Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Kindergarten? Please.

I am amazed these days at the level of knowledge kids are learning in school.  Not so much at the preschool level, thankfully, but kindergarten to be exact.

As many of you with more than one child have noticed, each child learns at a different pace.  For some it takes a little longer to grasp a concept and they must put forth a lot more effort and practice.  This would be my Carson, my kindergarten student, my 5 soon to be 6 year old. 

The year started with a bit more of a struggle and it seemed like he was behind the learning curve.  I knew we had a lot more ground to cover than where the rest of the class seemed to be.  Getting into the school groove was also more difficult than I expected, especially going from 3 days a week in a preschool church setting to 5 days a week at a public school.

The expectations were definitely taken up a few levels from behavior to academic performance.  And I will admit, the first parent teacher conference did not go so well.  I came out feeling disappointed and defeated since I knew a lot of this was my responsibility as a mother.  But I didn't let that get me down.  I saw the challenge ahead and was ready to make some positive changes and help my boy succeed in school.  

It has only been 3 1/2 months since the start of the school year, but Carson is making such big strides.  He is passionate about learning and practicing what he has learned.  He is slowing down and putting effort into assignments.  

And he is retaining this knowledge and making me rethink what I learned in kindergarten.  All I remember doing is playing with Play-Dough and watching a boy eat it.  I also remember sitting in a circle and singing songs (and almost getting puked on by the kid sitting next to me).  

What I don't remember learning is what a spine of a book is and that there are call numbers on the side to help identify what shelf it belongs on.  This is just some of the information Carson brings back from school and tells me about.   

Carson came up to me just the other day holding a piece of paper and said that this way is vertical and if you move it the other way it's horigontal (horizontal, but he was close enough to understand the concept). 

He was making paper money and coloring it very nice and neat (which is a huge change).  On the back he asked me how to spell a certain word, but I had no idea what he was trying to say.  At first I thought he wanted me to spell mostaccioli, but that wasn't it.  Good thing we were at my parents house (who must have learned this stuff back in kindergarten) because my mom said he thought he wanted to spell Monticello.  "What the heck is that", I asked.  It's Thomas Jefferson's house, you know, the one on the back of a nickel.  I shouldn't be allowed to spend money if I don't know what's on it.

There's nothing like a 5 year old to make you feel unintelligent.


  1. It's HARD. I remember with my eldest thinking they weren't giving her enough to do and she was bored, and then with my son doing EXACTLY the same things wondering why they were pushing him so hard and so fast. Sigh.

    Good luck with it, I never thought it would be this difficult either.

    As for the nickel? I would have had no idea either. I can't even tell you what's on the flip side of our nickel here in Canada - the queen and a beaver? Hmmm. I am now going to go and look.

  2. Before reading your post, I thought I would begin to struggle with my son's homework assignments by the time he got into 5th grade.

    Now I realize that I'll never be able to help him with his homework!

    I'll start praying for his father now, because my motto will be, "Go ask your Dad!"


Your comments make my day - so go on, share!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.