Kindergarten with no naps

My oldest daughter started school, if kindergarten counts as school. With snack time and play time, it doesn’t sound like school to me. It sounds like heaven.

And my kindergarten experience was pretty heavenly. It got me out of the house for a couple of hours and I learned my lefts from my rights. Or at least I was supposed to. I still get it wrong about half the time. However, using the logic of recent education reform, when I do get it wrong, I should be able to blame my kindergarten teacher.

Of course I don’t really blame my kindergarten teacher. I don’t even remember my kindergarten teacher. I even had two of them, because we moved halfway through my kindergarten year, and I don’t remember either one of them. I remember my first and second grade teachers, but those kindergarten teachers have slipped from my mind.

This is a point of consternation for my daughter, who has made it a point to compare our kindergarten experiences to hers. I told her all I remembered was snack time, nap time and play time. Then, on the day she was to head to the library for the first time as part of her class, I mentioned that the library was one of my favorite times of kindergarten. “But you didn’t say you remembered the library!” she protested. I guess next time I start remembering, I should be a little more complete.

Kids nowadays, however, have a little bit more to do. When I was in kindergarten, we did not bring a backpack to class. We did not have homework. Yes, kindergarten now has homework. Easy homework, to say the least, but homework. For some reason they think that to adequately prepare children for the years of schooling ahead of them, they should have activities that actually relate to the years of schooling ahead of them.

That was not the case when I was growing up. Kindergarten was just about like preschool back then, only easier. On her first day, I asked my daughter how her day went. “We didn’t have nap time,” she said first thing. What! Homework, and no nap time! That was like a third of my kindergarten. At least snacks are still around.

Then I got to thinking. Why DID we have nap time? I don’t think I ever napped during it. My first teacher would make us lay down on rugs for 15 or so minutes. What was she doing during that time? No wonder I can’t remember who she was. Or tell my left from my right for that matter.

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