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Which is better Full-Day or Half-day Kindergarten

January 14th, 2006

Which is better Full-Day or Half-day Kindergarten


Enrolling your child in kindergarten next year?  A recent study comparing full-day and half-day kindergarten may help you in making this decision.  There are two types of Kindergarten classes, full length day and a half-day.  You may not have an option of full-day or half-day but you might consider supplementing your half day student at home.

A study that is going to be published in the upcoming February issue of the American Journal of Education looked at full-day and half-day programs to see which one was better.  They studied more than 8,000 kindergarteners in 500 U.S. public schools. 


The researchers discovered that most of the full-day programs were being offered to disadvantaged children.  These children showed benefits of a full-day program with the equivalent of an extra month of academic schooling compared to the half-day students.

"We evaluated program effectiveness by how much children learned in mathematics and literacy over the kindergarten year," wrote the author of the study. "Results are clear: when children's social and academic backgrounds are taken into account, as well as structural, social, and academic features of their schools, children who experience full-day kindergarten as a whole-school program are advantaged in terms of their cognitive learning."


The researchers also mention that the full-day students usually had more time to interact with teachers.  The full-day program also gave students more time to work on their social skills.

The full-day program gives all children more time to learn as well as work on their social skills.  If you have a school that offers a half-day program; try to spend time teaching at home and find after school programs to have your child interact with others.

Depending on your school, you may need to enroll you child one year in advance.  If you donít know when kindergarten enrollment begins, make sure to call your local school soon. You will need to find out when enrollment is as well as age cut off dates.  During enrollment you will need a government issued birth certificate, up to date immunization records, and very likely a physical from a doctor.  Donít do the physical without checking in with your school first, as they will probably have paperwork to fill out and a time frame that it needs to completed.


If you have a full-day kindergarten program, you may also want to send your child to pre-school first.  The local schools usually have a pre-school program available.  And you may have to enroll months before class even starts.  By starting your child in pre-school, kindergarten will be an easier transition.

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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer





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