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Should the Legislature approve funding for all-day kindergarten statewide?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on January 11, 2006

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Photo of Liz Kirkendall

“I would say putting more money into education is always a good investment, as long as they have a good game plan for the administration of the program.”

Photo of David Graham

“Yes, because I don’t think a half day is adequate. They don’t learn enough, and it underestimates what children can do. I think the difference between half-day and all-day kindergarten is amazing.”

Photo of Ke-Ita Reid

“Yes of course, but I think the parents should be able to choose how long they want their kids to go. Some children don’t have the attention span to be in school that long.”

Photo of Gillian Gurley

“I think it would be better to spend the money on making sure all the other levels of education have adequate resources and funding first.”

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Comments

audvisartist 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm not sure if all-day kindergarten makes sense for kids. Kids in that age group lack the attention span, and the patience, to go to a full 8-3 day of kindergarten.

Nikki May 9 years, 4 months ago

Most of these kids are in daycare longer then they'd be in kindergarten anyway. They do the half day and then go to daycare or start the day in their preschool and after lunch head to kindergarten.

As a person that works with this age group, I'd love them to be in full day. Yes, it would affect my job, but they'd benefit from the full days. There is so much they expected to know and those teachers are cramming it all into less than 3 hours.

enochville 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't have a strong opinion either way. I think most kids could handle it. What I don't like is young children spending all day at day care. I think that where it is possible one parent or grandparent should stay home with the kids when they are young. I am sure that I am going to get flack for saying that, but I feel that it is in the best interest of the child.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 4 months ago

Each child is an individual. So long as there is plenty of art,music and field trips to the nature center,wetlands and natural history museum all will be swell.

Day cares can be productive depending on what types of activity are provided. Young minds are sponges for learning.

Having parents raise their own children is probaly still the best avenue.

italianprincess 9 years, 4 months ago

I have 4 kindergarteners here in the morning. I take two of them to school for morning classes, then drop off the other two and pick up the two I dropped off in the morning and another one. The two that stay here with me until afternoon kindergarten have daily lessons ( weekly themes with daily topics ) then they head to school for their day. The two I drop off in the morning and then pick up ( plus another ) eat lunch here, take a nap, then are picked up when their parents get off of work.

There isn't an after school type program ( Boys & Girls Club ) for morning kindergarten yet. The program starts after school ends at 3:45, therefore the morning kindergarten group doesn't have care after school. If they were to change that then parents wouldn't have to worry so much about locating daycare near their child's school.

I of course as a daycare provider would make less income so having 1/2 day kindergarten benefits me. I also have these children for the whole summer because their parents want their lessons to continue throughout the summer.

I went to kindergarten 1/2 day ( back in the caveman days ) and I did fine. I do have to agree with some who have mentioned attention spans also. Some children would do well while others wouldn't. I have a little boy here who has ADHD and takes his meds at 11 am each day at school. By the time I pick him up, and he has lunch here with the other children hes ready for a nap. All my kindergarteners take naps and they sleep. They are up pretty early in the morning and still need that down time.

canyon_wren 9 years, 4 months ago

I think Gillian Gurley's comments make sense. When regular educational programs are not being funded, why try to spread the limited funding even further?

It's sad that our economic situation is such that most parents have to find someplace to put their little ones during the day. If it wasn't true that the majority of them go from half-day kindergarten to a day care anyway, I would be highly opposed to an all-day kindergarten. I agree that many 5-year-olds don't have the attention span for a full day of "school."

I also agree with the posts which say that parents should be allowed to choose whether their child has a full or half-day kindergarten. And last, I feel that children need some "slack" time during their days when they are not being groomed to be achievers. I also think naps are wonderful--and important--for little ones.

killjoy 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm OK with it as long as it doesn't cut into subsidies for roundabouts and speed bumps.

neopolss 9 years, 4 months ago

As long as recess stays around. I am disturbed by this trend to take away recess. Not only does it provide a great release for children, keeping them in class an extra 20 minutes of the day is counter-productive in most studies. The children becomes sluggish and lose focus, while others cannot sit still with so much bundled energy. Maybe the largest problem with adhd increasing is the lack of physical activity that kids partake in. Is obesity and adhd equal in its growth? It would be interesting to see.

