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?
I can’t figure out which one is you!
my kids fall apart in hysterics when I tell them the story of how I ran away from my [Montessori] kindergarten. Took my best buddy Todd with me. They were just too rigid for my 4yo tastes, apparently.
First row, third row from the left.
Yeah, Montessori is pretty strict 😉
A few months ago, in the ER waiting room, I found a book published the same year I started kindergarten about a little girl’s first day of school. All of the pictures looked Exactly. Like. My. Kindergarten. On one page, I saw a wall decoration that I remember so clearly- the color clown! It was just a normal clown (and we all know how normal THAT is) with balloons around his head. Each balloon was a different color and had the word for the color written across the balloon. My teacher pointed it out every day, because it was on the right side of the room, and when we said the pledge, we used the hand closest to the color clown.
I had to restrain myself from stealing that book.
I would have totally lifted that book. Nothing stands in the way of nostalgia, for me.
Cool – we had snack time at the table and took turns passing out the milk. Also the Kindergarten at both elementary schools I attended were in rooms FAR away from the rest of the school. I was in open elementary schools that had partitions between the rooms and very few walls. At one practically the whole school could look into each others rooms at any time of day.
I remember now that I attended school with virtually no walls. I think we called them pods. Sounds weird now, right?
Are you in the first row?
I only have one memory from kindergarten…but I have to wonder if it’s a memory or something I was told and “think” I remember. First day of school we had to bring the usual supplies (box of tissues). When the teacher took my box I cried because I thought the box was for me and only me…and I was mortified at having to share!
Yes! I’m third from the left! I often find that my memories are augmented by pictures I have from the time. How odd though that you don’t remember anything else!
I can’t believer how well you remember kindergarten, I barely remember last week in such detail. I never got in trouble in kindergarten. In the 1st grade I was quite the rebel rouser, I got sent to the principals office, multiple times!
Trust me, I remember kindergarten a lot better than I remember last week. And what could you possibly get sent to the office for as a 1st grade?!?
What a great idea…this should be a link up.
All my kindergarten memories came back to me now.
Oh lovely!! I love reminiscing. You should totally write a memoir piece!
I remember kindergarten. But we were forced to take naps. I remember balling my head up into my towel on my blue mat and trying to act like I was asleep. If you went to sleep, you got a gold sticker. If you got four gold stickers in one week, you got a prize on Fridays. I don’t think I ever once received a prize. What I would give for a nap during the day now. And come to think of it, maybe that’s where my son gets his inability to stay still or nap!
Ha! I don’t think I was much of a napper but we didn’t have to take them since we only did half day kindergarten. Sweet.
I remember kinder. But sadly, most of my memories are negative. The teacher was not that nice and I was not very happy. It’s sad because I feel as if this bad experience set the path for my future elementary school because most of my school memories are negative. It’s like a new world now seeing what’s out there for my daughter.
I actually think it’s a good thing to be able to relive our childhoods through our children. I love share the happy stuff with him and I get to treat him to all the things I wish I had experienced as a kid!
I remember that class. Good ol’ Rippling Woods.
I remember that class. Good ol’ Rippling Woods.
David Roundtree!! I can’t remember half the kids in that class but I remember you standing in the back row! I hope your memories are good 🙂
Hey! Yes good memories. Rippling Woods was preparing me for the corporate world and I did even know it. LOL this is a blast from the past. Thanks.