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Half-Day Kindergarten Afterschooling Plan


In our neighborhood, full-day Kindergarten costs $3,600. Half-day Kindergarten is free, but is only two hours and 40 minutes.  All of the research I’ve read says that full-day Kindergarten makes a difference. I have an “I Brake for Moms” column coming out next Sunday, explaining the issue.

If you’d like to take a look at the research yourself, here you go:

Education.com’s Full-Day vs. Half-Day

Fact Sheet from the Children’s Defense Fund

Full-Day vs. Half-Dad Kindergarten; In Which Program Do Children Learn More?

In our neighborhood, if you take out all of the minutes from lunch and recess, full-day Kindergarten means 5 hours and 15 minutes of instructional time per day. Half-day Kindergarten is 2 hours and 25 minutes. (Please note, I don’t mean to be dismissive of the importance of recess. Children learn a lot on the playground.)

So if we were to chose half-day Kindergarten, could I somehow Afterschool enough to get in the extra 2 hours and 50 minutes a day? Yes; definitely! Here’s how:

An Afterschooling Plan for Half-Day Kindergarten


Language Arts Block, 60 minutes

*** Alternative*** One Reading Eggs lesson combined with 30 minutes of parent read aloud


Choice Time, 30 minutes

  • Full-day kinders would likely be getting this at school. This thirty minute block would be a chance for my child (and I) to unwind while I got the next activities set up.


Math, 30 minutes


Specials, 30 minutes

Homework (from school), 20 minutes

TOTAL TIME = 2 hours and 50 minutes!

The cost of this Afterschooling plan would be about $350, including the uber-expensive science kits. I could splurge and get the Highlights kits too, and still come in way under $600. Or I could go the other way, and do the whole plan for practically nothing. I’d just swap about the math section for this page of free activities here.

What’s half-day Kindergarten like in your state? Are you stressing out about registering your child for Kindergarten too?


  1. […] Half-Day Kindergarten Afterschooling Plan […]

  2. Julie says:

    Hi! I absolutely love your blog!! It’s like I wrote it myself 🙂 but much better than I would do. Hope all of your thoughts and wants come to fruition. I worry that signing my kids up for all day kindergarten just takes out too much time from their day and is a more mediocre form of education than I can give them. Much better than if your kid comes home and sits in front of the tv each afternoon, but worse than me working with them one on one. Also there isn’t any time or energy after all day school for things that are really important too, music lessons, Spanish, Lego clubs…if all of those were built into the school day I’d say yippee!!! Until then, I’m quite anti more and more school for MY kids. For some kids it is better.

  3. JD says:

    Hi, I love your blog! I too worry about all day kindergarten for MY kids. For some I think it’s much better. I worry that all day kindergarten doesn’t leave time and energy for other things that are so important…music, Lego clubs, Spanish, etc. if all those things were built into the day I’d say yippee!!! In the mean time I feel like I’m singing them up for a more mediocre education than I can give them one on one.

    • Thank you! Half Day Kindergarten and “Mom School” has worked out really well for my daughter. It’s been a bit rougher on me. 🙂 Mainly that was because I got a book deal in October, and so it would have been nice to have more (any) free time. But this one-one opportunity with my daughter will never come again. That’s what’s most important.

  4. JD says:

    Ps thank you for posting all of this, it is super helpful! Also, if you have any digital copies of the worksheets you made for cogat practice I’d love them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with helping your kids do activities that teach them to think. We are silly as a nation for thinking so. If children are memorizing the answers, then come up with new questions people geez.

  5. Sara says:

    I’m wondering if you live in Colorado. I’m in Douglas county where tuition is exactly $3,600 for full day kindie…lowered this year to $3,200. However I still refuse to pay it! Found your blog looking for a way to supplement her kindergarten free afternoons. She is already reading and turns six in November, so she’s older and a bit more advanced than her classmates. Just want to thank you for sharing all of this after schooling with the world. How lucky we are in this day and age to have access to dedicated bloggers like you! Thanks!!

  6. Emily says:

    I stumbled across your blog awhile ago, and I’m coming back to it since I’m wanting more for my son than what Kindergarten is providing (but my husband doesn’t want to homeschool). We live in Texas, where Kindergarten is optional, but paid for by our taxes, so no additional charge for us. My son is one of the oldest in his class and met the grade standards after the first nine weeks so that now he has started working towards First Grade standards. However, most of the kids in his class aren’t at that level, and I think he is not getting pushed as he should be. He is inherently lazy since it has always come so easily to him, and I want to change that! I’m looking forward to reading through your blog to get ideas both for him and for my younger two children (aged 4 – starts Kinder next fall; and age 3 – two more years until Kinder). Thank you!

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