Comments about ‘Full-day kindergarten can be 'life-changing,' improves scores, later success’

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Some lawmakers, parents resistant to longer kindergarten

Published: Thursday, March 17 2011 9:00 a.m. MDT

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Orem, UT

I would be very cautious about extending early education. There are two sides to every story, what's the other side of this one?

Springville, UT

With all due respect, Ms. Ruzicka is not an educator. I agree wholeheartedly that children who CAN have a mother mentor and tutor and play with them at home should have that. Most children in Utah unfortunately do not have that, which is why all-day kindergarten makes sense. It's the at-risk children we are trying to save, not the ones already doing fine. Parents who don't want it for their children can opt out. We did that with our child in another state, because we wanted to teach her for her kindergarten year at home.

But some families don't have that option. If it's day care or kindergarten, which is better for that child's learning and development?

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

There's an issue NO ONE is even discussing on this topic - classroom space. The school my wife teaches at in Herriman has eight sessions of Kindergarten in four classrooms. There aren't four empty classroom that will magically appear to house these children. Every school in the state will have to be retrofit to add more classroom space. Has no one thought about that?

Centerville, UT

CHS 85 - not every school is out of space. Our Elementry School only has 2 morning kindergarten classes and 0 afternoon. I would love all day kindergarten. My 5 year old is so ready for it. Besides if the Eagle Forum thinks that I should be spending more time with my kids at home maybe they could pay for me to do that so I don't have to work. My now 14 year old could have benefitted from all day instruction. She might have struggled less in school. She does well now, but it has taken many years to get there.

Draper, UT

I agree with Cat. I feel it is unfair that my children don't have this option to pick if we felt it was right. Maybe we should apply it to all grades. Make all the smart or wealthly kids stay home until the "at-risk" kids catch up.

Manti, UT

Speaking as a parent with a child in All day kindergarten it is a great thing! We have 3 adopted kids from Taiwan the oldest in Kindergarten and two more that will be in Kindergarten next year. The difference the oldest is making in the language, reading, counting, etc.. Is incredible. He be nowhere near as far along if he was only going to school for 2 1/2 hours as he was in the morning Kindergarten as he is in all day!! I hope the continue it and that our 2 younger ones will also be in all day Kindergarten. They learn more, they learn faster, and they have a lot more personal attention from the teachers.

Draper, UT

"He be nowhere?" Jackstraw could have benefited from all-day kindergarten, too. Sorry Jackstraw, I couldn't resist. I know what you meant to say, but had to rib you a little bit.

Henderson, NV

I disagree with the notion that public schools create a right of de facto babysitting for every parent in the country. The fact that both parents might work outside of the home is a family issue, and not the school's problem.

Draper, UT

Who said anything about babysitting? I already pay a lot more taxes than the parents with "at-risk" kids. Now my kids cannot attend as much school and receive the great help offered there. Where and when does this train stop? Seriously, why not go a step further and apply this to all grades? Maybe the smart junior high kids should not be allowed to be taught by the teachers who are more enthusiastic or put in more effort.

Manti, UT


After I posted it and read I had the exact same thought. I was having a rather good time laughing at my self.

Kearns, UT

I guess those who grew up in Idaho in the 1950's who did not even have kindergarten would be considered losers? I'm one who considers it my responsibility to prepare our children for their future contribution to society. The schools are the supplement to what we teach. I've read our family histories back to the 1600's. This tradition has been passed down for many generations. Full dependence on government ideas are not my idea of wise use of time and resources. If I had the opportunity to raise our children again, I would teach them at home.

Manti, UT


After I posted it and read I had the exact same thought. I was having a rather good time laughing at my self.

Silver Spring, MD

Regarding the studies that show that full-day kindergartners do better academically (at least in the short term), OF COURSE that is true. But that doesn't prove that full-day kindergarten is the best way to go. It all depends on what one believes a child's childhood should be like: more school or more home/play. My own view is the latter, but I can see how the former might be better in some cases, especially if the latter isn't going to happen anyway (e.g., at-risk kids).

