Admittedly, being an unschooler and all, I have a wee bias against school. As in, I don’t think it’s the best choice for my littles. That said, some of my best friends are schooly folks, and I completely respect their decisions for their kids. That is simply a statement so that people understand that I am not judging them when I say stuff about school.
BUT (and this is a big strong BUT)…. all day kindergarten is a big thing around here. And it seems, throughout the rest of the country, and the States as well. And this is the rant part coming…. WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY when people have the choice to let their kids BE for an extra year (school isn’t even mandatory until 6) would they send them ALL DAY? Half day Kindergarten I can understand. It’s fun. I considered sending Elijah, because our local teacher is sooo wonderful, and it would be an honor to have him learn and grow in her presence for a year.
But to send them (by choice) all day long? And to use these reasons (quoted from the comments on another blog where the woman is trying to decide b/w half day and full day) to decide?
1. Might as well get her used to being in school all day. Then it won’t be such an adjustment for grade 1. So…it’s better for the child to adjust to being away from their primary source of comfort ALL DAY at 4/5 than at 6? Weird logic.
2. I can get more done if I send her all day b/c I don’t have to pick her up two hours after I drop her off. Because we had kids for the convenience factor? Because uninterrupted errand time is more important than being with one’s child?
3. She’s a very social child. But couldn’t part of her “social” needs be fulfilled by her most important influences….namely her family? My eldest is a very social child. Extreme extrovert. Even he needs down time.
I guess ultimately I just see the predominant attitude in our society leans so heavily towards having kids and then farming them out to other people to care for as early as possible. Their time with us is so brief in the grand scheme of things, that I feel truly saddened to think of putting them into full time school at such a young age. I am equally saddened that people are so inundated with the idea of competition that they also blindly believe that their kids must not only be in full day schooling by the age of five, but they must also be taking piano and ballet and soccer and hockey and gymnastics and……..
When do they get a chance to be 5?
When do they get a chance to play?
I truly respect those of my peers that have challenged the system by : choosing half day for their child even when the rest of the class is full day, not flooding their kids with so many extracurricular activities that they lack time to breathe, and honoring their kids needs to be surrounded by the security and stability of family. Some of us homeschool. Some unschool. Some school. It’s all good in the end, if the strong connection to family can be the thread that holds it all together.