Is My Child Ready For All-Day Kindergarten?

My four year old has been in preschool for the past year and did very well. He has another six months of preschool until the summer and then we are contemplating enrolling him for kindergarten in the fall. We would like to put him in a local Catholic school with a full day kindergarten. They are reportedly very scholastic in their orientation, rather then social-skills development oriented. While they don't push kids scholastically if they are not ready, they do encourage it.

Basically, we would like to know if we are ahead of ourselves. He'll still be four next fall, and I wonder if he would really be ready for something like this. He's been on the computer for some time now and he seems to love to learn, still I wonder if he's mature enough for a full day kindergarten program. Especially the kind we are looking at.


You are perfectly justified in wondering whether a child your son's age will fit into an academically oriented full-day kindergarten. It's not always an easy "yes"! The best way to find out is to ask the opinion of your son's current teachers.

Here are some questions you can ask them:

• How is my son's attention span?
• How well does he work when he's doing something that he can't figure out right away?
• Does he throw a tantrum or just walk away from the task?
• Does he keep plugging away until he "gets it", or ask for help from a teacher?
• Does he enjoy doing tasks that have one answer (such as puzzles or lotto games)?
• Does he show any interest in letters or numbers?

Through these and other questions, you should be able to get a sense of your child as a learner. Perhaps he needs a less structured environment, or perhaps this is the right place for him. Your son's current teachers are probably the best people to ask about this general question, as well.

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