Kids need time to be kids, run around and not worry about us. As parents we may be trying to much to make each child into a super genius, and not enough on simply teaching them to enjoy what life has and be a good little person. Every toy does NOT need to be educational, every TV show does NOT have to have a point.

canyon_wren 9 years, 4 months ago

I certainly don't mean to sound negative about daycare. It sounds like Italian Princess does a wonderful job--and she works in the naps where necessary. I imagine she allows some "slack" time as well--and by that, I don't mean just plopping kids in front of a TV. Even over-emphasizing "academics" is probably preferable to that!

Kookamooka 9 years, 4 months ago

Full day Kindergarten is a great idea. 1/2 day with the teacher, 1/2 day with an assistant who gets them to art, music and PE. (with more art, music and PE every week) The primary Kindergarten teacher can spend more time giving each child the attention they need. The second half of the primary teacher's day would be the 1/2 day kindergarteners. So instead of hiring another FT teacher, the district could hire a 1/2 time "aide". The only major problem would be space...some schools don't have the physical space for another class. Anyone for another portable classroom? The thing they should get rid of is...Wednesday early dismissal.UGH!!! Talk about community un-friendly.

trinity 9 years, 4 months ago

right on neo! nothing i can add, just a "right on" for your post.

Redneckgal 9 years, 4 months ago

I think half day Kindergarten's time has probably passed for better or worse. Unfortunantly most kids have to go to daycare all day anyway thus they are use to being away from Mom and Dad all day anyway. I do think all day Kindergarten should still be a pretty laid back thing. Lots of physical activity story times and a nap time.

Topside 9 years, 4 months ago

i agree with the first post of the day. I do agree that "the more book learnin the better". But, with young kids I think that with the short attention spans, they will get restless. I think that there would be a law of diminishing returns with all day knderkarten.
Lets say the average child learns X in a day. Then we double the funding so they can attend a full school day. What then if we find then that the avg. child only learns X.2. Is that enough to justify the huge increase in sending. Most parents, not all could pick up that slack. However, on the plus side, I could stop paying for full daycare that much sooner.

I have not fully studied the new reports and stuff on scholl financing increases, but through the blubs I heard on the news are throwing out some HUGE numbers. I think the school financing gorilla has picked the lock, and is out of its cage. First we double school finanicing for this year and the forseeable future. These new numbers sound like it should be doubled again. That seems ludicrous to me. Somebody post an explanation to me, if you've already studied up. Please, keep it simple though, for I am a product of an underfunded public school system.

acg 9 years, 4 months ago

My 5 year old step son is in Kindergarten. He goes full time, all day long. It's a very progressive k program. He changes classes! When I was in kindergarten it was all about cutting and pasting. He's taking spanish, computer lab, music, etc. He had 4 different teachers that teach the basics-reading, math, science. Science? I'm not kidding! They get a rest period of 35 minutes per day and if they fall asleep, they wake them up to keep going and not waste time. The poor kid is exhausted when he gets home. He falls asleep before dinner is ready most nights. He's learning so much but at the expensive of being a little kid. It's a double edged sword, for sure.

spikey_mcmarbles 9 years, 4 months ago

Full day kindergarten is a win-win situation for both kids and parents. The kids get a more structured learning enviroment in that extra 1/2 day at school than what they would get at a day care. With the kids in school longer, this might relieve some of the financial burden of paying for 1/2 day of day care or a sitter, and it would allow some parents to work longer, or even to obtain a job that they were previously excluded from because of their need to care for their kids for 1/2 of a day. The Lecompton school district has all day kindergarten, which seems to work well for that community.

Here's a quesiton: do a majority of rural school districts in kansas have full day or half day kindergarten? and what are the majority of urban school districts doing regarding full day or half day kindergarten?

badger 9 years, 4 months ago

I would actually rather see kindergarten stay at half-day. It's become the shiny new proving ground for new educational theory, so every year there are more structured activities and less fluid time, more 'Reading Power Sessions' or 'Computer Math Modeling Exercises' and less recess or fun.

