The Agony and Ecstasy of Half-day Kindergarten

It’s no small secret how excited I’ve been for Eli to start Kindergarten. After missing last year’s cut-off by just 6 days (moms of September babies, you understand!), this extra year with him at home – coupled with the fact that 19 years is a lotta years to have kids around – has made me eager for a little time alone.

Eli's first day of school

Eli, on his first day of Kinder.

“Human Time,” I call it, because that’s what I finally feel like when I have a little silence to myself.

It wasn’t until some time in spring that I finally realized Eli’s Kindergarten this year would only be half-day. Roughly translated, that’s just three hours.

Three hours?

It’s like waking up 20 minutes before your alarm and deciding to close your eyes for just one more second, except suddenly it’s an hour later. It just goes by so fast!

Yes, it’s still three hours that I’m without kids at home (although, frankly, the shenanigans between the two dogs, two cats, and sometimes-work-from-home husband often make up for that). It’s still three hours where no one is talking to me about Minecraft or parent signatures or however much more money is needed for such-and-such. It’s nice. I can attend to more complicated work online, or wash dishes without interruption.

I can even run an errand or two. It’s amazing how much faster things get done without a 6yo in tow.

But – honestly – three hours is only just enough to make me want a little more. Or maybe a lot more. Yes, on the 9th day of Kindergarten, I’m already counting down the days until 1st grade.

Has your child had half-day Kinder? What do you think – love it or hate it?


  • Nancy Melendez

    So true!! I cannot tell you how many days I was just seconds late to meet the bus. Picture me running down the street waving my hands shrieking “please! let him off! I’m here!” For a few months my E was pulled into all day kindergarten to give him some extra help – it was heavenly!! And then he successfully jumped the hurdle and went back to half day. Good Grief! I was proud of him and happy he had improved…but secretly wished he still needed it so he could stay in all day kinder. It was always bitter sweet feelings for me. The constant struggle between wanting “me” time and realizing this precious time with them goes by too fast.

  • Melissa

    This is whole reason that my youngest is not in public pre-k. He automatically qualifies because of his adoption. But the school we are zoned for only has Spanish speaking classes, so he would have to attend a different school and I would have to provide transportation both ways. The car line traffic just was not worth the only 3 hours of school. Plus…he is my buddy and I would miss him!!

    I have only had kids around for 18 years…if it were 19 years I might feel differently! 🙂