Thursday, September 3, 2009

SCHOOL DAYS My children's first year

Rachel started Schwegler School as a kindergartner in the fall of 1971. She would turn six in October. She had been exposed to social graces and other pre school concepts at Small World as well as at First Presbyterian Nursery School. We took her out of First Presbyterian when she, and many others continued to be exposed to illnesses that should have been caught.

Being the first child, I was, of course, wondering just how this would go. Would she hide behind the piano? How many kids would be in her class? I knew she would make friends. Would she be morning or afternoon class?

And the letter said afternoon class because she was older and didn't need to nap. The room was full of children. FULL and that means greater than 30; the new development called Prairie Acres had a good crop of children.

And on that first day, Rachel walked into the center of the room, looked around and looked at me and said, "Bye Mom". My only concern was the number of bodies for a new teacher, Miss Machart. The principal told me she would need extra hands and eyes, I volunteered one day a week for the year. Kristen, another student, stayed with us in the morning. She was a pleasant child and the two of them enjoyed each other's company.

Bud, also was an after the first of September birthday. The principal had watched him grow and told me she would change his birthday to 9/1 if I wanted, he was bright enough to match with the older kids. Rather than send him to a mandatory school, he enrolled in The Red House Nursery School which he attended five days a week under the directorship of Mindy and Bob.

Red House was a community nursery school, which means parents help by bringing treats, working at cleaning the building, and volunteering time. Bud did well and had the social skills necessary to start at Schwegler at almost six.

Their baby books with all the notes and quotes are in their possession. A couple of things I remember about him at this age are: He came home from school one day and announced he had to have a Dr. Pepper. Mrs. Waugh had told them to be still as she read a story. Instead of sitting down, he crouched and thought his legs were going to blow off! Another was he wanted to bring Mrs. Waugh a flower. He had me make a huge dandelion out of crepe paper, because that was his favorite flower at the time.

Ryen the youngest, started school when he was also nearly six. The teacher was concerned he was not well socialized and because he had not gone to nursery school may have trouble. Two of the things that concerned her were that he wouldn't know how to line up or what it meant when the lights were turned off. A note came home saying he didn't know how to tie his shoes. How could he, he had velcor closings. That day we sat on the floor and said:

There is a tree (loop)
The bunny (the other lace)
Runs around the tree
And dives into the hole.
Pull tight!

And he passed shoe tying, lights off, and lining up. And he drew a picture of his house with lighted lamps and the lamp was plugged into a wall socket. That was the last we heard of concerns, which turned into praise for the child that seemingly could do anything.

Old Trunks believes kids learn much earlier than mine were taught. I know the could read/identify long before school. Think about your kids. If you turn them loose in the cereal aisle at the store, they are going to get the cereal they like because of the identification. Think about the lining up several brands of soda; no doubt, like Bud, they are going to pick the Dr. Pepper. Rachel knew that penny pony in front of Kroger's was Sandy long before she read books. Ryen learned logic playing school with his sister before he started public school.

Let's give kids the credit they deserve and see their talents early.


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