Some lawmakers, parents resistant to longer kindergarten
I would be very cautious about extending early education. There are two sides to
every story, what's the other side of this one?
With all due respect, Ms. Ruzicka is not an educator. I agree wholeheartedly
that children who CAN have a mother mentor and tutor and play with them at home
should have that. Most children in Utah unfortunately do not have that, which is
why all-day kindergarten makes sense. It's the at-risk children we are trying to
save, not the ones already doing fine. Parents who don't want it for their
children can opt out. We did that with our child in another state, because we
wanted to teach her for her kindergarten year at home. But some
families don't have that option. If it's day care or kindergarten, which is
better for that child's learning and development?
There's an issue NO ONE is even discussing on this topic - classroom space. The
school my wife teaches at in Herriman has eight sessions of Kindergarten in four
classrooms. There aren't four empty classroom that will magically appear to
house these children. Every school in the state will have to be retrofit to add
more classroom space. Has no one thought about that?
CHS 85 - not every school is out of space. Our Elementry School only has 2
morning kindergarten classes and 0 afternoon. I would love all day kindergarten.
My 5 year old is so ready for it. Besides if the Eagle Forum thinks that I
should be spending more time with my kids at home maybe they could pay for me to
do that so I don't have to work. My now 14 year old could have benefitted from
all day instruction. She might have struggled less in school. She does well now,
but it has taken many years to get there.
I agree with Cat. I feel it is unfair that my children don't have this option
to pick if we felt it was right. Maybe we should apply it to all grades. Make
all the smart or wealthly kids stay home until the "at-risk" kids
Speaking as a parent with a child in All day kindergarten it is a great thing!
We have 3 adopted kids from Taiwan the oldest in Kindergarten and two more that
will be in Kindergarten next year. The difference the oldest is making in the
language, reading, counting, etc.. Is incredible. He be nowhere near as far
along if he was only going to school for 2 1/2 hours as he was in the morning
Kindergarten as he is in all day!! I hope the continue it and that our 2
younger ones will also be in all day Kindergarten. They learn more, they learn
faster, and they have a lot more personal attention from the teachers.
"He be nowhere?" Jackstraw could have benefited from all-day
kindergarten, too. Sorry Jackstraw, I couldn't resist. I know what you meant
to say, but had to rib you a little bit.
I disagree with the notion that public schools create a right of de facto
babysitting for every parent in the country. The fact that both parents might
work outside of the home is a family issue, and not the school's problem.
Who said anything about babysitting? I already pay a lot more taxes than the
parents with "at-risk" kids. Now my kids cannot attend as much school
and receive the great help offered there. Where and when does this train stop?
Seriously, why not go a step further and apply this to all grades? Maybe the
smart junior high kids should not be allowed to be taught by the teachers who
are more enthusiastic or put in more effort.
Scott,After I posted it and read I had the exact same thought. I
was having a rather good time laughing at my self.
I guess those who grew up in Idaho in the 1950's who did not even have
kindergarten would be considered losers? I'm one who considers it my
responsibility to prepare our children for their future contribution to society.
The schools are the supplement to what we teach. I've read our family
histories back to the 1600's. This tradition has been passed down for many
generations. Full dependence on government ideas are not my idea of wise use of
time and resources. If I had the opportunity to raise our children again, I
would teach them at home.
Regarding the studies that show that full-day kindergartners do better
academically (at least in the short term), OF COURSE that is true. But that
doesn't prove that full-day kindergarten is the best way to go. It all depends
on what one believes a child's childhood should be like: more school or more
home/play. My own view is the latter, but I can see how the former might be
better in some cases, especially if the latter isn't going to happen anyway
(e.g., at-risk kids).I don't think that "reducing childcare
expenses for working parents" is the government's job since it amounts to
coercing people to pay someone else's expenses, so I hope that reason does not
enter into (or remain in) the debate.
My son had to do full-day kindergarten when we lived overseas, because there was
only 1 bus for all grades K-12. My son struggled with the length of the school
day. Finally, his teacher suggested that I pick him up at noon some days. Then
he was fine. My son did not fall behind from a shorter school day. In fact, he
graduated with honors from high school at age 15 and with honors from college in
physics and pre-med at age 18. The simple truth is that some children are not
emotionally ready to be away from their parents at age 5, regardless of their
intelligence. I think that the kindergartner is better off at home for half the
day. The 5-year-old is finally ready to learn to do things around the house
that lead to good life skills. He is ready to learn morals from his parents.
However, if the parents work during the day, I believe that kindergarten is
better than daycare.
I used to be one of those parents who did not agree with all day
Kindergarten...not anymore. The gains made by kids in this program is
incredible! I have seen the results myself as a student teacher working with
all day Kindergarten, and then working with the same students the next year.