People talk as if that half-day would mean the child would be twice as far ahead at the end of the year, but I'm not sure. As it is, way too many graduate from high school unable to distinguish 'there' from 'there', unable to format a sentence so that the subject and the verb are in agreement as to tense and number, unable to count back change. They can't tell you the atomic weight of carbon, explain the scientific method, name the simple machines, tell you why the Magna Carta was historically significant (or even what it was), name the amendments that make up the Bill of Rights or tell you the capital of West Virginia.

If I really believed that full-day kindergarten would mean that I never again had to see anyone type, "lol u ppl dont no what its like their" or hear someone say "Me and her went out a couple times last year," or watch a cashier puzzle like a monkey with an etch-a-sketch over the fact that if my bill is 13.95 and I give you 14.20, I should get a quarter back, I'd be all for it. But frankly, if someone can't learn the difference between affect and effect in twelve years, I don't think full-day kindergarten will make that difference. Some kids want to learn, and they will. Others don't, and it's a fight to get them to participate in the learning process.

I'm with Gillian Gurley on this one. Fund the programs you already have. Get them current books, newer lab equipment. Fund band, art, and choir programs. Put it into increasing the quality of their middle school english classes, or their elementary school science programs, or high school history classes. Let five-year-olds have that half day of unstructured time to play and run around in.

Kathleen Christian 9 years, 4 months ago

YES - most defintely. Not only does it benefit parents in daycare savings - but mostly will benefit children. They don't need an all day curiculum in academics. There are many things children can learn - everyday useful things. And certainly they still need rest time even at that age. Don't underestimate children it isn't always play for them - they love to learn wondeful things.

canyon_wren 9 years, 4 months ago

Great comments from acg and badger! As a mother with degrees in both sociology and early childhood education, I feel I can make a relatively informed judgment and it seems to me that the kids who have been in an "academic-type" daycare from early on find even half-day kindergarten a bore; obviously, school gets more boring as they go along. Could this be why we have so many cases of ADHD and suicidal teens?

But realistically, I know there's no way we are going to be able to return to the days when children could be at home more and free to just "while away" their time. And most mothers, in particular, would not be interested in something like that--or, if they would like to do so, can't afford it--so I suppose full-day kindergarten is the lesser of the various "evils." Again, I don't mean to be critical of daycares--some are really good, and I hold those who can do that job well in high esteem. Certainly they are unsung hero-ines.

badger 9 years, 4 months ago

katybleu, I'd urge you to find out what's entailed in a full-day curriculum for kindergarten these days. There is no nap. Recess is shorter, PE happens once or twice a week. It becomes First Grade Lite. There's very little time for physical activity at all. With 22 kids and one teacher, opportunities for creative play (incredibly important to growing minds) are minimal at best. When you have 22 or 26 kids and one teacher, you HAVE to have structure - especially when your district has decided to participate in a research study about a shiny new reading method that requires you to document specific 'reading target activities' every day, to engage in certain learning activities that were developed at a university somewhere.

I also don't get the "Well, it's better because the parents will save money on daycare," argument. Phrased another way, it's "I'd rather have the state use my tax dollars to pay to care for these kids than have the parents be responsible for it." While it's a handy side benefit to the small subset of the population that has children in daycare and half-day kindergarten, it's hardly something to base a decision on.

Topside 9 years, 4 months ago

TOB- Congrats, I have a 2.5 yr old myself and am staring down kindergarten in a couple of years. I feel that schools are now adequately funded with the vote last spring/summer. Also, props to Badger, he put it all down. I find it hard to argue with most of what he stated. In, addition I found Kindergarten extremely boring an rudimentary. I could read before entering Kindergarten. I sat there the whole year bored while the teacher tried to teach the other children the difference between b and d, big and small, near and far, etc...I'm sure that it has changed in the last 25 yrs, but I don't see how a full day is better than a half.

killjoy 9 years, 4 months ago

I think the afternoon should be devoted to proper etiquette and hygeine.

It'll save lives; we'll be ready when the pandemics hit.

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

In no perfect world should the mom necessarily stay home while the dad is at work. Whichever parent who has the career that is more stable and substantive should work while the other stay home (if the ideal is one parent home with the children, at all, which I'm questioning).

