Starting kindergarten — The Bump
School-Aged Children

Starting kindergarten

We live in California if this makes any difference, I'm not sure. My son starts school in the fall and I was looking on the paper and class is from 8:10-2:45. Does that seem like a long school day for a kindergartner or is it just me?? I'm honestly really sad he will be gone that long. I'm also pretty worried how he will handle it. Right now he is is preschool three days a week for 2.5 hours.


How long is kindergarten in your area?

Re: Starting kindergarten

  • Our Kindergarten in Texas is 8am- 3pm. It's not long to us at all. DS has been going to daycare since he was 3 from 9am-6pm. We were nervous at first about him making friends and walking by himself in a big school but they really hand hold the Kindergarteners. They have their own bathroom in the classroom and we drop them off in the cafeteria then the teacher picks them up and walks them to class. I'm amazed at how independent DS has become in one year. He'll be fine. They break the day up a lot with music class, recess and library time etc. the time just flys by. You can go have lunch with you son from time to time if you'd like. I never did, my son said he didn't want me to. It's his time to socialize with friends.
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  • That does seem like a really long day. Hopefully they give them a long recess? I think our day is about 8:05 to 1:50 (at least that's what it was for K-1st two years ago) which is still pretty long.


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  • That's a little longer than my kids' school day.  Elementary school in my area goes from 9am to 3pm.

    It seems like a long time when you're used to having a child in 1/2 day preschool.  And it will be a transition for your child as well.  Expect him to be tired in the evenings, especially at the end of the week.  Many was the Friday night my kindergarten son fell asleep in the car on the way home from eating out on Friday night.

    Does your school have a kindergarten orientation?  If so, you might find out that they give the kids a break or rest period in the afternoon.  Hopefully, with a longer day, they give the kids more chance for movement and a longer lunch/recess than where I live.  If you have questions, call the school and ask to observe a kindergarten class.
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  • I'm in VA and our kindergarten is half days for 4 hours unless your child doesn't meet certain requirements. I feel like this is too much, I'm having a hard time thinking about him going to school 5 days a week. I feel like it will take away so much of our time together. I'm sure we'll adapt however, just another milestone...
  • Our grade school goes from 8am-2:20. For 4K and 5K they break for lunch at 10:30, then recess, then nap and then mostly playtime.
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  • 2-Step2-Step
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    We have the option for full or half day kindergarten. Full day is 8:30 - 3pm. Half day is something like 8:30-11:30. I think it has been great for DS to have a full day. The full day kids get a lot more applied learning. They get to go on nature walks, paint and take full advantage of music, library and PE. Their unit on science includes raising butterflies and growing plants. The half day kids have to get through the same curriculum in half the time, so there is more pressure, more constant seated work and less flexibility. They also get sick a lot their first year, so full day offers the opportunity to catch the kids up on what they missed. They get three recesses per day. Our state is moving toward full day kindergarten for everyone because of the benefits teachers have seen in 1st graders that do full vs half day. The full day kids also get to move into small groups so advanced readers get the opportunity to move on and slower readers have extra help to get them to grade level without missing out on the rest of the curriculum. He is tired at the end of the day for sure, but we take it easy at home in the afternoon and he sleeps great. It is amazing how much they mature during this year.

  • rsd12rsd12
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    This is the first year our town has had full day kindergarten. My youngest son starts in the fall. While I know he will be exhausted the first couple of months I know he can do it. Both of my older sons have done 1/2 day kindergarten... And they their transition to full day in first was exhausting as well the first couple of months.

    They try to squeeze so much of the academics in half day that the full day is better for them! My middle son missed some of the specials and socialization by doing half day last year (a lot of families paid for full day). Fortunately he had no issues last year so half day worked well for us.