I don't think that "reducing childcare expenses for working parents" is the government's job since it amounts to coercing people to pay someone else's expenses, so I hope that reason does not enter into (or remain in) the debate.

Paris, ile-de-france

My son had to do full-day kindergarten when we lived overseas, because there was only 1 bus for all grades K-12. My son struggled with the length of the school day. Finally, his teacher suggested that I pick him up at noon some days. Then he was fine. My son did not fall behind from a shorter school day. In fact, he graduated with honors from high school at age 15 and with honors from college in physics and pre-med at age 18. The simple truth is that some children are not emotionally ready to be away from their parents at age 5, regardless of their intelligence. I think that the kindergartner is better off at home for half the day. The 5-year-old is finally ready to learn to do things around the house that lead to good life skills. He is ready to learn morals from his parents. However, if the parents work during the day, I believe that kindergarten is better than daycare.

Mom of Six
Northern Utah, UT

I used to be one of those parents who did not agree with all day Kindergarten...not anymore. The gains made by kids in this program is incredible! I have seen the results myself as a student teacher working with all day Kindergarten, and then working with the same students the next year. Often those in 1/2 day programs were the ones behind!
To all those including the Eagle Forum who believe the parents should spend more time with children...that would be great in an ideal 1950's society. However, this is not 1950. We live in a world where we as Americans need to compete globally. What you may have done in Kindergarten even 15 years ago is completely different from what your kids and grandkids are required to be able to do. Gone are the days where kids have cookies and milk and take naps in Kindergarten. Kindergarten students are required to read, write and do simple mathematics, by the end of the school year.
If you are a parent who has the time to be with your child and get him/her ahead ...wonderful! Unfortunatly, most parents are not able to do that these days.

Southern, UT

Our experience with all-day kindergarten was negative. Our daughter had a hard time going to school all day long and then was too tired to do homework after school. I know education is important, but do we really need kids hating school at the age of 5? I like the idea making it optional. We chose to send her for a couple of months, it wasn't working out socially/emotionally and we chose not to continue. I would hate to think we would have been forced into all-day kindergarten when it wasn't working.

Henderson, NV

I don't think I'm emotionally ready to be away from home for a whole day.

I guess we have to send kids to school earlier, so they can do better in school, so they can do better in college, so they can get a better paying job, so they can afford to send their kids to day care and better schools, so their kids can grow up to do the same thing. Or, we could all just relax and let kids be kids.

Centerville, UT

Let's get honest here, in many cases people want this just because they are looking for a cheap babysitter. Also, during the immigration law discussions people want to tell us that there is no cost to illegal immigration, now they want to add a huge financial burden to our already underfunded school system by adding all-day kindergarten classes to especially help kids who don't speak English. I think there is something wrong here.

San Antontio, Texas

I had two of my children go to private school kindergarten. It made a big difference. Children are so eager to learn and giving them a full day of kindergarten is a huge plus! Nowadays many children go to pre-school. Why not have all day kindergarten since they are so ready for it anyway.

I think children get bored in kindergarten because they are not challenged to learn more and wasting their time with half-a-say school is only delaying/ extending their ability to learn.

Children can learn several languages early as well. It sounds like a great idea and for schools to offer full day kindergarten.

Terrie Bittner
Warminster, PA

We have children today who have no clue how to entertain themselves. They can't sit down and puzzle out a problem or just sit quietly and think. They can't be given a box of junk and think of a fun project to do. By over-scheduling these children we take away everything childhood is for. Childhood is when children need to play, to develop the imaginations we've tested out of children, and to teach them to entertain themselves. They will often choose education, but studies are showing that children given more time and freedom to explore the world without adult direction actually achieve more in the long run.

Let's let children be children. They need play, which is a child's official job. Learning develops from true play. I say this as a mom who taught her children only fifteen hours a week and they still read at college level by fifth grade. You'd be surprised what children in a good environment can learn. Teach the parents, not the children.

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