This year for my eldest’s kindergarten I started work (unpaid) as an assistant to my daughter’s classroom every Monday morning while Nels is in school. Let me tell you, getting to know one’s child and other children within the school system is a great opportunity and I’ve been delighted to discover how much I enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, I like my friends’ children but it has to be admitted these children (and my own) could often be viewed as obstacles to my socializing time with their mommies and daddies (anyone who’s been an at-home mommy or daddy of young children knows how much “quality time” with your children is instantly available or forced upon you; hanging out during the day with other parents of young children affords at least some adult-level interaction and pasttimes). At school however there are goals for everyone, there are rules in place and a neutral set of enforcers and pace-setters rather than the children’s parents. I find myself really enjoying being an educator rather than a parent or babysitter.
This week the children are “studying” a story about peanut butter sandwiches. I think the exercise focuses on reading comprehension (I have noted that classroom reading exercises are well below what my guess is Sophie’s second grade reading level – AR test pending; however, for the median classmate the academic exercises feel spot-on and all the children are attentive and seem to love them). While helping yesterday Mrs. P. asked me if I could come the next day and bring bread, so we could make peanut butter sandwiches (part two of the scientific experiment?).
So this morning with Nels in bike I brought homemade bread, Mrs. P bought the PB and J and we made sandwiches. I took a picture of the little kids freaking out joyously when Mrs. P. announced our project. During sandwich-making time (which coincided with other “stations” of art project and academic work on the letter “P”) Nels participated at a very good kgarten level, working so hard on a drawing / sticker exercise we were forced to take the sandwich with us on the bike trip to the bus station. Next week Mrs. P. tells me they are doing pizza and if she’s into it I will likely bring the dough and sauce, she can do toppings, and we can cook them in the kitchen. As you can imagine I am well-loved in that class. And I like each and every kid, and really feel like I’m getting to know them. Even The Little Sweet Psychotic (a beautiful, precious girl who scares me with her non-confrontational yet extremely confrontational behaviors) gave me two hugs before I left.
After class time Nels and I biked to the bus station to take the bus to Aberdeen’s LYS. After a very nauseating trip (I am very prone to carsick on our busses, sadly) I had Ralph meet me at the downtown shop and take Nels on a photo walk while I learned how to pick up the heel flap and inset to make the sock gusset. I was really irritated to discover the lack of “exact science” in picking up the stitches. However from here on out it looks like super easy sailing and then being walked through kitchener stitch by my fabulous local mentors. Yay socks!
Tonight: library date with kids, board meeting for the preschool, dinner at my ‘rent’s while watching 300 with the associated rifftrax. A little slice of heaven for me, well except for that Board meeting.