Anyway, I think an all-day kindergarten is a good idea. Expecting 5-year-olds to stay still from 8-3 is unreasonable, but they certainly are capable of directed learning for that time span. They're sponges at that age.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 4 months ago

west virginia has a capitol? are they still using it?

bearded_gnome 9 years, 4 months ago

ACG: wow, it sounds like your kid is in the Hell unified school district!

I got tired just reading that! please give your kid an extra cookie or something...I hope some free time and naps find their way into that schedule.

my answer to the OTS question: don't think many kids would benifit twice as much on twice the school time. and please let kids be kids sometimes.

badger 9 years, 4 months ago

Linux_chick, kids do better all around if they have active, involved parents engaged in their lives. Most often, the best way to do this is for one parent to be able to stay home with the child at least until he begins full-time school. In the perfect world, either two parents would be able to work offset shifts or one parent could work from home while the family still had enough income and one parent's job or the other provided benefits. In a perfect world, more companies would offer on-site daycare to their employees, and more companies would allow flexible scheduling and telecommuting options so that parents could spend more time with their kids.

Killjoy may be on to something. When I was in kindergarten, we covered the finer points of Please and Thank you, chewing with your mouth closed, covering your mouth when you coughed, not interrupting, using our inside voices, and the magic of the phrases 'Excuse Me' and 'I'm Sorry.' Now, according to my mother (who teaches kindergarten), if you correct a child about 'please' and 'thank you' and 'excuse me' you run the risk of that child's parents coming to school to yell at you about your elitist attitudes and the fact that you are usurping their right to teach their children that 'please' is for the weak (Oh, how I wish I were kidding, except that they don't use 'usurp' because they don't know what it means).

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

badger: This all sounds good. I was only suggesting that if a parent decides to stay home, the decision should be gender-neutral, and based on the criteria that really matter: who can better provide the most stable environment of the two parents.

I'll concede, it may be desirable for a parent to stay home with younger children in an ideal world. I don't believe this scenerio is practical or realistic anymore. In a world were tragedy can unexpectedly happen, divorce or worse, it's unreasonable for either parent to live without an employable skill. I'm happy that we live in a world today where a woman can make a good living for her family.

Each parent should have an employable skill: Food on the table is more important to me than even 8 more hours a day with your child.

In somewhat agreement with gnome: kids should be kids. The cirriculum of a kindergartener should entail short lessons and a lot of breaks for playing... I just don't think this is necessarily impossible (or even difficult) with an all-day school-day.

allateup 9 years, 4 months ago

I haven't read all the posts but want to express my opinion and ask a question from anyone that knows. Is there any proof that all day kindergarten is actually a benefit after the third grade?? I am a stay at home mom for the last 12 years and make many sacrafices to do so. Take one thing for instance, i'm driving a car that's 15 years old. I don't think that you have to be highly educated to know what is best for YOUR child and I don't think all day kindergarten is the answer. Shouldn't the state mandate kindergarten first? Maybe they should be looking at other avenues such as smaller classroom sizes. Anyone else have other ideas?

allateup 9 years, 4 months ago

I live in a rural district and our district does have all day kindergarten. They do take a nap every afternoon. Because sending your child all day is an option they spend the whole afternoon reviewing what they learned in the morning. We do have recess (twice a day), PE every day and music every other day.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years, 4 months ago

Well as a stay at home mom I definitely don't want my child to go to school all day for Kindergarten. I honestly think he is already ahead of the game for staying home with me. Kids need more time to be kids, they have the rest of their life to work. I agree with allateup, sometimes making a few sacrifices like older cars, making your own entertainment, and less eating out can provide the income to allow you to stay home. No one can love your kids like you do. I am not bashing working moms, I know some families need two incomes. I am just saying a few adjustments can sometimes allow you to be the stay at home parent. Our kids are more important than flashy cars, ritzy vacations and designer clothes. Just my 2, Staci

enochville 9 years, 4 months ago

"Is there any proof that all day kindergarten is actually a benefit after the third grade??"

I am not trying to be funny, but what does that statement mean?

enochville 9 years, 4 months ago

Oh, I just got it. I guess I am just slow.

