarten is funded but full day is not, so parents pay tuition for the extra half day if they choose full day kg. It's not cheap - almost $300 a month. Many working parents choose it because they need childcare anyway, but there are just as many kids in full day kg who have a SAHP. Parents just buy into the whole "my child will fall behind if they don't do this" thing and miss the big picture. :(

Posted by: oldmom | September 6, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Our school has only 1/2 day K, and it is a joke. By the time the kids take off their coats, get themselves organized and have circle time, it's time to put their coats back on and go home. If they were there the full day, they would definitely learn more.

As for the kids being tired at the end of the day, I can assure you, it's not limited to 5 year olds. My two have just started high school, and they are exhausted. The change of structure from the summer, new classes, new teachers, etc. is like any lifestyle change one goes through -- it is going to be tiring. Once the new structure becomes routine, the tiredness will go away.

Posted by: Vermonter | September 6, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"I think the biggest driver of full-day kindergarten is the increased number of families without a SAH parent. If both parents work, a child in a half-day K needs to go to an after school program or something anyway. Heck, a lot of kids in full day K to to before or after school programs."

I don't think this is true. It's a nice benefit for families with two parents working, but I don't think the needs of two-income families are driving the trend. Partially this is because the number of two-income families is actually going down (59% in 1998, down to 52.1% in 2005) and partially because full day kindergarten is expensive for school districts and they need a really good justification for something expensive (parental pressure isn't enough). Plus, as you say, even kids in full day kindergarten need before and after school care if both parents work, and I've found that it's a lot easier to find full-day care for a child that age than to find before and after care. The spots in school and YMCA programs fill up fast, so parents cobble together care from neighbors and family members or pay premium prices for spots in daycare centers, who prefer to have their slots filled by kids coming for the full day because they can charge them more (although in our case we ended up paying for full day childcare even though our child was only there a couple of hours--it was the only way to find a spot with a daycare provider).

In any event, when my daughter started full day kindergarten I asked what the full day kids would be getting that the half day kids in the school down the street weren't. Answer: math and specials. In the half day programs they focused on literacy skills and only did a few math activities throughout the year, and the kids never got to take art, music, library, gym, or technology. Full day kindergarteners got full math periods daily and finished up the day with a "special" each day of the week. And the desire to get the math skills in early was because of the drive to improve test scores down the line.

My daughter is now in third grade, so this will be the first year she takes the state-wide testing. It'll be interesting to see if the schools that had full day kindergarten do any better in these tests than the schools that started full day kindergarten later, or better than LAST year's third graders in the same school who still went to kindergarten for half days. I suspect there won't be a difference--any benefit gained in that year has probably evened out by now.

Posted by: Sarah | September 6, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"I think the biggest driver of full-day kindergarten is the increased number of families without a SAH parent."

I don't agree that this is the biggest driver. I think 'bigger drivers' are that more kids are learning in preschool what they used to be learn in Kindergarten; and also a result of No Child Left Behind and the levels of development and academic achievement the schools are required to meet.

I had 1 child go to 1/2 day before MoCo made the switch. He was just as tired as my younger who went to full day. But, we never had 'arsenic'. They are in 5th and 2nd now, and are still coming home tired. I believe it is the change in routine, focus on learning that is the most tiring, not as much full vs 1/2 day Kindergarten.

Posted by: prarie dog | September 6, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Loren is right. It doesn't end. High school is the worse that we have had it. The days start earlier and end later because of so much more homework. Thankfully, my daughter is a morning person but it has still been quite rough.

Posted by: MDMom | September 6, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Well, I didn't have to read past this sentence to know it was coming from a poster in Northern VA. It's typical of that culture to begin preparing kids for a life of long hours in the cube farm before they even get out of diapers.
-----

As opposed to, you know, New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Dallas, Miami and all those cities where people never work in offices.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

My daughter, who just started full day kindergarten in MoCo, tells me that school is not fun, it's "Super Duper Fun." Thus far, many of her reports of the day have been that it was "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." Hearing that helps me keep her long days in perspective.
Full day kindergarten is approaching the first grade curriculum that most of us had growing up. As long as everyone is learning and having fun, I'm fine with it.

