Sunday, September 14, 2008

Urban Education

Yes, I am back from a summer of baseball, camping trips, conventions, vacations, catering and wedding cakes. I have so much to blog about that I don't even know where to start. To top it all off I can't pull any of our summer pictures off of my camera. I have spent lots of time and money on the phone with HP trying to tune up my year old computer. I hate Windows Vista but that is a book on its own.

Anyway, my baby started full day Kindergarten and I have been in a state of semi-depression. I can't believe I am done with baby days. I thought I would actually enjoy all the free time but it is just too quiet and way too full of projects that need to get done and can't be put off any longer now that kids and their schedules are no longer an excuse.

Anywhoo, back to the title of this post and what motivated me to get on the computer. I want to start off with the good.
(1)I think that our schools here have a lot of great resources and teachers coupled with great curriculum and high goals. Kindergartners come out reading and writing. Sam's final writing assessment last year was to draw a picture write 5 labels and then write a story with at least 5 sentences including capitalization, punctuation and spacing. Kids who have a good support system can really learn a lot.
(2)I am super excited about Sam's and Emily's teachers, Mrs. Kidwell and Mrs. Bell. A good friend had Mrs. Kidwell for 2 years and loved her. I am looking forward to working with her. Sam had Mrs Bell last year and she is seriously the best teacher I have ever been around and I have been in the classrooms of a lot of amazing teachers. I think that what sets her apart from the rest is her consistency, the way she respects the kids and does such an amazing job of communicating at their level but in a grown up way that teaches them how to communicate. Not to mention she is the most patient person I think I have ever met. If she is with the kids she does not stop to talk to other adults unless it is a quick answer or instruction and then she will say something like, "Sorry about that friends let's get back to our important work." The kids come first and she remembers to reward and give attention to positive behavior instead of addressing the negative all the time. I love her! This year there are 30 kids in her class compared to last year when there was 17 in Sam's. That makes me a little nervous.

Now to the part I am worried about. Emily is a precocious 5 year old who loves to share what she learns at school. She is a quick learner and picks up the words to poems, books and songs really quickly and remembers everything. Seriously, she can hear something once and repeat it back to you a month later. This afternoon I was reading a book and she came in and asked if I would like to hear what she learned at recess. She said, "Mom, I like it so much I can't stop thinking about it. I just watched the girls who were doing it. I didn't talk to them I just watched them so I could learn it." Then she had me hold my hands out, one palm up and one palm down so she could clap them while she sang:
"Down down baby - down down my roller coaster;
Sweeet, sweet baby - sweet, sweet my roller coaster;
Shimmy, shimmy cocoa wa - shimmy, shimmy five;
I like coffee, I like tea;
I like the color boy and he likes me.
Sit down white boy, its okay,
Me and him, we are going to run away.
Yesternight, the night before,
I met my boyfriend at the candy store.
He bought me ice cream. He bought me cake.
He sent me home with a bellyache.
Momma! Momma! I feel sick!
Call the doctors quick, quick, quick!
Dr. Dr. before I die - close my eyes and count to five.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
I'm alive, Channel 5!
See that house on top of that hill,
That's where me and my boyfriend go steal.
Scoop that ice cream and cut the cake
come on baby let's celebrate!

Whoo What!!! Both mine and Danny's reactions were the same. First, "How in the world does she remember all of that?" and second, "Do they really let little kids do that at recess?" My guess is that no one has really stopped to listen to the words. It seems like an innocent little song, like CeeCee oh Playmate from my days, if you don't stop to listen to what it really says.

I know that I live in a city but I guess I wasn't prepared for what sending them to school really means. It makes me realize quickly how important the lessons we are teaching them at home and church are. How much I love the words of the primary songs that will help them build their armor to survive spiritually in the world. In the mean time how do I tell my five year old this song she loves has bad things in it without having to explain what those bad things are, because she will ask? I am pretty sure she hasn't set back to think about what the words really say and I would be pointing them out to her. Do I just stick to the obvious like tea, coffee and stealing? I think one of the first things I am going to do is teach her CeeCee my playmate. Agghhh.


bcharrington said...

Welcome to the urban world. I know I love the schools around here but the culture I sometime wonder. But I'm so glad when I see my kids doing their best and practicing what they learn at church and home. I know your kids a little bit and I know they are going to do just fine,'cause they have a great mom like you.

Sherrie Thuernagle said...

Sarah, it is so hard to have them come home with stuff like that! :) But...I've learned that FHE is pretty powerful, and even though they're surrounded by a bunch of "froo froo" that we'd like to never hear again...they seem to be able to come out okay!

Sherrie Thuernagle said...

Hey Sarah! In answer to your question, the paint is called "barely pink" and it really doesn't show up in the pictures as nice as it really looks on the walls. It's just a great soft pink color, and there's plenty of contrast with the white trim...but the camera flash kind of made everything fade. :)I'll be so excited to see pictures of Emmy's room when you're done!

Aubri said...

THere's an elmo's world episode when they do a little different version of that song that's definetly cleaner. Maybe try making new words to the song that she knows and then it makes it her own. Also ceecee is a good thing too. I have the same issue when I hear YW/YM singing words to songs that they don't understand what they are singing.