Often those in 1/2 day programs were the ones behind!To all those
including the Eagle Forum who believe the parents should spend more time with
children...that would be great in an ideal 1950's society. However, this is not
1950. We live in a world where we as Americans need to compete globally. What
you may have done in Kindergarten even 15 years ago is completely different from
what your kids and grandkids are required to be able to do. Gone are the days
where kids have cookies and milk and take naps in Kindergarten. Kindergarten
students are required to read, write and do simple mathematics, by the end of
the school year. If you are a parent who has the time to be with your
child and get him/her ahead ...wonderful! Unfortunatly, most parents are not
able to do that these days.
Our experience with all-day kindergarten was negative. Our daughter had a hard
time going to school all day long and then was too tired to do homework after
school. I know education is important, but do we really need kids hating school
at the age of 5? I like the idea making it optional. We chose to send her for
a couple of months, it wasn't working out socially/emotionally and we chose not
to continue. I would hate to think we would have been forced into all-day
kindergarten when it wasn't working.
I don't think I'm emotionally ready to be away from home for a whole day. I guess we have to send kids to school earlier, so they can do better in
school, so they can do better in college, so they can get a better paying job,
so they can afford to send their kids to day care and better schools, so their
kids can grow up to do the same thing. Or, we could all just relax and let kids
Let's get honest here, in many cases people want this just because they are
looking for a cheap babysitter. Also, during the immigration law discussions
people want to tell us that there is no cost to illegal immigration, now they
want to add a huge financial burden to our already underfunded school system by
adding all-day kindergarten classes to especially help kids who don't speak
English. I think there is something wrong here.
I had two of my children go to private school kindergarten. It made a big
difference. Children are so eager to learn and giving them a full day of
kindergarten is a huge plus! Nowadays many children go to pre-school. Why not
have all day kindergarten since they are so ready for it anyway. I
think children get bored in kindergarten because they are not challenged to
learn more and wasting their time with half-a-say school is only delaying/
extending their ability to learn. Children can learn several
languages early as well. It sounds like a great idea and for schools to offer
full day kindergarten.
We have children today who have no clue how to entertain themselves. They can't
sit down and puzzle out a problem or just sit quietly and think. They can't be
given a box of junk and think of a fun project to do. By over-scheduling these
children we take away everything childhood is for. Childhood is when children
need to play, to develop the imaginations we've tested out of children, and to
teach them to entertain themselves. They will often choose education, but
studies are showing that children given more time and freedom to explore the
world without adult direction actually achieve more in the long run. Let's let children be children. They need play, which is a child's official
job. Learning develops from true play. I say this as a mom who taught her
children only fifteen hours a week and they still read at college level by fifth
grade. You'd be surprised what children in a good environment can learn. Teach
the parents, not the children.
The other side of the story is that it is true that academic achievement
plateaus after 3rd grade. There is no additional benefit to pushing academic
expectations on youth. If you look at the trends with children they are starting
school at younger and younger ages and the course load is increasing in
intensity. This is very interesting for me and I have recently been doing a lot
of research on this topic. What happened to letting kids be kids? Studies will
also tell you that the best way for kids to develop intellectually is to let
them participate in unstructured play. More school is not the answer.
More schooling is not the answer to greater scholastic achievement. I have done
research on this topic and found results to the contrary of what this article
was saying. Most developmentally appropriate activity for young children is
unstructured play, not more schooling. They will hit a plateau in after the 3rd
grade and there will not be any additional benefit. What ever happened to kids
being kids. While some kids may thrive in an academically intensified
environment this is not the norm. The Hurried Child By David Elkind shows much
research contrary to this article. It is a great book. If you really want to see
the other side of the story I'd recommend it.
I am so glad that I didn't go to kindergarten at all. I had a great time
visiting with various relatives while my mom was teaching school when I was that
age. Our oldest daughter went to all-day kindergarten, and it just made her
tired. She had a harder time with school than her siblings who only had to go
half-day. No doubt there are children who benefit because their parents don't
have better arrangements for them, but that shouldn't put the burden of
financing all-day kindergarten on the taxpayers who have to pay for it. Much of
the problem is a result of having a huge population of parents who didn't learn
to manage resources well, hence need more income.
Why have families? For the sake of learning, why not build schools with dorms
and have students live there. We can call the jail cells-classrooms and teach,
The Just4Mom blog did a piece on this a while back, and my response hasn't
changed. Full-day is amazing.Both me and my sister went to full day
kindergarten. When we moved here, my two younger brothers didn't. Both brothers
read substantially later than me and my sister (we come from a bright family, my
sister read at 3 and 1/2 and I read at age 2, I attended Challenge K-8 and my
sister opted out) at ages 5 and 6. We also dealt with kids our age better. I
might point out that, whatever the mom's feelings, most kids are raring to go at
age 5 to school--not the half baked, lazy half-day thing, real school. I say let
them. There once was a very famous man (Hint, his initials were G.B.H) who said,
rightfully, "Get all the education you can".
My granddaughter was in full day kindergarten in 2008-2009. She loved school
and her teacher. The only thing that was hard on her was the need for rest
after a day of school. She adjusted well and it gave her a love for school and
learning. she is now enjoying a normal second grade experience and is doing
very well in school.
Isn't it something how Norway has a higher literacy rate than our country, and
yet they don't teach reading until seven years old.