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

I had all-day kindergarten as a kid. We did a lot of field trips in the afternoon. I thought it was great at the time, an improvement from daycare.

I guess, no matter which way we lean on the issue, it's nice that everyone seems to hold the best interest of the children at top priority. It's nice to see we're all working toward the same goal...

avhjmlk 9 years, 4 months ago

I think the benefits probably continue long after the third grade. It's an extension of the research that's recently been published about how much benefit (in terms of school/life readiness) kids get from the Head Start program versus having no preschool or pre-k exposure...

blessed3x 9 years, 4 months ago

linux_chick wrote:

"I'll concede, it may be desirable for a parent to stay home with younger children in an ideal world. I don't believe this scenerio is practical or realistic anymore."

Practical or realistic? It is both my dear. What it ultimately comes down to is this: How much are you willing to sacrifice for your child? How many homes with two parents that "must" work have two new cars in the driveway, or own an expensive home, or eat out 2 or 3 times a week, or have digital cable hooked to a big screen with the mutli-mega movie channel package? We have become so fixated on what we think are necessities that we have lost sight of the things that are truly important.

It's a shame.

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

blessed: it has nothing to do with sacrificing for your children. It's keeping up an employable skill.

A woman totally dependent on her husband's income is only sacrificing for her child as long as she has a working marriage. In the case of divorce or death, plummetting the family into poverty doesn't constitute being a responsible parent to me.

This situation is tragic and avoidable these days... the fact that it still happens? That's a shame.

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

I have a friend I've known from high school that actually accomplishes the best of both worlds. She runs a daycare from home. So, she's employed and spends the time with her two children.

Smart living.

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

On a final note: I consider eating a necessity. This is what I'm talking about.

I've never had (nor either of my working parents) a new car, big screen TV or any movie-channel package at all.

Why? Because my mother planned on being a housewife and her marriage didn't work out. She has the intelligence to have a better job, and no resume to help her get much more than minimum wage.

I have the ability to ensure my life will be different. Shame on me if I don't take it. My full-time-working mother managed to teach me that much.

breeze 9 years, 4 months ago

We now live in a place where all-day kindergarten is the norm and our child completed it last year. The day ran from 7:55am to 2:45pm and included a half-hour rest time and 20 minute snack time near the end of the day. Our experience was excellent and we can't imagine doing it on a shorter schedule. There is so much to learn and the children are eager to learn!

By the end of the year, our child was reading books and completing simple arithmetic equations. In addition to the academics was emphasis on cooperation, consideration and appreciation of everyone's special qualities. Kansas children would gain a lot by having a fuller kindergarten day. It would also make the 1st grade teachers' jobs easier.

Redneckgal 9 years, 4 months ago

Whoa whoa a minute there offtotheright. I'm not meaning to be a butthead here but aren't you the one who is always on here hollering about welfare payments and having to support other people's kids? Now it stands to reason to me that if you feel this way you would be all for folks keeping employable skills just in case the unthinkable happens.

justathought 9 years, 4 months ago

I am a stay at home mother of two boys ages 7 (8next month) and 3 (four in April). I have been staying at home with both boys since birth. It hasn't been easy money wise but I really feel like it is the best for them. I do run my own little business from home to help with the bills (yeah u guessed it ebay). While my older boy would of been perfect for all day K my younger guy just wouldn't thrive in that situation. So my answer is that sure you should have it but I would like to see half day still on the table. Most preschools are generally 2-3 days a week for a couple of hours so I think it would be a hard transition from that to all day everyday.

Just my 2 cents

allateup 9 years, 4 months ago

linux chick....you sound very bitter! I like to think that I have very employable skills. Number one skill would be figuring out financially how to stay home with my children for the last 12 years.

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

Probably you, OTTR. Just, you, specifically ;)

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

alleteup: I probably was a little irritated when I posted at blessed's "my dear" comment. Intentional or not, I took it as a condescending remark.

I'm not meaning to come down too hard on stay-at-home parents.

I certainly do hope that you are making sure you have an employable skill should something unfortunate happen... for you and your children.

