Tag: kindergarten (Page 1 of 3)

The first full day

I say ‘first full day’ because it was Small Z’s first full length session of three year old kindergarten yesterday. For the first two weeks they have the kids there in half groups (so Small Z was with eight others) for an hour and a half. Yesterday it got serious and was the regular 9am until 11.30am session. With all the kids.

Many of the them had never been in such a situation before, but there were apparently no tears. Small Z was sanguine as Small DB and I left. I didn’t say anything like, “I’m just going shopping and will be back soon.” I said, “Bye! We’ll come and pick you up when it’s home time!”
And walked out the gate.

Admittedly she has been left places before – the Montessori school and the child care centre. Neither being successful. But this was different. And it felt different for me. Since she hit THREE she has pulled together a new kind of sassy self confidence. This doesn’t always translate to social situations i.e. if there’s only one other kid there and they are kind of in her face, but in a group scenario where everyone is engaged in activities? She’s into the swing of it.

I think she likes the structure of kindergarten. She’s not bored. Everyone is the same age. And there are many activities to do. The two teachers are awesome – a bit older, lots of fun, but you can tell that they will also lay down the law.

We were told at orientation that if any kid has chocolate, chips or lollies in their lunchbox that the offending article would be thrown away. I quote: “Please don’t put those things in your child’s lunch, because when we throw them away they tend to cry.” Ha! I love it.

I Painted a Sea Urchin. Small Z.

When I picked up Small Z she gave me a huge hug, showed me her artwork, and ran all the way home next to the pram. She was chilled out and very proud of herself when I told her that she had stayed for a whole proper session.

First full day of kindergarten. Done.

When we got home, she worked for at least half an hour on her own making ‘Petal Soup’. Which was awesome because I had one of the most difficult days with Small DB that I’ve had to date. Largely to do with her teething and her nap being interrupted by kindergarten committments. I could not believe how chilled out and self sufficient Small Z was for the rest of the day!

Petal Soup

The way home

Kinder Duty

Today I did kindergarten duty! I was excited – I’d never done it before, and it was also a celebration for the kindergarten assistant who has been there for TWENTY YEARS. So the kids that began with her are now 23 and 24 years old. My mind is blown.

It was secretly requested that we all wear party clothes as there would be a small gathering after the session. Small Z and I both frocked up. I wish I had a picture…but it just didn’t happen.

I found it interesting to see how things work on a normal kinder day. How the kids sit in the comfortable groove of the routines that have been established over the year that’s gone. Both the teacher and the assistant are take-no-shit sort of women, and that is soothing. They didn’t put up with any whinging, queue-jumping or bad manners.

The teacher asked me several times about Small Z’s reading pizzazz – ‘so how did it happen?’ ‘is it because she’s just into books?’ ‘did you teach her?’ ‘I can’t believe you don’t have a television – that’s so fantastic!’ I didn’t have much to give her. Small Z loves words, rhyming and took to phonetics like a duck to water. And there was a fair bit of plain old osmosis.

On the other hand, I was intrigued with the way everything there ran so smoothly! Twelve three and newlly four-year-olds! She told me that Small Z’s three-year-old class is just a dream. Everyone potters around, most of them are mindful, and they all appear to thrive on routine.

It made me think that it might help me to have a little bit more structure at home in the mornings. Kindergarten, of course, has a myriad of equipment to absorb them all that they only see once a week for three hours. But if I was somewhat more proactive at home in setting up a few things to occupy Small Z, I could strap Small DB to my back and get through the domestic shizz in an hour instead of doing it in dribs and drabs throughout the day.

I liked the cues that they used – one kid gets to ring the ‘cleaning up to go inside’ bells. They all have to put away their snackboxes and placemats before playing after lunch. There were structured games and free play.

I found it interesting to see what different kids brought for their snack. I had no idea so many people eat white bread. One kid even had a fairy bread sandwich. WTF is that about? It’s like tipping sugar into the engine of a Porsche. I had to look away. Does that make me a snob? Nah…

Fairy bread...

Of course, it was on for young and old at the post-session party. I cut up slices into bite-sized pieces using strength I didn’t know I had, so strong was the mix of refrigerated chocolate, condensed milk, crushed mint biscuits and rice bubbles.

The assistant that the celebration was for was quietly nonplussed and in no way particularly excited. If my mother had been there she would have been champing at the bit getting everyone to sing and woo hoo! and generally upping the ante. But no one fussed. We hung about, the kids did their thing, the parents reacquainted themselves, and it was all low key.

I’d be happy doing kinder duty every month – it was cool. We walked home in the hot HOT heat, M put the Smalls in the paddle pool and I tried to hammer away at a file I should have been working on alllll day and not just the last few hours. My neighbour brought me in some corn chips and homemade guacamole…she’s earning serious points – what on earth can I give her for Christmas!?

Armour Plated Tail Club

A chunk of yesterday afternoon was marred by the loss of Small Z’s Ankylosaurus – a recent op-shop find, it was one of the four dinosaurs she insisted on taking to her Nana’s birthday party.

It was easiest for me to acquiesce. I stuffed them into her backpack and told her that if she wanted to take them, she had to carry them. She was happy with that. Until, weighted like some kind of prehistoric turtle, she ran toward the swings at the park and went face down on the gravel. I mean, she literally had a mouthful of gravel.

The proximity of the park, the impending arrival of the Nana, and birthday cake on the horizon served to comfort her relatively quickly. And the hilarity of actually ‘eating gravel’. An hour or so later she was showing MWB her beloved ankylosaurus – and that was the last time we all recalled seeing him. When the time came to go home and he had not been found, Small Z cried all the way to the bus stop, all the way behind me as I scoured both carparks we had been in with the ankylosaurus and only stopped once we were on the bus.

She is very wordy. The ankylosaurus’s full name is ‘Armour Plated Tail Club’. Which was a mouthful to sob about, but she seemed to manage. It was with understated happiness that she welcomed him home this morning from the hands of her Birthday Nana, who had found him in her downstairs bathroom. Welcome home, Armour Plated Tail Club. She missed you.

The Dinosaur Shelf

Have I mentioned how Small Z (and therefore the rest of us) love her DinoSnores CD? If only it worked as well for Small DB, I would not be too sleep deprived to remember. So I’ll take the chance of repeating myself and say that it’s a great CD.

It doesn’t talk down in kiddy-widdy language. It’s a sort of wind-down visualisation and the voice is not only male – but has an AUSTRALIAN ACCENT. Thank goodness. They appear to also be available in flavours of fairy, mermaid, dragon and honeybee. Of course, the dinosaur one is the only one that would get any air time in our house at the moment. They use the proper names of many and varied dinosaurs, and Small Z calls it her ‘sleepy cd’. It is a vast improvement on her listening to all her audiobooks with all the character voices and often non-sleepy sound effects.

I took Small Z to kindergarten today and enrolled her. Gulp. FOUR? I’m trying not to think about it. I don’t have a four year old, surely?

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