Posted by: momdoc | September 6, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I am always tired. Can I just go to work a half day? :-)

Posted by: Me | September 6, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I had the same experience as Vermonter. My DH and I have always both worked full time and our children attended full-day child care programs run by the Department of Defense. In my area (Chicago suburbs), the DoD Child Care Center has a fairly robust preschool curriculum. In addition to letters, numbers and colors, my children learned about the solar system, dinosaurs, life cycles of plants and other physical science topics. The program also included several field trips to Chicago childrens' theaters and museums. For my 3 children, the switch from full-day preschool to half-day kindergarten (coupled with half-day daycare) was a joke. They were bored with the curriculum because so much of it was just repeating their preschool curriculum. The kindergarten sessions in our school district are only 2 hours 40 minutes long, hardly enough time to really do much. I took leave and chaperoned a few kindergarten field trips. The field trips were very constrained because of the short time period available. We spent as much time on the bus as we did actually exploring the field trip venue. The only real benefit kindergarten provided my children was the opportunity to meet more friends. Up until kindergarten their pool of friends was limited to our immediate neighborhood and the other children who attended the DoD center.

I never had the tiredness issue with my kids in kindergarten. All 3 had given up naps while in daycare. They got plenty of physical activity during the half-day daycare program they attended after kindergarten to meet their needs.

If you really want to worry about the effects of school-related stress on your children, wait until they get to high school. My two oldest are now in high school and they are both stretched pretty thin. Not only is the homework load much larger, but high schoolers are much busier with sports, clubs, jobs, etc.

Posted by: ChicagoGal | September 6, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree with ChicagoGal. I found that some of my son's Pre-K teachers started school with the idea that this was a child's first exposure to academics like reading. Only 2 out of 13 kids had not gone to preschool beforehand and at least 8 had been to full-day academic daycare. My son can write the alphabet, write his name, write his friends names and can read simple words by spelling the sounds out. He's 4. He asked the teacher on the first day about science experiments and the teacher almost choked. It's a new era in teaching and if your child is entering Pre-K knowing only one language or if they can't read simple words by age 4, they've got catch-up work to do. Sadly for the rest of the kids in the Pre-K programs they get bored going through the same old material they saw at age 3. For some reason unknown to me, some parents want to treat their preschoolers as pre-learners who can't or "shouldn't" learn how to read and write at 3 or who don't learn foreign languages at that age (what about the kids who speak Chinese at home and English at daycare?). Please don't try to hold my child back just because he went to an academic program and you had yours at home doing laundry.

Then there's the whole other class of SAHMs who let their 3 yr olds watch Power Rangers or wrestling because the 8 yr old liked it.

Posted by: DCer | September 6, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

DCer, you said that "Then there's the whole other class of SAHMs who let their 3 yr olds watch Power Rangers or wrestling because the 8 yr old liked it."

I think this is an unnecessary slam at SAHMs. There are plenty of working parents who make stupid TV choices for their kids, too!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 6, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

What about upper elementary? My 6th grader is exhausted by the end of the day. She has eight periods of classes, no study hall, but she does have recess. And on top of that the social atmosphere can be stressful as well as painful. She has a dazed look on her face every afternoon when I pick her up from school. Most often the first words out of her mouth is "don't talk to me". Homework has been managable so far and she is making decent grades on her tests and quizzes. She has one after school activity one day a week- thank goodness that's all she has. The joy she had this summer appears to be over for a while.

Posted by: 6th Grade Mom | September 6, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

My oldest started (full-time) kindergarten this week, and is significantly more tired and hyper in the afternoons than she was in preschool. I chalked it up to the fact that she doesn't have nap time in "big girl school," but the transition and new demands may have a lot to do with it. Thanks for the timely topic!

Posted by: leftcoastfan | September 6, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

hate to break it to you, but if your children are in public school you don't get to choose whether they attend half or full day. Hardly any schools at all offer half-day anymore.

I hate the idea of being forced to send my dd to a full-day program, but unless I homeschool I don't have much choice. Even the private schools around here only offer full-day kindergarten.

Posted by: to oldmom | September 6, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I think this is an unnecessary slam at SAHMs. There are plenty of working parents who make stupid TV choices for their kids, too!

