BTDT moms. Half day preschool or full day? — The Bump
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BTDT moms. Half day preschool or full day?

Please help me decide. I have the option of half day(2.25hrs) 2 days a week, or full day (5hrs) either once or twice a week. The full day sounds great because I can get so much done around house and spend some time with my little one. But I am so afraid dd won't be able to handle 5hrs. I keep thinking she's going to cry the entire time and miss us lol. So I'm seeking advice of other moms who have been through this. DD will be exactly 3 when preschool starts, and is usually very social after much effort and warming up. I just feel like 2 hrs twice a week is more of a hassle than anything, given the fact that I will have to get her and her little sister both ready, take them both in and out of the car, drive back home with little one, then go back to pick her up again in less than 2 hrs. Please help...

Re: BTDT moms. Half day preschool or full day?

  • Go for 5 hours twice a week. It will be hard for her when you leave the first few weeks but she will adjust and then enjoy being around other kids and learning.
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  • My son goes 5 hours three days a week and he loves it. He's very outgoing and has never had an issue with going however even the kids who cried the first few drop offs were happy by pick up time. After the first month there weren't any kids crying at drop off. Honestly, I actually wish school was 6 hours instead of 5 because we lose an hour between drop off and pick up. The one downside is that pick up is at 2 so I often have to wake my littlest one up early from nap to get her brother on time.
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  • kami1977 said:
    My son goes 5 hours three days a week and he loves it. He's very outgoing and has never had an issue with going however even the kids who cried the first few drop offs were happy by pick up time. After the first month there weren't any kids crying at drop off. Honestly, I actually wish school was 6 hours instead of 5 because we lose an hour between drop off and pick up. The one downside is that pick up is at 2 so I often have to wake my littlest one up early from nap to get her brother on time.
    how old is your son?
  • He's 3 we started him last January when he was 2 years 9 months.
  • My 3 year old goes 5 days/week from 9 - 1:30.  It's perfect!  I think that any shorter of a time would be annoying as far as drop off/pick up and giving you time with your other one.  It's also not much time for your daughter at school.  She'll adjust and have a great time.
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  • My oldest started preschool last year at age 3. She went 2 days a week for 2.5 hours. I thought it was the perfect amount of time to ease her into school. And yeah, it was kind of a hassle to get 3 kids up (I also have 2.5-year-old twins), ready and out the door to drop my oldest off for school and then return such a short time later. But I felt that amount of time at school was what she needed.
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  • Mrs.Greg said:
    My oldest started preschool last year at age 3. She went 2 days a week for 2.5 hours. I thought it was the perfect amount of time to ease her into school. And yeah, it was kind of a hassle to get 3 kids up (I also have 2.5-year-old twins), ready and out the door to drop my oldest off for school and then return such a short time later. But I felt that amount of time at school was what she needed.
    I agree, I would like 5hrs but I have to stop being selfish and think about what she would enjoy and I think (though I'm not sure) she wouldn't want to be away from me and her little sister for that long :)
  • My kids' preschool had a 2 hour, 2 day/week program for 3s.  I know some people put their kids into full day preschool at age 3, but my kids had late birthdays like yours, and I knew they weren't ready.  Also, I wasn't ready to relinquish being with them for that much time at that age.

    My kids did 2 hours, 2 days/wk at 3, 2.5 hours, 3 days/wk at 4, and DS did all week half day pre-k at age 5.  It was a nice progression to kindergarten for both of them.

    That all being said, I would go with the preschool program that you feel is the most awesome and best fit for your child.  If the longer day is an awesome program, even if your DD cries at first, the experience will be great, and the teachers will help her grow more confident.  If the program is "meh" it won't matter if it's half or full day!

    I had one kid who flew into preschool like it was her 2nd home, and one who cried a lot and took a long time to become confident.  But because my preschool had awesome, professional teachers, both kids got what they needed and were really ready for K when the time rolled around.
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

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  • My kids' preschool had a 2 hour, 2 day/week program for 3s.  I know some people put their kids into full day preschool at age 3, but my kids had late birthdays like yours, and I knew they weren't ready.  Also, I wasn't ready to relinquish being with them for that much time at that age.

    My kids did 2 hours, 2 days/wk at 3, 2.5 hours, 3 days/wk at 4, and DS did all week half day pre-k at age 5.  It was a nice progression to kindergarten for both of them.

    That all being said, I would go with the preschool program that you feel is the most awesome and best fit for your child.  If the longer day is an awesome program, even if your DD cries at first, the experience will be great, and the teachers will help her grow more confident.  If the program is "meh" it won't matter if it's half or full day!

    I had one kid who flew into preschool like it was her 2nd home, and one who cried a lot and took a long time to become confident.  But because my preschool had awesome, professional teachers, both kids got what they needed and were really ready for K when the time rolled around.
    Thank you so much, that is such great advice! 
  • It depends on the child. I teach preschool and some kids do well with full day, while other kids are just done after 2.5 hours and the rest of the day is a wash for them. I would personally start with the half day program at first because in my experience children learn more in smaller blocks of time.
    thank you for your input, that's why I love this board!
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