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the case against full day kindergarten: part 1

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Super excited about about my contributing post at Hip Homeschool Moms today.  I taught full day Kindergarten.  I have to say these things.  I lived it.  It’s not right.  It shouldn’t be mandated for young five and six year olds to sit in a four walled room for 40 hours a week, 8 hours a day and do “academics.”  It’s not right.  It’s not what I envision for my children.  And I felt awful when I couldn’t meet the needs of my dear students.  I couldn’t fulfill their individual needs.

Every child has different learning styles, different interests, different rhythms.  They all need to, and deserve to, be heard.  But the students that excel are not challenged and that students that are struggling are tutored and the students in the middle do a lot of waiting.  There is too much sitting and directing, not enough playing.  Play is learning.  But we stifle them.

I see why we accept it.  I do.  More and more moms have to work — so full day school makes sense — and this is valid.  For many children, full day school is a safe haven from a negative home environment where parents have little to no involvement.  And many families have to do what is necessary to keep their family together and fed and clothed and housed, so a full day in school is the right place for their child to be.  Please don’t misread me.  Do what works and is a blessing to your family.  My point is that our government is blurring the lines between publicly funded day care and education.  School districts are mandating full day (versus half day) Kindergarten and not even giving parents a choice. (And I do believe in rigorous academic work, but not at the age of five.  Not until they are developmentally ready!)

The Case Against Full Day Kindergarten over at Hip Homeschool Moms is a two part series.

Part 1 discusses how Kindergarten has changed from a playful learning atmosphere into an assessment-driven environment and how this negatively affects children.  Part 2 will explain how Kindergarten expectations and academics are too rigorous.

In Part 1, I walk through why I don’t remember my own Kindergarten learning experience, how testing now takes precedence over learning in today’s Kindergarten classrooms, and that students’ needs are not met in full day classrooms.  We must bring back half-day Kindergarten, or if you are able, or feel called, homeschool!  My hope is that parents be the primary influence in their children’s lives.

Please head over to Part 1 to read more!

You can read Part 2 here!


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