Half-day or Full-Day Kindergarten – Pros & Cons

You may be considering sending your child to kindergarten but dont know whether a half day or full day kindergarten will be best for your child. The following overview of the pros and cons of each will educate you and help you make a proper decision.

Half Day Kindergarten
The half day kindergarten class has less time during the day for instruction so more of it is spent on teaching specific lessons and less time is spent on child selected activities. There is less time for just plain old fun because most of the time is focused on learning. This seems fine for a classroom, but some kids can feel lost with so much instruction and so little free time. However, kids are generally less cranky during the day because they only attend for half a day. This is a benefit because upset kids dont take away from instruction time.

Additionally, kids may or may not be ready for the first grade if they attend a half day kindergarten. This means there may not be enough instruction time to adequately prepare the kids for the next grade. Also, half day kindergarten does not prepare the children for a full day of school when they reach first grade. Parents will have to find childcare for the rest of the day if their kid takes part in a half day kindergarten and this can be a strain financially for some families. For others it is just stressful to find a caregiver.

These are some of the pros and cons of half day kindergarten, but many studies show that children in half day kindergarten perform as well as those in full day kindergarten. It really depends on the teacher and your child which one would be the best fit.

Full Day Kindergarten
Full day kindergarten offers more time for enrichment and themes. This means kids can really go into depth on certain topics and learn more about them. There is more time for recess and games as well as craft and having fun. With additional time during the day children are able to learn through a variety of activities designed to increase learning.

Most children who attend a full day kindergarten are fully prepared for the first grade because they spend more time learning during the year and are better prepared. Additionally, they are accustomed to the full day of school that half dayers will have to adjust to. A drawback is that some students become cranky and tired during the day due to the long hours. Even though a naptime is included sometimes it takes a while for the students to adjust to a full day of school.


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