The Cost Of Education

Today I was lucky enough to hang out w/ my girlfriend Kirsten. She’s a mom of 4, and her youngest is a month old than my youngest. She’s very down to earth, laid back, and shares similar ideas with me.

I asked her today about kindergarten, because I couldn’t find any information on the cost of it. I had heard from other moms that kindergarten enrichment would cost extra, but that it was necessary (according to those moms). My big concern was whether we could afford to send Elijah to full day kindergarten *and* send Miles to preschool next year.

Kirsten shared with me that one of the teachers she spoke to said that by 1st grade, there was a big difference between kids who did full day kindergarten and those who did not. As a result, Kirsten put her son through the full day, but at the cost of her daughter not going to preschool for a year.

My heart is heavy, because I want both my boys in school next year. I feel that Miles could really use preschool 2 mornings a week. I think it would enhance his speech skills, and he badly wants to go. I worry that Elijah might have a hard time adapting to full day 1st grade if he only goes to kindergarten for half a day.

I’d really like some feedback here.

5 thoughts on “The Cost Of Education

  1. There are two or three schools near us that are offering full-day Kindergarten at no extra charge. You have to open-enroll in them if they aren't your "neighborhood school," but it may be worth looking into.

    Luckily, the one we'd planned on sending Claire to is one that offers full-day for free.

    Of course, she can't go to Kindergarten next year because she was born after the October 1st cut-off date, so we've opted to pay for a 4-day a week Pre-K class in preparation for that. (It's at the same school where she goes 2-days a week now, and where she went 1-day a week when she was 3. We love them!)

    Keep in mind, I only have one kid to pay for, so what we do may be different than what you can do.

  2. Oh, and Open Enrollment for JeffCo is NOW, in January! I'm not sure what school district you're in, but you may want to see what the open-enrollment dates are for you!

    Also, the one we want to go to is our neighborhood school, so we can just enroll her without all the early deadlines…

  3. I think I come from a different parenting paradigm than you. Sure, there may be an advantage in 1st grade for kids who do FD Kindy. Kids who are in daycare FT are also at an advantage in the early elementary years. That advantage disappears by 3rd grade. I think what happens is that you move that "tough" year forward, not that you erase it. I guess I'm willing to let my kid be at a small disadvantage in 1st grade in order to let him be a kid for as long as possible. 1st grade isn't really the college-deciding year 🙂 I personally wouldn't deprive my younger kid of preschool just to ensure a theoretical advantage that'll not matter in a year anyway. There are worse things than a rough (and totally normal) adjustment to 1st grade. I have nothing against FD kindy, but if it were a choice of one kid over the other I personally wouldn't worry about kindergarten.

  4. Hi Melissa.

    First, I would not worry too much about the schedule changes for Elijah, children have an amazing ability to adjust to new stimuli. I switched Julia from a 9-1pm schedule to an activity-filled 9-3:30pm schedule several months ago, and there was really no problem. The first week she slept more because she was more tired, then she adjusted and she was back to her normal self in the evening. Secondl, I don't buy into this attitude that your future is shaped by your elementary school curriculum. Finally, think about yourself too and consider your own needs in the equation. With both children in school you would have a couple of mornings a week entirely for yourself. By the way, we got your card. Happy Birthday.

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