Kindergarten programs first became popular after World War I. The kindergarten programs during that time were given on a half-day basis in order to serve more children and to save more money. During the depression, the enrollment in kindergarten programs got too low that a majority of school districts decided to cut back on the programs. It was only after the Second World War that the popularity of kindergarten programs began to rise again.
Kindergarten in the United States was previously considered to be a transitional experience for learners which are about to enter first grade. Enrolling children in kindergarten was a voluntary choice that parents would make if they want their child to become socially, mentally and emotionally adjusted before they enter primary schooling which starts at first grade.
[...] All Day Kindergarten Program All-day kindergarten programs are the kindergarten programs in which the child learner attends school everyday for 6 hours. A large number of states in the United States have started implementing these al-day kindergarten programs. All-day kindergarten programs were developed because of the following reasons; all kindergarten-aged students need a safe and enriching environment for more than two hours per day; students who are delayed cognitively, physically, socially, or emotionally benefit from having more time to obtain support and to practice skills in the areas of delay; full-day kindergarten can help level the playing field for those students who were not afforded quality preschool experiences; teachers can individualize instruction better if they are given half as many students for twice as much time; and our society needs its children to acquire important competencies earlier in their school careers (ECS 2004). [...]
[...] Half Day Kindergarten Program Half-day kindergarten programs are the traditional kindergarten programs in which the child learner attends school everyday for a duration of 2 to 3 hours either in the morning or in the afternoon. Most of the states in the United States have been implementing this half-day kindergarten program. Advantages of Half-Day Programs There are still a lot of educators and parents that prefer this traditional half-day everyday kindergarten program. They believe that this half-day kindergarten program has enough time to adequately provide the children with high quality education and social experience while still orienting them and properly prepping them up for primary schooling. [...]
[...] Child learners who attend all-day programs learn more in kindergarten and have lower retention rates in the primary grades than children who attend only half a day (Gullo and Maxwell 1997). Children that belong to families of disadvantaged backgrounds have been found to benefit most from an all-day kindergarten program rather than from half-day programs (Nieman and Gastright, 1981). Disadvantaged children who attend preschool and all-day kindergarten programs later out-perform their counterparts who do not attend preschool and attend only half-day kindergarten (Nieman and Gastright, 1981). [...]
[...] Most children who attend all-day kindergarten programs are fully prepared for the first grade because they spend more time learning during the year and are better prepared for a whole day schedule unlike their half-day counterparts who need to adjust to the schedule once they reach first grade. Children in full-day kindergarten classes are spending some of the time focused on learning many of the same things and doing many of the same types of learning activities as those in half-day classes, but some full- day kindergarten classes are spending the “extra time” during the day exposed to more advanced reading, writing, and mathematics skills. [...]
[...] A study of third graders showed that there are no significant differences found in the academic achievement performances of students who were graduates of an all-day kindergarten program and those that came from half- day kindergarten programs (Saam & Nowak 2005). This study however did not account for educational experiences that occurred between kindergarten and third grade and recommends that outcome data should be collected closer to the kindergarten year. Students from all-day kindergarten programs exhibited more independent learning, classroom involvement, productivity in work with peers, and reflectiveness in their work than their half-day kindergarten counterparts. [...]
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