-----

But if kids are in daycare, they don't have access to TV, right? I've only met SAHMs where the kids overwatch tv, my kids are away from TV 8 hours a day and can only fit in 1 hour with parents watching maximum. Certainly it's POSSIBLE that a parent might plop the kid in front of the TV after they get home from work, but I'm more used to the younger kid exposed to violent programming the older siblings watch after school. Not only more used to it, it seems the norm amongst toddlers who know about the Power Rangers.

Posted by: DCer | September 6, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"Full day kindergarten is approaching the first grade curriculum that most of us had growing up."

Kindergarten is what first grade used to be. That's why they keep pushing back the cutoff date. When I went to K 30 years ago, the cutoff was Jan 1., so half the class was 4 when they started. Now the cutoff is Sept 1 or Oct 1 in a lot of places. And some parents still hold their kids back so they don't start K until they are 6.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I kind of agree with FatDaddy, although the option to take the kid out of school is one that's not available for everyone.

But I do think that the push for early achievement can be detrimental for some kids, and I also think that we have forgotten the value of play - a time when kids choose to "work on" social values, manipulate concrete objects (essential for true mathematical understanding) and learn to pursue their own interests.

I am curious to see how it all works out down the line when these kids hit grades where higher-level thinking becomes important.

Posted by: Shandra | September 6, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

DCer - My son talks about Power Rangers all the time but has never seen the show. He hears it from the other boys at preschool. He told me the other day he wants a Power Ranger themed birtday party. If he ever saw the show, he'd have nightmares.

All it takes is one kid who gets an action figure for a birthday or who has a cousin/sibling who thinks it's cool!

I know plenty of working parents who plop their kids in front of the tv upon arriving at home, and they're just as likely to make a stupid choice about an age appropriate shows as a SAHM.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 6, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure different kids have different needs and levels of stamina. Not getting too much in the academia part of it, my daughter is bored in 1st grade because of moving from a private to public school but she has not shown being any more tired. In fact, she is less tired because she has to be in child care and we sent her to YMCA camp and to visit relatives over the summer which wore her out because she won't stop moving until she is about to pass out when she is having so much fun.

As one other poster said, it is not the exhaustion I have to deal with but the hunger. With lunch being so early at school and only a minimal snack at after school care she is completely famished and oh so grumpy.

Posted by: Dee | September 6, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

What school system is going to let you take your kid out of school just because she/he is tired? Don't they take attendance anymore? I don't think absences because they're tired will go over very well. Just make them go to bed sooner, or cut out all those over-scheduled activities like soccer practice, music, dance, Scouts, cheerleading, and play dates.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I think it's more a symptom of our overall culture that praises performance/results over health and overall wellness.

I think if naps were encouraged for ALL ages, with two for younger ones, and we stopped this culture of never taking "real" vacations, excessive overtime and weekend work, and accepting lack of sleep as just a part of life- we'd be much better off. The brain NEEDS rest in order to actually process and prepare for adding more into it.

More fuel to my idea of full year schooling with regular two week breaks.

Posted by: Liz D | September 6, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I honestly don't think that kids in full day K are getting any advantage over kids in 1/2 day programs. Our neighborhood public school (which is top ranked in our state) offers only 1/2 day. The kids all end the year reading, knowing math and they even get specials like art, music and spanish.

Kids need to time to just play and being in school all day and attending various organized activities afterwards is detrimental.

Posted by: Mom of 5 | September 6, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Right now my 3 year old attends a preschool program that goes from 8:30-1:00. This was a big change for us - I had been staying home with her for 2 years (just started to work again part-time).

She comes home every day exhausted but it's difficult to get her to wind down and take a nap - her usual 1pm nap now often doesn't happen till 2.

I'm looking forward to next year when she'll go to a different preschool from 9-12.

Posted by: viennamom | September 7, 2007 7:27 AM | Report abuse

to oldmom: "hate to break it to you, but if your children are in public school you don't get to choose whether they attend half or full day. Hardly any schools at all offer half-day anymore. I hate the idea of being forced to send my dd to a full-day program, but unless I homeschool I don't have much choice. Even the private schools around here only offer full-day kindergarten."

