UPDATE: I first wrote this post 2 years ago. Now I can add that my daughter just finished kindergarten, so this is all fresh in my mind!
My son just finished kindergarten! It has been so fun watching him progress through the year. I volunteer in his classroom twice a week so I feel like I’ve had a front seat to not just his growth but that of his classmates, too! It has really been a blessing to be with them! I had to quit a few things and lighten my load to fit in the volunteering, but it was totally worth it!
I found that there were a few things that I learned “going back to kindergarten” this year and I thought I’d share them with you.
1.) There are never enough erasers when you are learning something new.
If there’s one thing that you can never have enough of in kindergarten, it’s erasers! I can’t tell you how many times the kids were borrowing each other’s pencils to correct their mistakes. The process of trial and error is quite common with those little ones and the error percentage is pretty high.
♦ It reminded me that we make a lot of mistakes when we are starting out our journey! We may be in our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s, but if you are just starting out a new path, you are bound to make mistakes! These kids were rarely deterred by their mistakes, but just took it as part of their process. It was a great reminder for me to remember that I won’t do things right all the time and to be patient with those who are just new to something in life.
2.) You will process things how you hear it, and HOW you hear looks different for everyone.
Let me see if I can explain this right. Many of you know that part of learning to read and spell is for the kids to listen to a word and to phoentically spell it. I really enjoyed getting Sam’s homework/papers every night and checking out how he spelled words. We would get a kick out of reading the words and seeing, from his perspective, how words should be spelled. One night during dinner, Sam asked how to spell “pilates”, (because isn’t this normal conversation for your dinner table?!), so we asked him to spell how he thought it would be and wrote this.
He was only writing out how he heard the word, using the tools he knew how to use to get the answer he got. It wasn’t right–but it was his experience.
♦ I have found that there are times in my life , either personally or with someone else, where the message that I am being told , or am telling, is not being processed the way it’s meant to be. For whatever reason, once it goes through the ears, through the brain and out the mouth, it gets lost in translation! It can be very frustrating for a friend who is advising another friend when they don’t understand how the person seeking advice isn’t following the message given, but what I’ve realized is that we are only processing how we hear. And how we hear a message and translate that to our every day lives looks so different. Many times, it’s not until we see the RIGHT way the “word should be spelled” that we have that “ah ha” moment! It reminds me that a.) I won’t always get what someone is telling me right and b.) Those in my life who I’m helping won’t always process the message the right way It takes truth and time to finally “get it”.
3.) Growth may be very small day to day, but is large over a period of months
I remember one of the first few weeks of kindergarten asking Sam’s teacher how she does it. I was in the classroom and saw how these little kids were just so …. little! She said that there is such HUGE growth, particulary in kindergarten, for the kids from the beginning of the year to the end, so she has to remind herself of that every time she starts a new school year. As I looked back on each of the students, I can see the growth not only academically, but emotionally and in maturity. As the days progressed, I didn’t see it, but looking back even just 3 months ago, I see it.
♦ Oh, we love that day to day growth, don’t we? We want to see concrete results ASAP to keep us going on our path. Unforuntately, that’s not the typical way it works! It’s only after sticking through the process that we see the growth over a period of months.
Sam’s first and last day of kindergarten! (The white sheet he’s holding has his name on it, but you can’t tell!)
I loved my year back at kindergarten for multiple reasons! I am thankful that God continues to convict, speak, and guide me through the every day things in life–including kindergarteners!