Kindergarten is winding down with only 3 weeks left. To preserve these very special memories, I am dedicating this mini series of Kindergarten Vignettes to my son. Parent reading on Fridays has been a staple throughout the year, a perfect topic for today’s vignette…
At the beginning of the school year, I was intrigued to receive a notice (one of many!) inviting Kindergarten parents to participate in regular parent reading sessions on Friday mornings after drop off.
Instead of peering through the doorway at the beginning of the day after drop off, parent reading has given me the gift of sharing the kindergarten experience with my son every week.
As I take my seat – in a pint sized chair, at a pint sized table – the children start their day with a clapping exercise where each of the kindies is greeted by name by all their friends and the teacher. Then the teacher’s “special helper” gazes slowly around (and around) the circle, before choosing a friend who is sitting quietly (no hands up!) to go down to the office and hand in the attendance sheet.
The teacher asks the children to find a buddy or parent to read with for 15 minutes. If their own parent isn’t there, they join in for a reading session with the teacher, another parent, or with each other.
I loved learning that the kindies made and coloured their own books throughout the year.
On most of our reading days, my son sought out his basket of hand made books for us to browse through and read. We covered a lot of ground through the year, learning about holidays, gardening, flying, numbers and counting, and seasons. I especially enjoyed his “Book about Me” where the teacher helped my son fill in the blanks including his favourite place (home), favourite food (pizza), experiences (visiting the farm) and what he wants to learn how to do (write down words!).
Sometimes, we read a book from the classroom library. We went through a major Star Wars phase. I am telling you, the Star Wars books are on the violent side – there are assassins, weapons and battles. Gah! I preferred the Dora or Lego books although some of the Lego books were questionable too and the kids never knew how many words I left out as I read the stories to them!
Before we know it, the teacher rings her tiny hand held bell signalling the end of parent reading. The children scatter to put books away and reform their learning circle. My son comes running for a quick kiss goodbye.
The teacher draws the class back in with a fun song or activity. Just like that, the parents are out the door exchanging bemused glances or setting up play dates and talking about the day.
The weekly parenting reading ritual is done. We will miss it; yesterday’s session was the final one for the year.