Full Day Kindergarten?

Updated on July 27, 2007
T.L. asks from Stockton, CA
8 answers

My 5 year old will be starting kindergarten and I was just advised by her school that this year they will be having kindergarten from 830a-230p. This seems like a real long day for little girl! She's use to go to pre-school until only noon when she is picked up by my mom and still takes her regular naps at 130p. She starts school in 2 weeks!! How can I make this time transistion as easy as possible?

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answers from Fresno on

I think you could try letting her stay up, instead of giving her the regular nap, and see how she does. You can always give her a nap when she gets home from school. My 5 year old had a hard time the first week, but once they get used to it they are able to stay up longer. He still takes naps to this day and he will be in 2nd grade this fall. I hope things go well for you and congrats on your daughter being in kindergarten.

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answers from San Francisco on

Our school does K from 8:30 to 2:30 as well. My oldest son (he is now 10) was pretty tired for the first two weeks, he adjusted quite well to the schedule after that. My youngest will be starting K this year. Both of my boys have been going to school since they were 2 1/2 years old. My youngest is use to getting out of school at 12:30, I imagine that he will be quite tired for the first two weeks as well.

Maybe you can give your daughter a short nap when she comes home from school....just an idea.

Good luck to your little one on her first day of K!!!

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answers from Salinas on

i have two friends that teach elementary school-aged children and they were raving to me about the new all day kinder program that is new at their school. they said it helps the kids get way better prepared for first grade. this is how it's done at their school... in the beginning of the year, the kids have a "rest period" in the middle of the day. the kids can choose to nap if they are really sleepy, but they can choose quiet reading time or lay their head on their desk... any "quiet" activity is ok. As the year goes on, the rest period gets shorter and shorter. I think they said the rest period starts out being 1.5 or 2 hours? but i wsn't sure on exactly what they said. I'm hoping by the time my son is startin kinder, they will have something like this for him where he attends school. if they don't transition to a full day in kinder, it's just going to be have to be done in first grade so i liked the idea of using kindergarten as a year long transition into a full day with a lunch time.

ask your school if they have a gradual rest time adjustment like this. if they don'nt, maybe they will consider doing it... good luck!

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answers from Stockton on

My daughter just finished all day Kindergarten. I thought it was going to be tough. She didn't have any trouble at all. She did fall asleep on the bus home quite frequently, though. She is in an all day deaf/hard of hearing class. So it is like learning a regular language and then learning a foreign language at the age of 5. I really thought that it would be very draining for her, but she was fine with it. All day kinder really isn't bad. They have snacks and rest periods.
Happy Monday

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answers from San Francisco on


It can be a challenge but it is very doable. My oldest, who is now going in to 2nd grade went to all day kindergarten and loved it. He had stopped taking naps though way before kindergarten had started. My daughter will also go to a all day kindergarten and she still takes naps. This will be a transition. I saw MANY droopy eyed kids the first couple of weeks but after that they were fine. I know with Hannah, my youngest, she will probably just go to bed a bit earlier...she is a night owl so it will be a blessing!!!

Good luck,



answers from San Luis Obispo on

Dear T.,

Well, for one thing, you can give her a quiet after school time, early dinner and early to bed, so that she can get up early in the a.m. so that you two can have some morning time together - and dad, of course, too. No shopping trips after school, just be at home and quiet play and relaxation. People nowadays forget that kids need relaxation. So you keep that in mind for your daughter, and yourself too, and you will be happier, and so will she. Kids get tired more easily that adults think. ...or maybe the adults realize this and keep the kids going until they are waaaay too tired and can't get to sleep, and get into the habit of being cranky and demanding. Sorry if I seem grouchy, but sometimes I get irritated with the way that children are not given quiet time enough these days. I am a gr grandmother, so you see, I've seen a lot. C. N.



answers from San Francisco on

As a teacher of young children, I generally suggest that parents not put their children in an all-day kindergarten class - it is SUCH a transition that it can be very overwhelming to the child, and cause behavioral and attention tending issues. That many hours of having to attend to work, the teacher, and activities is really pushing the limit of what is psychologically appropriate to throw at a 5 year old. Before enrolling her, I suggest you really do your research and know how the day is conducted - are there lots of outside breaks, potty breaks, snacks, and naptime? If they do not offer a nap at this all day kindergarten, do not enroll your child. As children, many of us went to all day kindergartens - myself included - but this was when kindergarten was far more focused on the needs of the child as opposed to pushing academics (we were offered two naps a day, plus two snacks and hot lunch, all offered and provided by the school itself). Kindergarten was originially created in order to socialize young children and expose them to what the rest of elementary school will be like - not to keep them there all day, expecting them to sit and be content with the monotony of an all day classroom. There is a reason why most kindergartens are early bird/late bird! No matter how mature you believe your child is, a full day at school will not help her gain more or better skills than she would at a normal, half day kindergarten - in fact, the sheer volume and number of hours placed upon her can often cause children to regress in terms of behavior and socialization.

If at all possible, I would try to enroll her in an early bird/late bird traditional kindergarten day. Unless the school she will be attending offers naptimes and lots of free play time, you should look elsewhere. I could go on and on - feel free to contact me with more questions or comments, I am both a teacher AND a child psychologist.

Good luck!



answers from Modesto on

At kindergarten they usually have a quiet nap time right after they come back from recess or lunch time. I wouldn't worry too much, what you can start doing at home to prepare is to do the schedule from school. Start your day at 8am bfast, then snack time, play time at 11am, then nap time around 1pm like she does not, believe me it doesn't change much and kindergarten gives them a slow transition also.. My son went to kinder last year and his first week of school went from 8-12 then after in week 2 they went til 1 then by the time they had adjusted the kids woudl be ready for the 6hr day- don't worry too much she will be fine, there is so much to do in kinder they won't even notice the change in hours..

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