Thursday, April 12

Is Your Child Ready For Kindergarten? (Are You?) Part 2

It's hard to believe that I first posted about this two years ago, when preparing to send our firstborn off to Kindergarten. Now our baby is registered for September, and I find myself asking the same questions again.

This time it's different though, because next fall our school begins the all-day, every day Kindergarten program. Frannie has spent alternating days at daycare with her aunt (and usually four other children, mostly family). Maggie, though, will be thrown right in to full-time Kindergarten, which at our school could look like two adults with up to 30-some students.

While I truly support the majority of our Ministry of Education's decisions (and not just because I'm on the payroll) I don't think the full-time Kindergarten was created for children who have the option of family daycare, which for Maggie next year could be a 1:3 or 1:2 ratio, where there is circle time, stories, crafts, and just as much "play" as any play-based learning program could provide. I think what I also love about our girls' daycare situation is that our provider puts emphasis (just the right amount, in my opinion) on early literacy and numeracy as well. Judging by the reading skills of her "clientele" (her children, my nephews and my daughter) whatever she's doing is working. (Not to give her all the credit; the kids attend our school, where the staff, may I say, is stellar as well!)

Frannie's kindergarten teacher has been wonderful, and by all accounts she will be the one delivering the new full-time program to Maggie next year, partnered with an Early Childhood Educator. I have no doubts at all that they will do a fantastic job implementing the new program. I'm just a bit sad that Maggie will miss the very small-group, home-based family care that Frannie has enjoyed on alternating days for the past two years.

And let's be honest: I'm also not looking forward to packing two lunches every single day!

When we went through this two years ago, I spoke to parents and a veteran kindergarten teacher and got tons of tips about preparing your child to start school. My post, Is Your Child Ready For Kindergarten? (Are You?) covers Play, Reading, Numeracy, Physical Skills and Self-Regulation, with suggestions and insider info. Check it out, even if just for the amazing quote from the kindergarten teacher that you can find at the end of the post.

7 comments:

Multi-Testing Mommy said...

My little guy is heading off to JK in the Fall too - they grow WAY too fast! Off to check out your other post - I'm a former Kindie teacher ;)

Anonymous said...

Well my exerience is similar to yours as in our first daughter had the alternating Kindergarten days and our second daughter is just finishing her SK Full Day Kindergarten year (yep she started JK the very first year Full Day began). I can't believe how much she loves her school. She jumped right in and has enjoyed the 2 year program which was full of play and learn activities! Her report card is a testiment to the program as well because I couldn't believe how well she is doing! I do understand that you have a VERY unique daycare set-up and not everyone has experienced the level of dedication your daycare provider offers and so in that respect I see how you feel torn....
Good luck with everything and I am sure it will all work out just fine!
Krista S.

Anonymous said...

If you're not ready, you could always keep your youngest at the amazing daycare - heard the other kids there are awesome, as well as the provider and send her to SK the next year.
Sounds like a great solution to me AND you wouldn't have to make lunches! Win-win for all.

HS said...

Tough call! I am facing the "empty house" syndrome as my baby heads off to full time grade 1 next year. My crew have always been home part time with me, their Dad, Papa or our babysitter Barb. I don't look forward to a 5 day work week. But I can only dream about how I am going to spend my newfound evenings, with all the extra work hours.

Rose (day care provider) said...

Well, I can honestly say your daughter Maggie is more than ready for the full time kindergarten program in the fall. She already knows how to print her name. She recognizes her numbers 1-10, and her ABC's. She knows her sounds and is already starting to read!
Maggie is a very social child and loves to make new friends! So, she will do very well in this setting!
I too agree that Maggies kindergarten teacher/and staff @ Maggies school are wonderful!!!
My 3 daughters go to the same school that Maggie will be attending, and they always have amazing thing to say about their teachers!! My girls love to go to school!
But, I will miss having my little Maggie (my god daughter), sooooo...... maybe I will tell her to fake sick a few days a week:)
(I just read your other post)- A lot of great info. Great job Kate!!!

Anne said...

I completely agree with everything you wrote Kate! Rose is awesome, and the teachers are wonderful as well! I do think 4 years of age is too young to start kindergarten full time!I think they will be exhausted little bears in the evenings.:( I would much rather pay out the money for daycare where my child can get his academic instruction, right amount of play time and social interaction within the play group at his daycare setting. This way, he can have a nap if needed and be able to function a lot better!

Anonymous said...

My son starts jk this year and our school is still every other day. I wish we did have the all day every day kindergarten because he is a Febuary baby and is more then ready for school. I will have to go back and read part one to get some tips.