Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another kindergarten spook

The three kindergarten girls around us (one next door, two directly across the street) were sitting in the principal's office last Monday, after only two weeks of school. They had been playing around on the bus, unsafely, and disrespectfully ignored the bus driver. One mom's take on it was that there was a ringleader, and that it wasn't her daughter.

All I know is that I don't want to have anything to do with leaving my child's influence in the hands of other little peers, prone to push all boundaries and look for trouble. No--I want to continue to be the momma duck he is imprinting on. I don't trust other five-year-olds to help my son behave his best, nor do I trust him to lead others to behave at their best. It is too early and too much to expect of a kindergartner! Bussing a five-year-old? Just seems like a recipe for disaster.

In 14 years of school I spent one day in the principal's office. A gaggle of upset girls and I threw chewing gum at the gang of boys we all (secretly) were crushing on after one of them insulted someone in our group. It was a "fight" on the playground (fight! fight!). There wasn't spitting in each other's faces (which apparently, this little Instigator across the street has been rumored to engage), and, by the way, we were twelve, not five!

My grandma used to teach preschool, before television shows lit a child's room with unsupervised and unending programming, and before the Internet was a gateway to hell for children. In fact, it was when children were called "children" instead of "kids," and every adult was referred to as "Mr." or "Mrs." I cannot win that battle with my own peers, who do not even ask me what I'd like to be called. I am introduced to five-year-olds as "Lisa." Sometimes I benefit from a slight reference of age-difference and am called, "Miss Lisa," but to have anyone call my "Mrs." is a wrestling match in which I keep getting pinned down!

In Grandma's class, children learned music basics by playing with colored bells. They used their fingers for counting-songs. They stretched their bodies to become apple trees. There were creative puppet plays, and circle games. There were blackboards and the tactile contact with dusty chalk & rough erasers.

Now there are computers in every classroom and Smart Boards for slick presentations.

Give my child a slate!! I'm turning technophobic!! Give him some shoes--let him walk uphill to school both ways in the snow!! Whatever you do, Lord, Have Mercy!! But, I promise you this--you won't see me bussing my son off to kindergarten next year!

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