Why it doesn’t matter if you can’t draw rectangles (in Kindy)

Some of you know that I am now beginning the last subject for my Master’s degree that I started four lifetimes ago. I am very much looking forward to being done with Uni (for the time being anyway), and I will be pretty proud when I get that bit of paper that represents a whole lot of hard work. Anyway as I was pondering about this achievement, I found something interesting. My Kindergarten school report:

Two things jumped out at me regarding this report. The first being that apparently I could not recognise, nor draw, rectangles (go figure). The second thing was that though I had the potential to be – and ultimately became  – quite academically driven, I was obviously not that interested in Kindergarten!

Now, I like to think of myself as an involved parent. I researched schools before choosing one, I help the kids with their homework, I read their reports and I diligently attend parent-teacher interviews. But there are certain things I don’t do. I don’t, for example, stay up all night doing school assignments while the child in question gets a good night’s sleep. Nor do I accost other mothers I’ve never met in the carpark asking what reading level their child is on. I also try and remember that while my kids are the centre of my world, their teachers actually have 25 other little darlings to worry about, and so from time to time things do get overlooked.

I get that education is important – in fact, I believe passionately that education can make all the difference to children’s lives. But I just think we expect so much of our little people way too young. I am so grateful that my mother didn’t storm up to my school, Kindergarten report in hand, saying ” but if she can’t recognise a rectangle when she’s 5 then HOWEVER WILL SHE BE ABLE TO WRITE A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF MARXIST THEORY WHEN SHE’S DOING HER MASTER’S DEGREE?” You get my drift. Sometimes we need to chill a bit (myself included) and know that they’ll get there when they get there.

Anyway, I found another award from Kindergarten which puts everything into perspective:

(The picture is of the award, not the lummi stick, just to be clear).

So I might not have been able to recognise a rectangle but I could paint a damn fine lummi stick and isn’t that what Kindergarten is all about?


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