Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kindergarten Conundrum

Day number two of school has ended and Lucy still wants to stay all day. I cannot stand this new trend of full day kindergarten. I know it's convenient for parents and the kids are taught so much more now than back in 1980 when I was in kindergarten, but these kids are so little. What is the rush for them to grow up?

There are a total of three kids, including Lucy, who are enrolled half day. She is the only one in her class. Today I was talking to one of the other moms and she said her son is already bugging her to switch him to full day also. She said she is hoping to hold off at least a month.

There was an Open House at school tonight, so I had an opportunity to talk to Lucy's teacher more about it. I wanted to know exactly what Lucy is missing, besides lunch and rest time. Well, she's missing recess, art projects, hands on activities, some specials (art, music, p.e. - the one she misses will change regularly), and assemblies. Basically all the fun stuff she was looking forward to in kindergarten. I feel like the system is set up to manipulate me into sending her to school full day.

Some might think the problem is mine and I'm just babying my daughter. But I know her; I know how tired she gets after a lot of activity, I know how emotional and inconsolable she gets when she's over tired. I have successfully sent two kids off to kindergarten in the past (one half day, one full day), and I even have one more to go in a few years. Five years ago, this wouldn't have been an issue. Now all of a sudden I'm a strange breed of mother who doesn't want to send her not-yet five-year old to school all day long.

What I'm thinking, of course, is that it's not fair to Lucy to make her miss all this stuff. It's not fair to make her be the only one in her class who is not getting to make projects and play on the playground. I hate that I'm being pressured like this. I thought it was nice that the school gave us the choice to sign Lucy up for half day, but now I'm beginning to see that it's actually not much of a choice.

I want Lucy to love school, and I think if we don't switch her she's going to not love it. I've told her we'll give it a couple weeks of going to school every day and see how she's doing, and then we'll discuss the possibility of changing over to full day. But at this point I don't think we'll be able to see our way out of it.

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