MORNING VS. AFTERNOON

 

Q. Should I enroll my child in a morning session or an afternoon session?

 

A. Typically each year, our morning classes fill up, followed by several changes to choose the afternoon session as spring draws near. Often when registering, parents are under the impression that morning is the favorable choice because of the assumption their child is more alert at that time and because they may still nap at the time of registering. However, it is important to consider each individual child’s personality, sleep cycle, home routines/schedules and sibling ages & nap schedules when choosing the best time for your child to attend school. Here are some tips:

 

Morning Sessions are generally better for:

  • Children who fall asleep easily at 7:30pm yet wake early each day such as 5:00 – 6:00am.
  • Children who do not have younger siblings.
  • Children whose Moms like to get “up and out’ early each day.
  • Children who do not nap but have other afternoon activities.
  • Children who are still in need of 7 days napping per week, HOWEVER if your child is napping less than 7 days, it may be better to consider an afternoon class so he/she stays stimulated at school and then returns home for an earlier, dinner, bath and bed time. This helps for a smooth weaning from 7 days of napping. One indicator that your child may be ready to give up napping a couple or few days per week is they may not fall asleep as easily at 7:30pm any longer. (Three year olds generally need approx. 12 hours sleep a night.)

Afternoon Sessions are generally better for:

  • Children who are not in need of a nap every day and may only need to nap a few times a week. (If your child is napping less than 7 days, an afternoon class will keep your child stimulated at school. Your child can then return home for an earlier dinner, bath and bedtime making for a much smoother evening routine (for all of you). This also facilitates a smooth weaning from afternoon napping.
  • Children who wake up later in the morning such as 7:00 – 8:00am. (It is better for children to eat a good, relaxing breakfast before school and not feel rushed).
  • Children who take a little longer to “warm up” in the morning or who seem to enjoy staying in their pajamas a little longer before heading out the door.
  • Expectant Moms or households who have babies or children younger than their 3 year old. (Getting to school for 8:30am can sometimes be challenging under these circumstances—especially in winter).
  • Families who like to take it slow in the mornings! (There will be plenty of years ahead to have to “make the bus” so it’s OK to take it slow now.)
  • Children who may need to stay for some of our After School Program so their younger sibling does not have to be awaken from a nap in time for dismissal.
  • Parents who prefer a longer school day and wish to add Lunch Bunch and/or the After School Program so they can work, run errands, attend appointments, nap themselves, have some “down time”, care for or have one-on-one time with other children or volunteer in an older child’s school.
  • Children who live further from school. (Getting to school by 8:30am may be more challenging, especially in winter, if you live further from the school.)

 

A few helpful reminders that may make your scheduling easier:

Your child may attend our Before School Program, Lunch Bunch or After School Program on a regular basis or an “as needed” basis.

 

The Lunch Bunch Program may be helpful for parents who have a younger child on a nap schedule.

 

The After School Program may be helpful for parents who have a younger child on a nap schedule or an older child getting off the school bus. Remember, your older child may get on and/or off the bus at The Academy if he/she attends Region #10. Just let us know so our staff will expect them.

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