This is my official back-to-school post, although I have to admit, not a single person in my family is heading back to school anytime soon. My son is 4 1/2 years old and is definitely ready for preschool but for reasons I won’t go into right now, he’s not headed for school yet.
One thing my son does love is stories about me going to school. He loves to hear any story from when I was growing up and grills me every morning in the car. Even though I’ve been around a while, I’m starting to run out of interesting stories. Luckily, I’m learning how to stretch out an average story and make it last long and really sound way more interesting than it really was.
I think it helps him to hear what school was like for me. I have pretty strong memories from kindergarten and up. While some people either block out their childhood, or simply forget it, I can recall even the smallest detail including how I felt at the time and in the moment.
I talk in detail about my old school kindergarten experience at Rippling Woods Elementary. We only went to school for a half day and I was fortunate enough to have afternoon kindergarten. I guess, even then, I wasn’t a morning person.
We each had a main room defined by the color of the cinderblock wall at the far end of the room. My room was “the blue room” because the wall was painted a dark shade of royal blue. That room housed the piano (for music time), the flannel board, and my favorite – the big plastic blocks. The blocks we used to make trains. The blocks where I got a little carried away as the engineer. The blocks that my teacher told me to take a break from because I was too loud.
My teacher banished me to the blue chair. The blue chair was the equivalent of standing in the corner back in the 1950s and today’s equivalent of time out. I was embarrassed and mortified. At 4 years old, I’m pretty sure I cried.
There was also “the green room” and “the orange room” that had a whole assortment of different toys. We signed up for the room at the start of the day and played in our chosen room until it was time to go back to our main room. If we were feeling particularly sneaky, we’d sneak to a different colored room before it was time to switch.
We had a designated snack area. There was a mini-fridge that housed cartons of white milk and chocolate milk.It was our responsibility to stop and take a break during play time to have our milk. My choice was always chocolate. Occasionally I would forget to drink my milk and felt like such a rebel for skipping my snacktime for the day.
All in all, I have nothing but good memories from kindergarten. I don’t remember it being a huge adjustment. I remember liking to go. We basically played for a few hours every day. We learned to sing songs together. We followed rules. We learned a few social skills and then we went home to our mommies.
It was a simpler time. We didn’t take naps at school. We didn’t have homework. We were just kids learning how to learn. I hope that my son has the same kind of experience. I’ve got a year to figure out how.
Am I the only one that remembers kindergarten? What was your favorite memory?