Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stay in school, kids

As my son and I waited way too long to get a prescription filled the other day, an older gentleman started chatting with us. He remarked that my son was being very patient, and he asked my son how old he was. My son replied politely. (Proud Mommy moment.) My son then volunteered the information that he was allowed to talk to strangers but not leave with them. (Proud/semi awkward Mommy moment.)

The gentleman asked my son about school, and my son replied that he had fun at school and went every day, and he liked it when Mommy was able to come and get him early. The gentleman replied that when he was little he only attended school for half-days until first grade.

And that was true of me as well: I went to half-day preschool and half-day Kindergarten. (I have fond memories of the Kindergarten, because my Mom took me to work in the library with her in the mornings and I would help put away books and read for hours.)

As it turns out, recent research suggests that full-day preschool is the way to go. The study took a look at students who attended different length programs and found that students who attended the seven hour program (versus the three) could outperform their peers in language, math and social skills. Those students also had better coping skills when it came to Kindergarten.

I like this study, but wish it delved more into the curriculum. Obviously not all of my son's school day now is spent on learning activities, but the extra time spent with children his age is helping him with social skills needed for life.

Does your child attend a half-day school program or a full day program? Which do you think is better? Let me know in the comments.

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