I live in a world of over-scheduled, over-structured and over-schooled kids. I’m certainly not innocent here. My pre-k daughter is in ballet/jazz, hip hop/poms, broadway bound, gymnastics and swim class. I’d like to say it’s because kids can no longer run the streets until dinner time like they did back in my day. But first of all, I’m not 75 (I’m not even 55) and it’s been a long time since children could actually safely do that…or want to do that in the cold. I remember one of the fiercest fights I had with my mom was wanting to increase my dance load to more than twice a week. Some of these issues of being over-scheduled can go back to the 90s (whoa, ages ago!!!).
The bottom line is that if my daughter were home instead of at those productive classes, she would be nudging me to watch tv or play with the iPad. Rather, I send her places where I pay tons of money for people to engage her interests. I’d like to think I could do this at home but I’m realistic. It just doesn’t happen here the same way it does at these fabulous classes.
As she rounds the corner from pre-school, kindergarten is rearing its ugly head. I’m excited for her to start her years of public school but not exactly ready for her to be THAT grown up. And much like when Drew faced this juncture, the discussion of how to fill her days in the upcoming year is top of mind.
It blows my mind that the standard pre-school day is LONGER than the standard kindergarten day. It seems incredibly backwards. Lucky for me, my district is also faced with that challenge. Districts around us have switched to full day kindergarten and it seems abundantly clear that there is a need (want) for this in our area too. I can’t imagine that private entities that are making boatloads of money by providing supplemental learning opportunities are as eager for this change. However, the parental community (for the most part) seem to be screaming out for it.
As the next few weeks go by, we are enrolling our four year olds in kindergarten. On the enrollment forms we are asked if we’d be interested in full day. I have gone back and forth on my feelings, landing somewhere around the fact that I want my district to be competitive, I want my child to be prepared, and I’m not crazy about the shuffle between different locations. That all being said, I’m concerned how the district will pull it off. I’m concerned about my baby, and she is my baby because in my mind she was literally born yesterday, will acclimate to a full day given that she still falls asleep in the car from time to time (hell, I fall asleep in the car from time to time).
What do you people think? People who remember when we didn’t need to structure every minute of the day, do you believe in full day kindy? People who are engulfed in providing a shuttle service to the myriad of activities, do you believe in full day kindy?