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This isn't a thrifty questions but I could use some insight. My son will be in Kindergarten this fall and I can't decide between morning and afternoon class. I would love your thoughts and reasons behind your advice.
What is the sleep schedule of your family? If everyone is up early including the young man, take him to morning if and only if he will have had time to eat breakfast etc.
If you are rushing other children off to school, maybe it's too hectic. Afternoon kind of bites into your day if you are a stay at home mom, but there's time for him to sleep all he needs, have a good meal and be wide awake. That said, does he need a nap to be social?
I'd base it first on sleep, second on time to get ready, and which one gives the two of you some nice bonding time.
Good answer Pikka. I think it does depend on the child, one who sleeps in does better in the afternoon, one who is up early may be perfect for a morning session. I found that afternoon was great, it gave us a relaxing morning. Sometimes we would invite a friend over to play and have lunch before school, too. By the end of the day, mine were tired and went to bed easier, too. In terms of getting things done, I found the afternoon was good as stores are all open then and I could drop them and do my errands.
I kinda disagree with the others about taking into account for his schedule in that if he will be going to a usual school for first grade (the next year) he would not have a choice and this might be a good opportunity to "train" him for big school (and yoursef) when the pressure is not on and you can let it slide some mornings on getting him there on time. if you plan to home school then it would not be such and issue because you could start when you wanted.
As a former teacher, I think teachers are fresher in the a.m. & a.m. classes might be better.
In addition to considering your child's sleep needs, be sure to consider the other students. Take this for what it's worth, but there is a difference between morning students and afternoon students IN GENERAL. Most day care programs require students to be in morning kindergarten and then the students are picked up and taken to day care. Therefore, lots of morning kindergarteners have working parents. Typically afternoon students are from mom-at-home families and there is more parental involvement both at school and at home. The classes tend to be smaller in the afternoon also, probably because the day care kids have to go in the morning. I think it's a nicer environment in the afternoons.
My children have all gone to full-day kindergarten so I haven't had to make this decision, but if I had it to make, I'd trade the convenience of having all the kids go out the door at the same time for the quiet, calmer, more supportive environment my afternoon student could expect.
My son was in both, we moved mid year. I liked it better when he was in am. It forced me to start the day early. He got home by 11:30 and the rest of the day we were free to do whatever. When he went in the pm, I felt like our day was broken up and that I would get less done.
I opt for mornings. Kids are fresher, teachers are fresher (after all they still have to teach an afternoon class after the morning one). As far as day care and pre school kids are concerned, those kids seem to have better social skills than children who have not had lots of kids to play with and they are used to a routine. Regardless, the next year they all have to follow the same schedule.
It has been many years since I had children in kindergarten, but I would opt for mornings. The grandchildren only went 3 days a week and the night before were pestering their mom to death as to whether or not it was a k day. Even now that they are in grades 3 and 5 I find that they do better in their morning classes and by 3 pm are regular little grizzly bears.
I have learned a lot from the answers here. Where I live kindergarten is in our schools and the children go when they have turned 5 by the end of August. They go all day and go to the school they will be attending through the 5th grade.
I recommend a.m. It is a fact that kids are much more focused in the a.m. than in the afternoon.
I have been teaching kindergarten for 20 years.