Question: I have a choice of enrolling my son in either a full-day or a half-day kindergarten program. Will the full-day program better prepare him for first grade? - Undecided
Answer: There is no magic in placing your son in a full-day program. You need to look at the quality of the program instead of the length of the school day. A high-quality half-day program is superior to a full-day program that has too much seatwork and regimentation.
Developmentally appropriate full-day programs do have certain advantages. There is more time for instruction, so children can learn all the things that are traditionally taught in kindergarten, but at a more relaxed pace. Plus, the children learn to work more productively with their peers. While there haven't been a lot of studies on the benefits of full-day kindergarten, most do show academic benefits for children in the primary grades.