My best to you and to Staci and any other at-home parents on the board.

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

Another point of view: I wasn't ever hungry growing up, but we were close too many times to count (my mother and my brothers). My mother looked at us and ultimately felt guilty.

She felt that she stayed home because it was the traditional thing to do at the time. But, she didn't feel it was smart.

In hindsight, I know that this tradition stems a time when women had no other choice. My mother articulated that she did have a choice and that her children suffered for her bad decisions.

I hope we're all avoiding this situation. And I do feel that every responsible parent prepares for the unexpected as best they possibly can... for the welfare of their children.

Linda Endicott 9 years, 4 months ago

Linux...women (or men) can work part-time, while that little child is in half day kindergarden (how I was taught in school to spell it)...that way, whichever parent wants to stay home could still keep those employable skills you're talking about, and not have to miss out on time with their child.

My mother was a stay at home mom, and I loved it. I think I received more benefits from that than many of my peers who had working mothers. For one thing, she wasn't always too damn tired to spend time with us in the evenings.

Children need to feel loved and nurtured as well. It isn't all about education. Some of the most essential education I received was from my mother, not some textbook.

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

crazy: that sounds like a very responsible way to do it :)

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

OTTR: Honestly, it is my hope that every at home parent considers either becoming employed or (as crazy suggests) ensuring they are in a position to achieve substantive employment when/if their families need it.

There are many situations that can happen to cause this kind of need to become a reality. Divorce is only one.

allateup 9 years, 4 months ago

linux chick.....do you have children?

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

No.

But I'm extremely active with my 5 nieces/nephews. My brothers made sure their wives were interested in working as well, before they got married.

Confrontation 9 years, 4 months ago

I think all-day K is a great way to increase learning and decrease video game and tv time. Not all babysitters or parents do something productive with their kids after school. Maybe this would be a good time to increase a kid's knowledge of physical fitness.

hottruckinmama 9 years, 4 months ago

As to all day Kindergarten maybe it should be opitinal. Some kids/families could be ready and some not. As to keeping up employment skills-as a person who has had the unexpected/unthinkable happen not once but twice (sudden death of my father when I was in grade school and then a skirt chasing husband when I had 2 babies still in diapers) you can better believe you better have a plan B in your head just in case. Your crazy if you don't.

badger 9 years, 4 months ago

I think linux_chick makes a lot of sense.

Some people seem to think that the only two dynamics under discussion here are 'both parents work and kid is in daycare' and 'dad works and mom stays home with the kids'. There are quite a few other options, ranging from 'both parents work offset shifts so one parent is always available' to 'mom works and dad stays at home' to 'one parent telecommutes in the afternoons so daycare time is minimized and the parent is available.'

In this economy, keeping up employable skills is crucial, not just because the marriage may end in death or divorce. I've watched friends and family get laid off or downsized because they worked in tech, seen a relative be given the option of 'take a 30% pay cut in a new position or be terminated', watched businesses collapse and go down with all hands aboard. If the main breadwinner is suddenly out of work, and can't find more, then the secondary breadwinner may have to step up to it.

A good friend was employed by Sprint for years, with good reviews and pay raises and whatnot (making a solid six figures). In 2002, his entire department was dissolved and he was put out with a severance package. He and his wife had just had their second child, and she'd decided to stay home until their daughter was old enough for kindergarten. He figured, no problem, he had set aside almost a year's expenses (the smart thing to do when you work in tech), he'd be sure to find a job within a year. He's still unemployed, though he's interviewed almost once month since (as far away as San Diego and Raleigh) and submitted literally hundreds of resumes.

Luckily, his wife had had a good career, and her employer hadn't filled her position yet. She took her old job back, and though she makes about 3/4 of what he did, he supplements with odd jobs and pickup work, and they do just fine. However, if she had had no marketable skills (I wish the skills required of a stay-at-home mom were recognized as professional assets, but the business world hasn't progressed that far), she could perhaps have picked up a job that paid 30k. They'd have had to sell their house for a lot less than they paid for it (real estate market crashed about then, remember?), move to a worse neighborhood and a smaller house, and cut some pretty serious corners. They don't and never have lived extravagantly, but when you base your budget on a six-figure income, you simply can't make ends meet if you're suddenly working with a third of that.

