Growing Up

I recently attended my first Welcome to Kindergarten event; in September, my oldest child will be off to Kindergarten.  Although anticipating that change leaves me with a strange feeling, it also gave me a chance to reflect on my priorities, parenting style, beliefs about education and role as a teacher.  This classroom visit really reminded me of the book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum (excerpt here).  It reminded me that kids know and understand fundamental truths. And that we could all use as a reminder to live by these truths; they still apply to adults… I went back to re-read and Fulghum reminded me of a few truths that kids know, and that I would do well to remember:

Put things back where you found them. (Things that belong to people or things that belong to Nature.)

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.  (Ditto)

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together. (No one can do it all by herself – no matter what it is.)

Wonder.  Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup.  The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. (Appreciate the awe and mystery of the universe.)

Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.  (Oh, how easy it is to lose this – it has to be intentional or it can quickly fall away.)

(Italics are mine)

Welcome to Kindergarten is supposed to be an opportunity for children to get a taste of their new teacher and new environment.  However, it ended up being a big learning, or re-learning, day for me as well.

Knowledge is meaningful only if it is reflected in action.
— Robert Fulghum