I am an elementary teacher, but as  a mother the idea of full day kindergarten makes me quake in my boots.

I have three sons. My oldest son is in grade two (with that pesky December birthday), my middle son is in junior kindergarten, and my third son is 13 months old (also with a fall birthday). We are fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with our boys. My husband works shift work, which means that he can often be home with the boys during the week. I have returned to teaching just every other day so I am also home with our children a lot. We are so blessed to be able to work out our schedules this way.

But alas, if full day kindergarten is instituted in our neighbourhood we will have less time with our children! They will have less time in the comfort of their home, spending time with their family. Surely they derive as much or maybe more benefit from being with us. We play, read, write, discover, adventure, explore, laugh together.

They have a whole lifetime ahead of them of school and work. Let’s let them be kids! My oldest and youngest boys started (and will start) kindergarten at three years old!!! Do they really need to be gone all day, five days a week? There wasn’t junior kindergarten when I was a kid and surely I turned out fine. Don’t comment on that please……

I would love to hear what kindergarten teachers think about full day kindergarten. It is my understanding that teachers would be sharing their classroom and students with Early Childhood Educators. I wonder how this would work. Would the students be able to adjust to different teaching styles, expectations, and routines? Would there be so much learning taking place that it would really be better than being at home?

I understand that some families are spending a lot of money on daycare for their children. I understand that the idea is that full day kindergarten has the intent of providing more learning than daycare.  I know that some children benefit more from the early learning and nurturing at school because there can be a lack of it in some homes. But what about the families that are able to design schedules where their children CAN spend quite a bit of time at home? Do we have to give up this precious time with our children? Should we keep them home and worry that they are missing routines at school? Should we be made to feel guilty by the mounting accumulation of absences if we do keep them home as much as we can?

So far my children’s school does not have full day kindergarten. But by the time my third precious bundle goes off to school (*sob*) it will be everywhere (like an evil plaque…..sorry). Oh, what to do……………

Again, my daydream of putting my family in a bubble and floating off to somewhere where all the world is safe and everyone attachment parents is seeming more and more enticing.

(My high school teachers told me that I was overly idealistic and, although offended at the time, I think that they may have been right. See, I was scarred by school…….oh, let’s just forget the whole thing……..)

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