That's what keeping marketable skills is about in this day and age and economy. It's about either parent being able to pick up and support the family, and either parent being able to step up and take over daily care of the kids.

The days of employers taking care of and being loyal to employees, so that the Ward/June dynamic was stable enough to base a lifetime on, are gone.

raven 9 years, 4 months ago

Linux-I understand your point and respect it. My father died when me and my sibilings were all very young. My mother, had been a stay at home Mom and my Dad's income was all we had to live off. After he died we obviously had nothing. After several years of working part-time jobs and thousands of dollars worth of student loans my Mom graduated from college--while raising kids alone. One of the biggest things she stressed to us (myself and my sibilings) was to go to college and work for awhile before having kids. She is still playing catch up entering the work force so late.

For the other side--she also says she would not trade her time at home for the world and she is sorry (obviously for more than one reason) that it was cut short.

raven 9 years, 4 months ago

One final thought. I don't see how driving a 15 yr old car is a sacrifice. I must have grown up and am currently living differently than the rest of you. I drive a 10 year old car and love it. I don't think of it as a sacrifice-it is my car-it runs and looks fine so why replace it? If that is the most anyone has to sacrifice you live a truley blessed life.

linux_chick 9 years, 4 months ago

Very nicely put, Badger.

Well, I need to keep up my marketability and attend my meeting.

I enjoyed the discussion today. Have a nice evening, everyone.

Tanya Spacek 9 years, 4 months ago

offtotheright and blessed3x:

why don't you get off your high horse? if putting my children first means quitting my job, then that means we have to live off what my husband makes, which after taxes comes to about $1,000 a month. since we want to put the children first, of course we need a two bedroom place, so the kids don't have to sleep in our bed with us. and we have to be financially able to rent, as landlords will not rent to you if it will be over 33% of your income. so let's say we find a two-bedroom for under $600 that's not in a low-class part of town (remember, we're putting the kids first, don't want them to get shot or see a drug deal go down). after groceries, car insurance, health insurance, and utilities...oops, there's not enough.

my idea of putting my children first is for me AND my husband to work. that way, we can afford to live in a decent neighborhood where they can play outside with their friends, have enough money to pay for health insurance and still have enough money left over for utilities, groceries, and other necessities, and if we really scrimp, we have enough for the boys to take music lessons. ask my kids if they'd rather live in a scary nighborhood and eat cheap, filling processed crap, or live in a decent neighborhood, eat healthy food, and have music lessons, and not have to worry about whether the heat's going to be cut off.

ask my children, they KNOW they're the highest priority in my life.

jenglish1 9 years, 4 months ago

My son is in all day kindergarten in Mission Kansas, They have 3 recesses a day and nap time. They have different "classes" everyday, Spanish, computer, art, library. They do most of their lessons in the mornings (math,reading) and the afternoon is more flexible, I love it because we no longer have to put him in daycare at all since my husband is off by 3. I recommend all day kindergarten

amandas 9 years, 4 months ago

I don't think there is anything wrong with linux_chick stating that EVERYONE should have marketable skills just in case the unthinkable happens. It's completely bogus to ask if she is a parent. You don't have to be a parent to know that in todays society this is important. Furthermore I give kudos to those who can stay at home with their kids. But if you think that for those who can't or choose not to that their slacking in parenting, I recommend you take a trip to your local McDonalds Playhouse. Take a survey "working parents" versus "stay at home parents" and compare that to whom has the best behaved children. I bet the results would shock you.

Tanya Spacek 9 years, 4 months ago

badger:

"if she had had no marketable skills (I wish the skills required of a stay-at-home mom were recognized as professional assets, but the business world hasn't progressed that far), she could perhaps have picked up a job that paid 30k."

getting a $30K job with no marketable skills? where is this? I have over ten years of experience in the workforce, and an associate's degree, and I make a little over half that amount. if I had a $30K job, my husband could stay home with the kids!

amandas 9 years, 4 months ago

jenglish1 -

is this a private school?

