Questions and Answers about Kindergarten

Q What are the advantages of the full day program as compared to the extended program?

A The extra time provided by full day kindergarten allows time for reinforcement, enrichment, and development of skills in the area of formal academics as well as the development of creativity, socialization skills, a positive self concept, and fine gross motor skills. The extended program is so pressured for time that it is difficult just to adequately cover the academic skills.

Q What is the idea of a full day kindergarten?

A The importance of the kindergarten year is agreed upon by educators, parents, and others concerned with pre school children. Research supports both proponents, the traditional, informal approach, stressing language and social development and the more formal, academic approach. The full day kindergarten gives the opportunity to focus on both approaches. In full day, without the time pressure that exists in the extended day program, both approaches can be implemented, thus getting the best of both worlds.

Q How can full day kindergarten benefit my child?

A Your child will benefit in many ways. Not only will he or she benefit from the additional time available for instruction, reinforcement, and enrichment, but also from the additional opportunities available to become a part of the school because of use of the gymnasium, art ,music programs, and library.

Q What do students do all day?

A The morning is usually reserved for more structured activities involving the cognitive skills area because five and six year olds are more alert and have a greater attention capacity at that time. After lunch and recess, the afternoon is devoted to less structured activities such as art, music, physical education, free play, dramatics, storytime, science, social studies, technology and health, as well as reinforcement of cognitive skills.

Q Why does “today’s child” benefit more in a full day kindergarten situation than “yesterday’s child”?

A Today’s child is exposed to a more sophisticated world through educational television, nursery schools/day care, educational toys, games and books.

Q How does full day kindergarten differ from first grade?

A Full day kindergarten is focused on academic readiness with less structure, and more flexibility than first grade. In addition, more time is allotted for activities that contribute to the development of fine and gross motor skills, positive self-concept, creativity and socialization skills.

Q I provide a good learning environment for my child in our home. He has a good self-concept and self-control. How can full day kindergarten improve on these qualities.

A Extended day kindergarten teachers face the dilemma of scheduling increasing amounts of formal academic instruction into an already over loaded curriculum. This limits the time needed for peer socialization and fun things in school which are so important for five and six year old children. Thus, the normal, self-centered kindergarten child in the full day program learns to give and take and discover that school is a place to enjoy learning.

Q What would my child miss if I chose to send him/her only to the extended day?

A If a parent elects for the child to spend only an extended day in the full day kindergarten program, he/she must attend school in the morning. It is during these hours that pre-readiness skills and concepts are introduced through direct instruction. The afternoon is frequently used for development of enrichment, reinforcement, and creative activities.

Q Does my child have to go all day because the school has a full day program?

A In Florham Park, as in many school systems, it is the parents’ prerogative to elect to take their child out of the all day kindergarten program at 1:30 p.m. We ask that parents promptly pick their child up at 1:30 p.m. in the school office.

The all day kindergarten schedules are designed so that the child attending the extended day program will receive basic instruction needed to enter first grade.

Q Will my child receive as much attention as the child attending extended day kindergarten?

A The full day program gives teachers more time to provide opportunities for learning at an appropriate level for each child. This individual attention is on going throughout the school day.

Q My child still requires a nap. How could he/she stay awake all day?

A During the first few weeks of school, your child may appear tired but full day kindergarten teachers indicate that students adjust quite well to a full day.

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