    Full day is 8:35 am - 3 pm with no naps. Lol my kids would never nap anyway!
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
  • Late to the game here. But my daughter will be starting kindergarten in the fall; she will go 845-350 the teachers said that in the beginning of the year they do 5 play breaks, or recesses and slowly cut back to just the two normal ones. Also; no nap time. I'm stressing out over kindergarten because LO is due the end of November; and that's going to mess up everyone's sleep schedule (we're in an apartment).
  • Our son goes to a private school in Atlanta.  It started at 8:05 and ended at 3:05 m-tr and 2:15 on friday.  It will seem like a long day early on but as the year progresses it won't be a big deal. 
    DS- June 2009

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  • Here in New Jersey my son's kindergarten day is only 2 1/2 hours long. kindergarten is actually shorter than his half-day preschool. I almost wish he had transitioned to full day right out of preschool because I feel that he has backtracked now and is only used to having a really short school day. when he starts first grade it's going to be a huge jump ... 2.5 hours to 6.5!
  • DD started pre K this past year and went 4 full days from 815-315 and she had no problem adjusting to it (and she only went to daycare 3 mornings a week prior to that. k will be the same except she will be going 5 full days
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  • Hi. I also live in California. Southern. It honestly depends on the school district. Some are half and other are full days for kinder. My son had half a day. We could pick am or pm. We chose pm which was 10:24 to 2:04. My son starts 1st grade in Aug.
  •  I'm in northern NJ and our Kindergarten hours are 8:30-3:00 in our town. Knowing this, I enrolled DD to go to pre-k from 9-3 last year to prep her and she was fine. I think kindergarten may be harder on me ;-P

    Married 08/25/2007 - DD#1 05/11/2010 - DD#2 09/25/2013 - EDD #3 06/03/2016

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  • We are from Seattle and moved to Texas right before my daughter started Kindergarten last Fall. She went from 3 days of 2.5 hours of preschool to getting on the bus at 7:45 and off at 3:30... almost 8 hours! She was 5.5 when she started and it was rough! Mainly, just her being extremely tired. I'd say by Christmas, she had gotten used to it and by Feb, she seemed to not be so tired anymore. She's done very well in school the entire time, it was just really rough with meltdowns, etc when she got home. 
    E. 1.27.10, C. 11.1.11
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  • My daughter is about to start kindergarten too, and it's 9am-3pm.  We're in a suburb of Chicago.  I really wish there was a half-day option in our district.  She's also very very shy.  To say 'I'm nervous' is a big understatement.  :(
    Married 7/10/2009 * DD 12/2/2010 * DS 4/24/2014
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  • I am so jealous!  Our district is 2 hours & 45 minutes.  The kids don't even get lunch or recess at school.  DD went to preK for 9 hours a day.  This is such crap!  
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  • Im like a year late, but my daughter goes to a public charter school & her school hours are from 745-4pm. 
    745-8am is breakfast 
    They get lunch & snacks also. 
    They are a year-round school so they only get 6 weeks of summer vacation. Her last day of Kinder is June 22nd she started August 10th 
    This next school year 2016-2017 she'll be in 1st & starts August 8th. This school has ECE K 1st & 2nd & ECE only starts a week later but the rest of the school year is the same as the older kids.

    Its set up well. & im happy with the school. Yes seems horrible to have a child in school for such a long time. But she has also joined sports such as soccer, basketball, cheer squad, & 2 dance recitals. Yes @ the end of the day after doing homework & having dinner shes ready for bed but shes extremely healthy & happy. 

    When she was in Head Start she went from 1230-4pm & for ECE her schedule was 8am-315. This year has been her longest school year! 

  • Our kindergarten is 8 a.m. - 2:45 p.m., just like the rest of elementary school.  Then DD stayed in aftercare until 5:30 p.m.  It was no longer than a daycare day.
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  • My youngest will be starting Kinder in the fall. We opted for the full day program which will be 8am-245pm. I'm a little nervous because he's been at home mostly except for a few months in all-day preschool. He's been begging to go to school so I'm confident that he's ready.
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