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Stoked

Kinder timetable dilemma

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Stoked

DS1 is attending 3 year old kinder at a community run preschool here in Melbourne. We've enrolled him for next year at the same place, too. However, they've just changed the timetable for next year! And it's sent me into a downwards spiral of anxiety and indecisiveness.

 

The timetable they had was 3 days x 5 hours each. There's now a choice of a 2 x 6 + 1 x 3 timetable or 2 x 7.5 hr days. Which one do I choose? Is one better than the other? I'm thinking 7.5 hrs of structured 4 y.o. kinder in one go is way too much.

Edited by Stoked

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Caribou

7.5 hours. Much easier and frees up Hours to get stuff done. 4yos are pretty tough things.

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Belaire

My son does 2x 7.5 hour days - 8.30 to 4pm and he absolutely LOVES it and has thrived on it. He didn't do 3yo kinder or day care so this is his first experience in something like this and he's done really well. They structure it really well and he never comes home knackered.

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jamesandi

I tried the 2 x 7.5 option here in Brisbane, it was structured as you say, I didn't realise when we started.

 

I was confused as the teacher also asked if anyone wanted to pick their child up at 3 but when the first term started she frowned on it.

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Little boys rock

I think it depends on family circumstances, if you don't have to consider work or other commitments I would definitely say shorter days are better for 4 year olds. The educators in my sons pre school considered 5 hrs per session to be the absolute maximum amount of time for young children to be at pre school.

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Fright bat

Why is 7.5 hours too much? It's not like they have them chanting their times tables and being whipped into smart military marches. Once you include snack times, lunch times, play time and rest time, it's really not so much. My elder son did 7.5 hours four days a week at that age (Wednesdays off) and loved it.

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jamesandi

It depends on the kindy. I think they vary.

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Stoked

DS1 just turned 4 and only recently stopped complaining that I go away and leave him at kindy for too long (the 3 year old program has 3 x 3 hr sessions), that's why I worry that 7.5 hours may be too much. It does mean there's no faffing about with the half day though. It's also two days in a row.

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libbylu

Do what suits YOU best. He will get used to the routine, whichever you choose.

They will not be doing structured activities all day - kinder involves a lot of free play.

I would say the majority of 4 year olds are in long day care at least a couple of days a week in Australia and would be doing 7.5 hour days while their parents are at work. For those kids, the kinder teacher may not be in the room the whole day, but they are still doing activities and playing with their peers for that whole time.

It may even prepare him better for school.

Or, if like me, you like to avoid early morning starts (presumably the longer day starts earlier?) then I would choose the 3 shorter days ;)

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namie

DS1 had the shorter hours at kinder a couple of years ago and it was fine for him, but annoying for me. Shlepping a baby and a younger brother around on the 3 hour session day was a pain in the neck.

He had been in long daycare the year before so the longer days would have been fine for him.

 

DS2 is at the same kinder this year and they now offer the two long days - it is fantastic! He also went to long daycare last year so was used to it, but his best friend has never been to daycare and is also coping just fine.

The best friend's mum was worried about it and would have preferred the shorter days (her eldest was with my DS1 too), but she has come around.

 

It's not actually that structured, really. DS2 seems to just play in the sandpit or dirt patch all day, although he does talk about yoga/meditation and sometimes has a new song to sing to me. I do wish he'd do a little art work for my fridge, it's very bare this year! I think they ease them into things, and by term 4 are a little more focused on timing, in preparation for FYOS.

 

Our kinder starts at 8.30 which means I drop DS2 off first, then head to school nearby to drop of DS1. In the afternoon I collect DS1 at 3.30 and head to kinder by 4pm to collect DS2.

 

I get a solid 6 hours alone with DS3 and don't have to worry about different pick up times throughout the day.

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smilinggirl

I would prefer the longer sessions. Ours does 3 x 5hrs but I would rather a longer day to help her get used to long days at FYOS. Having never been in daycare, school is going to be a long day!

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seayork2002

From the time my son was 12months he was 3 full days (then 4 before school) it would have done my head in to contemplate a few hours here and there and this way he had his little routines that he loved and got to have a nap there with his little friends and appoint himself head gardener-he then went onto 5 days at school

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Reading_Mum

My twins do the 7.5 x 2 days, and my son did the same. We really like them! I was worried they'd get to tired but it works really well for us. The kinder has a extra teacher come in during the afternoon (so 1 kinder teacher, and 3 assistants), they have a rest time and the last hour is sitting on the mat having afternoon tea, and reading stories, puzzles, colouring etc so it's a really nice way to wind down at the end of the day.

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Stoked

Or, if like me, you like to avoid early morning starts (presumably the longer day starts earlier?) then I would choose the 3 shorter days ;)

Yes, the 2 long days start at 8.30. The 2.5 day option starts at 9 am. The old timetable with 3 x 5 hr days had a 9.30 start which was perfect, I thought, as that would mean I'd avoid all school traffic AND not have to rush around in the morning like a headless chook.

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ABabyPlease

It doesn't seem like such a big decision to me. My DS who was very, very shy at 3yo kinder is now very happy with 3 X 8 hour days at 4yo kinder.

 

I think either will be fine for him, it's what suits you best.

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Stoked

I know it's a first world problem! :) Thanks everyone for your input, I think I'll go with the 2.5 days option simply because of a later start.

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Natttmumm

If I were home full time id prefer the 3 shorter days. If I were working id prefer the 2 longer days (although they probably still are not long enough for work).

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