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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

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« Helping out Nie | Main | Dear neighbors. »
Tuesday
Aug262008

About kindergarten.

So Henry starts kindergarten next week.

Kindergarten around these parts--did I mention?--is a half-day affair.

Half day. As in not a full day.

The program was supposed to be changed to a full day, but then at the last minute it wasn't, just like that. We could discuss the pedagogical arguments behind the half-day versus the full-day program, but actually we couldn't because I wouldn't know what I was talking about and would just nonsensically throw around some jargon I Googled. So let's skip that, for the good of all mankind.

I'm just not quite sure how this schedule is going to work for us. In many ways, I think (I hope) that it will all work out just fine. Henry's pretty self-sufficient and will spend entire mornings playing with Legos. And me, my work involves writing a sentence then walking in circles and then writing another sentence, so it's not like I have anywhere to go. He's in the afternoon session, so we can both do our thing each morning; we don't have to rush out the door, he can Lego it up in his pajamas until noon, and then we can take a leisurely stroll over to the school. I picture him quietly constructing masterpieces while I'm, uh, writing masterpieces. This is what I imagine when I'm in an optimistic mood.

On the other hand, BLAAAAARRGH. Henry's been in preschool for the past three years, and last year he was in school for a full day. He is so ready for school. Real school, not these afternoon shenanigans. And this half-day? It's three hours. Three. Not four. Three. Actually it's about ten minutes less than three, and when you factor in the fifteen-minute walk back and forth, that leaves me with approximately ten minutes to get any work done. I am certain my math is correct. But then, I was in a half-day kindergarten, so what do I know.

There are programs I could put him in for the other half of the day, but, oh, the bottom line is I don't want to. I don't want to spend any more money on school, and also I think he'd get just as much, if not more, out of doing his thing over here. All that said, the time is drawing nigh, and the year is stretching out before us, and I'm getting a little nervous.

Reader Comments (60)

One of my kids is on the 3 hr. plan... I try to write when she's here and often end up working a Barbie conversation into a rant about my husband not being able to actually put a dish in the sink due to that impenetrable forcefield around the basin.

I also wanted to introduce myself. I am a humor columnist that just started a blog and find that I read yours daily to get the juices flowing. My juice of choice... tequila, but I digress. Please take a moment of your 10 free minutes and check out my site. http://Suburbanjungle.net Then you'll have at least 7 minutes left to let me know what you think.
August 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Isenman
Yeah, my son started half-day kindergarten yesterday. He's our first, so we're OK with him not going for a full day just yet; quite frankly, we're too busy being thrilled about the fact that he didn't handcuff himself to the refrigerator when it came time to go to school.
August 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDaddy Scratches
On a fairly unreated note:

Hey, I thought of Henry when I saw this:

http://www.potterybarnkids.com/cust/starwars/content.cfm?bnrid=3501598&cm_ven=Email&cm_cat=Labor_Day_Sale&cm_pla=DTC&cm_ite=dtc_star_wars_footer

Also, they've reissued the original 70s Star Wars sheet set. If you can reissue sheets, that is.
August 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterfuzzy
I love being home with my kids! My daughter went to a preschool for a few hours a week and never did daycare so it has been hard for her to be gone from home for 6 1/2 hours. My daughter just started full day kindergarten and I worked in her class last week for a couple hours and was sad to see that most of the kids were really out of it and cranky. After lunch it was basically day care...not much learning going on. She is totally tired and doesn't want to go to school...needless to say, I switched her to a school that has 1/2 day kindergarten and she starts next week. I might not be able to get much done while she is gone (the 8-2:30 was nice for me) but her foundation for learning is more important. After she gets home I can work with her on review (numbers, letters, etc.) in the evenings like we did all summer. I think 3-4 hours is all a 5 year old really needs. They have 12 years to have 6 hours of school!
August 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterL
My niece who lives in the 'burbs is partaking in that half day Kindergarten mess this year.

My daughter will be in full day school -- this year, its Kindergarten.

Makes me want to convince my sister to move here and send my niece to the same school.

What's with all this half Kindergarten mess though? Don't they realize moms need a minute to pee without someone trying to talk through the door? Once you walk them to school and sit down, its time to walk back over and pick them up!
August 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVeep Veep
I feel your pain. My son just started afternoon kindergarten... my younger son is in MORNING preschool. This schedule sucks. I am fine with 1/2 day K, but afternoons are the worse time for my son to learn (not to mention it is cutting into my shopping time!)
August 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercassie
My daughter's kindergarten is half day too (8:25-12:15) and that morning flies right by.
August 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTootsie Farklepants
Maybe I am being obtuse, but I think half day K is just absurd. Around here we have both Pre-K (4s) and K frm 845-3:15, just like the big kids do. Kids usually seem to benefit both from Pre-K and K. Plus three hours of school a day for a five year old? It sees silly to me.That said, I hope Henry LOVES his kindergarten!
August 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commentervanessa
I'm with you. 3 hours is barely enough time to get your groceries, put them away, and get back in time for pick-up!
August 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAsianmommy
My son just started full-day kindergarten - it's been quite an adjustment. Even for the kids who are accustomed to full-day preschool. I was excited about the full-day prospect (our school district just changed from half-day to full-day this year) but it hindsight it's really a long, exhausting day. Most moms weren't supportive of the change to full-day, I was surprised.

My son has a ton to adjust to, because he's in full day (8-3) and then has after-care at school until 5:30. A new school, a new (larger) class, new routines, a new teacher, etc. - it's all a lot to adjust to.

This is all much more related to me than you (sorry) but I needed to vent. It's been an exhausting week - maybe more so emotionally than physically, as we've been having teary goodbyes in the morning (my tears in response to his tears). Luckily after the goodbye he seems to be doing fine during the day.

Try to enjoy the extra time with him. Once they hit full-day they seem so grown up!
August 31, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterr321

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