The Full Day vs. Half Day Kindergarten Decision
Is Full Day Kindergarten really better than Half Day? What experts have to say on the subject may surprise you.
What You Need To Know
There are many factors that contribute to a parent’s decision to send their child to Kindergarten for a full or half day.
Some have no choice but to do full-day if they are working. Some choose half-day to keep their little ones home as long as they can. Whatever the reason, experts have an opinion on the matter. Here’s what they have to say according to data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. It is a nationally representative sample of over 8,000 kindergarteners and 500 U.S. public schools:
- Children who attend full-day kindergarten programs learn more in literacy and mathematics over the kindergarten year than those in half-day programs.
- Children who attend full-day kindergarten spend 30% more time on reading and literacy instruction as well as 46% more time on mathematics than children in half-day programs.
- Full-day kindergarten is equally effective for children of different social backgrounds.
- Demographic Trends: White children are more likely to be in half-day programs than full-day ones. Black children are more likely to be in full-day programs than half-day ones.
- Full-day kindergarten is more common than half-day programs in schools in large cities.
How You Can Help
If your prefer that your child be in a half-day kindergarten program there are ways to compensate for where research says half-day is falling short. Experts say the full-day advantage in literacy amounts to slightly more than one month of extra learning and the advantage in math is slightly less than one month.
Spending the summer time working on these subjects should close the gap if there is any for your child. Read lots of books and do worksheets that help your child’s brain problem solve. Try to find math activities that can be incorporated in summer activities such as how much water does it take to fill a super soaker or how many slices equals half a pie?
Worksheets from Education.com are a great way to get your child’s brain ready for 1st grade. Try connecting the dots: (http://www.education.com/worksheet/article/connect-the-dots-numbers-bird-prek/) How about some rainbow rhyme? (http://www.education.com/worksheet/article/rainbow-rhyme/)
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