A day in the life of a Kindergartner

Posted on November 1, 2009

As many of you may know, Ashton recently started Kindergarten. As I never attended Kindergarten myself, I am finding the experience fascinating. The word kindergarten is derived from teh Latin root words “kinder”, meaning “gathering”, and “garten”, which means “total chaos”. Of course I made this up based on my assumption as to what must happen when you pen up a large group of hyper, energetic 5 and 6 year olds in a room for 6 hours a day.

Allow me to digress for a moment. 6 hours a day is considered “full day” kindergarten. This “full day” involves probably 13 minutes of actual work after all the recesses and lunch breaks. I think most labor unions could learn a thing or two about negotiating workloads from the kindergarteners…they are ruthless.

As this blog discusses education, I thought it may be a good idea to impart some knowledge to you, the loyal reader. In reality, the term kindergarten actually means “A program or class for four-year-old to six-year-old children that serves as an introduction to school.” (this information was obtained online from dictionary.com)(the previous comment was what is known as a “citation”. Interestingly, a “citation” is also what you get for streaking your neighborhood wearing nothing but a pair of socks and a purple wig…err…at least that’s what I hear.) I guess kindergarten does serve as an introduction of sorts. The kind of introduction that says ‘here is something completely unlike the next 12 years you will spend in school’. I have lovingly developed this opinion based on two sources of information: 1.) my own experience in school, and 2.) Ashton’s description of what he’s done every day in school.

For your benefit, the following is an example of a typical day in school for Ashton:

At approximately 7:15 we drop him off at school. For the next 15 minutes he shares the playground with about 834 other children.

At 7:30 am the kids are called into their classroom. They then work on mentally grueling tasks such as “coloring”, “shape-guessing”, and urgently holding up their hands signaling a full bladder.

At 9am they are released for recess. Here they learn things such as “how to mock the kid with glasses”, “synonyms for defecation”, and “how to ensure every item of clothing is coated in an even layer of dirt”.

After 15 minutes of recess, the kids go back in for some more “work”. I gather this is the point where they draw their heads on various creatures. Of course one cannot do such a thing for much more than an hour so they head out to lunch at 10:30.

At Ashton’s school, the cafeteria is shared by students from a myriad of grade levels. And, demonstrating the planning only our Government is capable of, the cafeteria is located only about 3/4 of a mile from the kindergarten classrooms. I may have slightly exaggerated the distance, but it is far enough that the kids ride in a bus to the cafeteria when it is raining (seriously). During open house, Ashton took us to the cafeteria and Karina and I were amazed by how far the kids have to walk for lunch. Us adults were winded from the walk and our legs are 3 and a half times as long as the average kindergarteners. I think I may petition the school board to add a rest stop midway.

After lunch the kids do their “specials”. No, this is not another synonym for defecation. It is actually a different activity the kids do each day. For example, on Tuesdays the kids do music (can we all agree a kindergarten music teacher has to be the most patient person on planet Earth?), Wednesdays is the library, Thursday is computer lab, and Friday’s are Physical Education (also known as “P.E.”,” gym”, or “torture” if you are the kid everyone is using as the designated dodge ball target). The one I am still unsure about is Monday’s. According to the calendar, this “special” is counseling. I still haven’t gathered what that actually is. Perhaps the teacher asks the kids how it made them feel when Barbie’s arm fell off or they show them ink blots to see what the kids imagine. At that age however, I would assume all the blots would look like a booger or poo (WHOOP WHOOP!!!! ATTENTION: I have just set a new personal blog record with my third reference to doody! I would like to thank my family for always believing in me).

I think there may be another union mandated recess or smoke-break at some point in the afternoon. Then, at 2:05, it is time for the kids to head home. This is when we ask Ashton for the details on what he did at school and he responds with “I don’t know” or “stuff”.

In reality however, Ashton has a great teacher and is taking a full interest in school. I am really happy to see that he is growing in terms of his social skills and knowledge. I think that perhaps he will find, as I did, that school can be a rewarding venture that leads to self-awareness, a larger knowledge base, and an average of 2 wedgies per week.

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