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Reader says NO to Full Day Kindergarten in Ridgewood


file photo by Boyd Loving

I have two young kids who will be affected by this. Please get your friends and neighbors out to vote NO!

I moved to Ridgewood, in part, because it has half-day kindergarten. I have a child who was in kindergarten last year–it was non-stop busywork and worksheets. No toys or play. No time for socialization. No recess. Teachers who wanted 5 year-olds to sit still. It was completely age-inappropriate and the curriculum (coupled with the stressed-out teacher) was the perfect recipe for making children hate school. I thanked God it was only half a day and did not make my daughter miserable! My wife and I both work (she-part time), but half day kindergarten enabled us to make sure our child had time to run around and play in the afternoon (and my wife got those precious afternoons with her on the days she was not working! You never get those back.)

We DO NOT want full-day kindergarten. And there are many other parents like us here whose voices are being drowned out (or who did not even know this issue was on the docket).

The parents I know who do want full-day have the ability to be with their child in the afternoon AND/OR have the financial ability to hire child care or send their kids to the afternoon program of their choice. They are annoyed they have to be bothered to do so, especially because mid-day pick-up/drop-off interrupts their day so!!! (And, yes, many, many of these parents complainig so bitterly are affluent mothers who are at the gym, playing tennis, having lunch, etc.)

Let these parents PAY to have their kids in school all day, if that is what they need so desperately. Their desire to play tennis or not hire childcare should NOT be more important than our desire to spend time with our child and let a 5 year-old do what ALL the research says is crucial at this age: have unstructured play and time for socialization.

Please vote NO! Help the poor kids who do not have a voice here. I am sure that if they were polled, THEY would all vote this terrible idea down! Give them one last gasp before the rat race, with its tutors and sports trainers engulfs them! They will be better-off, academically, socially, and psychologically, in the long run! Thank you!