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Reader says NO to Full Day Kindergarten in Ridgewood

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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!

15 thoughts on “Reader says NO to Full Day Kindergarten in Ridgewood

  1. Parents in Ridgewood are overly competitive. Full day K will not get them into Yale.

    There are many sports and academic competitions in town that you can join.

    Playing and exploring pre-K activities will help them grow too. When they are graduating from the high school and its death-match competition called college admissions you will look back and wish that you allowed them to be kids. You will wish that you spent more time enjoying them. Time flies. Childhood is fleeting and they will spend most of their lives as working adults.

    If you work and need full time child care then call it what it is. Pay for your day care.

  2. The people who want full time K should pay for it.

  3. I agree about the need to make kindergarten less about education. The Superintendent has said that the longer school day will allow for more free play and a more relaxed schedule. IF (and its a big IF) IF that is true, I think it will be better to have the same academic content spread over more hours. Kindergarten teachers will have more time for tactile play based learning, science, stories and all the other exciting things kindergartners should be doing.

  4. Wow! If you’re so concerned about free play, socialization & fleeting moments for your wife with your kids, home school them. Or send them to a Montessori school or private school, or no school at all – I’m pretty sure kindergarten isn’t compulsory. This said, I don’t think you’re really all that concerned about any of the issues you brought up. I suspect the burr in your saddle is that 1/2 day Kindergarten happens to work for you and your family (that’s wonderful by the way) and you don’t wan’t to pay (more taxes) for something you and your family don’t want. Being part of a community like Ridgewood means sometimes you pay for things you “don’t use” like the schools if your kids are grown and on their own. But guess what, not everything is about you and what’s best for your particular situation.

    And please save the drama about your 5 year old being miserable in kindergarten… If she can’t handle kindergarten, I wish her luck in life, she’ll need it!

  5. Agree with @ 8:23 the whole point of full day is to spread it out, make it more interactive and less crunched to fit everything in too short sessions. Now one could argue that can be done privately or through other activities, but the authors conclusions that full day k would be exactly like half day is just wrong.

  6. Don’t know what you’re talking about, my kid goes to Ridge K and they play 90% of the time. Some days my kid asks to stay at school and play more with the other kids.The teacher even stressed how important play is at that age. If it were full day, they would play more, and maybe squeeze in just a little more academics, which are important. Half day K is too little. It is basically introduction to socialization, which is great, but that’s why we paid for two years of pre K.

    But, to be honest, in the scheme of things it’s not a massive issue. one year goes by quickly, and 1st grade is right around the corner. For the marginal tax increase it would cost me, I’d say do it, and let future kids enjoy it.

  7. 8:27. You missed my point. They are not miserable in K. My kids made a lot of friends in half day K. No need for me to send them to a private K. They walked to school with friends in the afternoon they played with friends or went to dance/karate. They have a variety of activities and friends.

    It is not all about me. If you want to send your kids to a school with all day K then by all means do it. It is only one year, suck it up and pay for your perceived needs. All day K is a permanent solution to a family’s temporary problem (is it babysitting that you really need?) Don’t stick the taxpayers with your bill.

    To say that my kids can’t handle Full day K is a silly assumption. The worksheets from K still come home and we do homework.They are children first. They need to grow and have fun. You don’t get a redo on childhood.

    There is plenty of time them to prepare for the SAT. I will never regret time spent with my children. Will You look back while sitting at RHS graduation and think “why didn’t I send them to full day kindergarten?”

  8. Full day kindergarten would be less crunched? Nothing eases the crunch of kindergarten better than lunch with mom or dad followed by free time.

  9. Yes crunched compared with half day, of course. The original poster is specifically comparing had day and assuming full day will be similar. Again, keeping kids at home or in other enrichment programs is a different issue.

  10. Your marginal tax increase is the gift that keeps on giving. Taxpayers will pay forever.

    Parents can pay for enrichment if their kids need it. I don’t need to pay for extra play time.

  11. Even if half-day kindergarten is “crunched” . . . IT’S STILL ONLY TWO HOURS!!! And I completely agree with 9:25am about the lunch with mom, dad, grandma, whoever. My greatest joy was picking u my kids from kindergarten and having lunch with them or having a group of kids over for an afternoon lunch or playdate. I picked them up for lunch dates all the way through 5th grade.

  12. People who don’t want their kids around all day need cover. Push all day K for the village so you don’t have to be around.

  13. Full day K allows more time to implement squishy socialist indoctrination.
    I say go fer it so next election Bernie (a RW favorite BTW) won’t have to run under the Democrat banner.

  14. Pay for your own babysitter

  15. More glorified babysitting for more hours over-paid, over-benefited public workers that the taxpayer pays for.

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