Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some Random Reflections on Kindergarten

So Claire has been in school for about 3 weeks now, and while it still feels a bit new to me, she is totally in the groove of it all. She LOVES it, has made new friends, walks the entire length of the school to her classroom after I drop her off (by HERSELF!), and has already learned so much. If you ask her what part of kindergarten she likes the most, she says, "all of it."

This makes mama happy.

So, while we both have a few weeks under our academic belts, I thought I would list some of my thoughts and reflections on this journey called kindergarten.

  1. The carpool line. Really, if you have school-age children of your own whom you shuttle to and from school, then you pretty much already know about the beast that is the carpool line. I feel like I spend quite a lot of time waiting to drop off and pick up my child (I started to calculate how much time I would spend in that line this year, but it made me very sad, so I quit.), and I can already see how it has affected our gas bill. I know she could ride the bus, but putting a 5 year old through a nearly 9 hour day just seems cruel to me. But while I am no fan of the carpool line, what I do like about it is how incredibly entertaining it can be. I have spent quite a lot of time watching people who apparently think that their cars are equipped with vision proof glass. Hello, I CAN SEE YOU PICK YOUR NOSE AND WIPE IT ON THE WINDOW!!

  2. Homework. What the???? When I was in kindergarten, we colored, we sang, we drew shapes and played games. I think we may have started to learn our letters, but I most certainly did NOT write a word, read a word or have any homework. Fast forward to today. Claire brings home homework 4 days a week, and while it is simple and easy, she is already reading books, learning sight words and punctuation marks, and has completed her first project, an "all about me" T-shirt. She was supposed to fill her t-shirt with pictures, drawings, cut-outs, etc. of things that would tell about who she is. I think it turned out well.
3. Which brings me to my next point. My daughter and I are WAY too much alike. For every idea I offered about the shirt, my comments were met with, "mom, this is my project." Hello, control freak, meet your daughter, control freak jr. I had to walk out of the room a couple times just so I wouldn't move her pictures so they looked more aligned. But I restrained myself, and she did a great job. (just in case you are wondering, the yellow alien looking thing on the left is her stuffed bunny and the purple rectangle is her purple blanket. They are both beloved.)

4. Packing lunch stinks. I'm not sure what we are going to do when we have more than one lunch to pack each night, but Shawn and I are already playing paper/rock/scissors to see who gets stuck with lunch duty each night. I would have her buy her lunch, but she is SO not interested in that, and school lunches are stinkin' expensive!

5. Because of said lunch packing and because of the sheer number of plastic Ziploc baggies I was using each night, I quickly realized that I wasn't down with all the landfill filling (landfill filling?) going on. Now, I am not, by any means, what one would call an environmentalist, but the plastic baggies just bugged me for some reason. Not to mention that Claire was having to ask her teacher for help opening them each day. So, I found these:

They are reusable snack sacks. Sounds a little gross, I know, but we've had three for a week now, and so far so good. They are reinforced with nylon on the inside, are machine washable, close with Velcro and are big enough for chips but are also great for fruit! Claire loves the colors and the ease of opening them. There are all sorts of companies who do products like this, but I found mine here.

6. Along the same lines . . . to avoid buying expensive juice boxes or paying $.50 for a box of milk that Claire didn't drink half of, we bought a stainless steel water bottle. It is BPA free and free of all harmful toxins that can be found in other drinking bottles. I totally recommend this. We found ours on Amazon, but they are everywhere right now.

7. And last, but so very not the least, I took this picture yesterday after Claire came home from school.

See the enormous blue paw print sticker? This is what her school handbook says about those stickers: "All staff members who 'catch' students following the ABCs (school rules of good behavior) will give out Wildcat paw prints . . . to wear for the rest of the day recognizing them for a good behavior choice. Each day, a student's name will be drawn from the bin, read over the intercom and he or she will come to the office for a reward."

Claire is the first kindergartner in her class to get a paw print.

We are mighty proud.


Johnson said...

I'm feeling you on the lunch thing... and I am doing two a night. I'm also the freak mom who has carrot sticks, ranch dip, and fresh cut up fruit every day.

So funny you mentioned the baggie thing. I struggled with the same thing so I bought some plastic containers that I use for certain things.

We should do posts about what our kids have in their lunch boxes. I feel like I do the same thing over and over. It would be nice for some ideas!

The Fab 4 said...

I so get you about the projects. It was ALL I could do not to snatch the glue out of Luke's hand to put the pictures where I wanted them to be!

Homework is indeed intense. Our teacher sends the packet home on Monday and we have until Friday to complete it. I like that. We are Tuesday night homework completers.

So glad she's loving it!

Naomi said...

Oh, Kelly, good idea about the lunch posts. I am packing the same thing for her almost every day too.