Oh excuse me - I guess the three children I have who attended half day kindergarten, and the one I have who is going to half day kindergarten next year, and the school 3 blocks from my house that offers half day kindergarten in the district that offers half day kindergarten in the state that only FUNDS half day kindergarten, means nothing?

It may be that way where you live but it's not that way everywhere. Feel free to not "break it to me" when it's not true.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 7, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

It is funny this comes on the eve when the school informs me that my daughter should go to preschool for three full days and two half days a week. Of course my dd is on the spectrum and has special needs. But it is heart breaking for me to send her to school 30 hours a week. Studies show that the academic performance of half day and full day are no different. Play is an important part of learning and the new model of all day kindergartens and preschools may not be developmentally appropriate for MOST children. That being said, you would be surprised what kids can handle. I see 2 year olds and 3 year olds in 30 hours a week of special education and they do just fine. So who knows. But I cried when I heard she would be subjucted to more schooling. The kid comes home so desparate to play now. I can only imagine.

Posted by: foamgnome | September 8, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

My kid is relatively awful from about 30 minutes after school until bedtime. She's worn out and/or tired of being nice all day at school. I don't know which. This is our 2nd year of full-time school, and the pattern has repeated now that things are going full speed again.

Posted by: KC in Lubbock | September 9, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

My youngest daughter spends her entire day after elementary school, doing homework. When I was young all the kids in the neighborhood had plenty of time to play after school. In fact, children who don't get enough playtime become out-of-balance adults (depressed, neurotic, mentally imbablanced). I understand the desire to teach our kids at their full potential, but when are we going to stop pushing them into being work-aholic adults and start letting them just be kids. Stressed out children are going to be even more stressed out adults. Sure they are young and they can take it, but at what cost later? How much of this pushing our children to excel is contributing to school shootings and other acts of violence? Isn't it equally important to teach our children how to laugh, love themselves and enjoy life?

Posted by: Ramy in Md | September 10, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"It may be that way where you live but it's not that way everywhere. Feel free to not "break it to me" when it's not true."

Okay, but did you get to pick? No, the schools offer either half or full day. You don't get to choose. You are missing my point- that you don't get to make a choice.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 10, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

[To all you parents]
Summer is so much more tiring for the kids than going to school; at least the hours spent in school are relatively like a vacation. In summer, they have camps to attend, they have to prepare for music auditions to help secure good seating, get up to speed on maths and science that was not covered in school and should have been.

[Recount]
The first few days of school were a breeze with less time at home for curricular and extra-curricular activities; homeworks are typically a breeze, even if they do take a certain minimum but significant amount of time to complete.

[To my kids and yours]
School is merely a convenient place to learn to live with others and to be a part of society while your parents are able to ensure that the machinery of the household keeps going. School is also a place where you realize that there are normal people out there, quite unlike your family, and that there is hope for you after you turn 18, or 21 or 25, depending on when your formal education stops.

Posted by: B in NC | September 10, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I remember clearly my daughter's first day of half-day kindergarten, when she came home and fell sound asleep...in the middle of the kitchen floor!
Didn't take her 4 or 5 weeks to adjust, though.

Posted by: oldmom | September 10, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"Okay, but did you get to pick? No, the schools offer either half or full day. You don't get to choose. You are missing my point- that you don't get to make a choice."

Actually, if you had read my previous post, you would know that in our district we DO have a choice.

"In our district half day kindergarten is funded but full day is not, so parents pay tuition for the extra half day if they choose full day kg. It's not cheap - almost $300 a month."

So once again, don't be shooting off your mouth if you haven't researched every state and public school district in the country.

Posted by: oldmom | September 10, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

"So once again, don't be shooting off your mouth if you haven't researched every state and public school district in the country."

Do you have some anger management problems you need to see someone about? In your original post you were lambasting people for choosing to send their kids to FD kindergarten, but most of those parents (especially in the DC area, which is where most posters are coming from since this is a local DC paper) don't have a choice. You seem to really enjoying letting off steam on random people on chat boards- I've seen you do it in almost every chat you post to. Maybe you need to think about why you feel the need to do that.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

oooooh.....guess you told me.

Side note: this isn't a local DC paper, this is the INTERNET.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"oooooh.....guess you told me. "

Are you 12?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

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