Mini-Di’s Kindergarten Moments (1983-84)

Today, I was whooshed back in time to my own kindergarten experience – twice.

I was a homeschooling kid. I went to public kindergarten, but only a couple weeks of Grade 1 between that and Grade 9. My memories of kindergarten are few, but seminal. I often wonder which are the moments my students will take with them into adulthood.

Such a funny collection of memories:

  • baked pumpkin seeds
  • discovering my teacher’s first name was Marilyn
  • always feeling just a little inferior to the “morning class” (we were half-day, every day) because they ALWAYS did everything first
  • the pocket chart for the centres – I thought it was brilliant
  • big thick paintbrushes with which you just couldn’t produce a recognizable image
  • the wall between the two classrooms that could fold up and disappear
  • the visit from the police officer (his shoes were really shiny)
  • the doll centre (where I brought and shared my doll, Jules – pronounced jewliss; I let the boy I liked, Jonathan, play with her, even though, to my view, he put her clothes on wrong)
  • my up-do on picture day that made everyone think I’d cut my hair
  • dried apricots for snack, kept in my cubbyhole
  • the smell of the school bus
  • getting Valentines from the whole class
  • birthday party invitations, which were the most exciting thing possible
  • the pussywillow craft where we used our thumbprints for the buds (and had to admit the finished product looked quite convincing)
  • learning the national anthem and the Lord’s prayer (yep, those were the days)
  • that time I confidently told the teacher there were 20 months in the year, even though I knew full well there were 12 – I just said the wrong word starting with tw-. And then that showoff kid, Kyle, got the right answer and I was all, “Frickety dammit, now I look like I’m not as smart as KYLE but I totally am.” (In my head.) (Okay, I had not yet begun to employ the phrase frickety dammit. I had zero potty mouth, so Oh shoot is probably more accurate. That one I did know.)
  • And finally, rhymes and songs galore. Besides the anthem, we did songs about the months, flowers, birds, a roly-poly bear, a little pony, and everything else under the sun. Sometimes, Mrs. K even played the piano while we sang. Today, reading the story A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree to my kindergartners, I remembered this little poem:

Do all the birds to the south-land go?

Ohh no, ohh no!

Chickadee, cardinal, blue jay, crow

Care not a bit when the cold winds blow.

And finally, every kid’s favourite Christmas song. At our house we listened to – and sang – only traditional carols, but at kindergarten… I had access to Rudolph. I have a very clear memory of hunkering down with my bus-friend in our gigantic bus-seat, and singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer together, MANY times.

Today, we had a Christmas singalong in the gym. My kindergartners didn’t know very many words for most of the songs, but Rudolph they belted out like pros. I don’t know why it’s the best one – it just is.



7 thoughts on “Mini-Di’s Kindergarten Moments (1983-84)

  1. Mama says:

    I remember some of those – second-hand. And a few very similar ones from my own kindergarten years.

    Did we deprive you with “only traditional carols” at home?

    • diblog says:

      Deprive – of course not! Traditional carols are still my hands-down favourites. But I do enjoy some of the more modern songs too.

  2. Krista says:

    It is the best one! We have a whole week of “caroling” in the gym and Rudolph is loud (and has a whole set of unofficial lyrics that go at the end of each line). Other favourites are I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, although they did a very nice job of Silent Night and O Little Town of Bethlehem too.

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