Confrontation 9 years, 4 months ago

With half of all marriages ending in divorce, I think all stay at home moms/dads should prepare for the worst. Unless, the working parent is loaded with money and life insurance, then good luck surviving with no skills after the divorce or death. I don't see a problem with a parent staying at home with the kids, but I wouldn't want to be SOL in the case of a divorce. I know that most people think their marriage is great, right before the cheating/lying/drinking, etc. Just be prepared for yourself and your kids.

badger 9 years, 4 months ago

LuckyNun:

Some jobs you can get in a major metropolitan area like KC with few to no marketable skills (by skills I mean things like computer literacy, professional training, certifications, degrees, etc. You do need to be able to count and perform general common-sense job tasks, communicate with others, that sort of thing):

Gas station assistant manager (ten years ago, I worked for a woman who made better than 30k then, whose marketable skill was that she showed up and rarely drank on the job - QT starts assistant managers around 32k these days, I think)

Administrative Assistant (I did this straight out of college for a few years, making anywhere from 20-27k nine years ago with little experience, no MS skills, and a whopping 20 wpm typing. No one cared that I had a degree, as long as I didn't try to talk biology to the receptionist and confuse her)

Commission sales (requires 60-80 hour workweeks and selling soul)

SRS caseworker - I worked for someone at the Division of Family Services in college. Entry level salary in the mid-90s, with 'some college', was just under 30k, with plenty of overtime. Also requires selling soul, but more to prevent heartbreak and burnout than to get ahead. Side note: something like a fifth of my co-workers were former DFS clients. Seems one of the few things their job training program trained you to do was adminster the program instead of receiving it.

Basically, if you're willing to cram 40 or 50k worth of work into a thankless job, or ruthlessly take advantage of the trust of others, the jobs with that kind of money are there, provided you can present yourself professionally and convince someone you're balanced, stable, and dependable. For most of these, all that's required is a little prior job experience and the ability to look eager, go-getter, and reasonably together in an interview.

However, most of them aren't jobs you can do for very long and still feel fulfilled, happy, or even stable.

Linda Endicott 9 years, 4 months ago

Raven, my car is also 15 years old...oops, 16, it's now 2006.

It looks like crap, but after a few repairs it runs fine...and the main idea in having a car (for me, anyway)is that it gets you from point A to point B.

My car does that. It may look awful, but it's paid for! I don't consider it a sacrifice, either.

blessed3x 9 years, 4 months ago

No one is probably reading this thread anymore, but I thought I would re-state my position anyway. I only have a limited window to post as I usually only take 30 minute lunches so I can work an extra 1/2 hour of over time per day to help afford to have my wife stay home. One example of sacrifice.

I never said you must never work. How about split shifts between the mother and father? Someone is always home with the kids. What about working from home? What about night shifts? What about grandma and grandpa if they live close? Sacrifice can come in many forms. Time, money, material objects, whatever.

The bottom line is that kids come first. Period. You do what it takes to make certain they are the first priority. All day kindergarten is merely state sponsered day care. At the very least make it optional so that my children are not subjected to it. Why should I be punished because my family is successful at keeping a loving parent home with the children?

Tanya Spacek 9 years, 4 months ago

I never said you must never work. How about split shifts between the mother and father? Someone is always home with the kids. What about working from home? What about night shifts? What about grandma and grandpa if they live close? Sacrifice can come in many forms. Time, money, material objects, whatever.

The bottom line is that kids come first. Period. You do what it takes to make certain they are the first priority. All day kindergarten is merely state sponsered day care. At the very least make it optional so that my children are not subjected to it. Why should I be punished because my family is successful at keeping a loving parent home with the children?

Yes, I'm still reading this. And here is my answer:

Neither of our jobs offers split shifts, or working from home. Grandpa and Grandma (my mom and dad) are still in the computer for child abuse, which is why I moved several states away. His mom and dad live two hours away. You are not being punished for having a stay-at-home wife. What I object to is your generic condemnation of parents who MUST both work to keep a decent roof over their heads. Just because you have a higher paying job than me and my husband doesn't mean you get to condemn us and issue a blanket statement that we don't love our children and expect the state to raise them. Again, get off your high horse and accept the fact that not everyone is like you.

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