Kindergarten Crazy

Kindergarten, agh! A few years ago I remember listening to ladies discuss what kindergarten they would send there children to and thinking they were making a big deal about nothing and now here I am, making a big deal about kindergarten.

Nollie, my oldest is set to attend kindergarten next September. The school I was going to send her to was never really my issue. The local Catholic school was our choice. Small school - good, small class sizes - yep, faith based - sounds alright, many of her friends would be going there - cool, Curtis went there growing up. Easy, done. I was just getting used to the idea of Nollie going away to school three days a week next year, talking myself through it, mulling it around in my head all the time. Then they threw me a curve ball. St. Anthony's School in Drayton Valley would be going to a 5 full day a week kindergarten schedule next year. What!!!!!!! I was NOT OK with that. Five full days, getting up and onto the bus at 7:30am and not getting home until 4:30pm every week day. Spending more time with a teacher and some peers than her own family?!?!

Call me crazy but I actually like being around my kids. I enjoy cuddling with them, reading to them, listening to their crazy stories, watching them draw, colour and craft, baking with them, showing them how to find out about things that they are interested in from the library or on the internet, listening to them play (or fight) in the background, I even enjoy grocery shopping with them (for the most part).

Last night I went to the information/registration night at the school. I felt like I was being given a sales pitch "Teachers love the 5 day a week program....The Alberta government would like all schools to have a mandatory 5 day a week Kindergarten is very important here...this will put your child ahead...this will make for an easier transition to grade one...we do lots of learning ... but its fun...." I don't really like sales pitches, they turn me off, it makes me wonder why they have to sell it to me in the first place? After the presentation my friend asked if it made me feel better, all I could say was "NO". It made me feel even worse. All they told me is that they are going to do all the same things I already do at my house but they will do it and not me. Reading, writing, crafts, playing, letters, numbers, patterns.... yep that's our day every day. Growing plants, taking care of pets, even worm composting, yep, yep, yep. Was the fact that they will be baking with my kid supposed to make me feel better? She's baking at school and in return doesn't have time for baking at home? And after lunch they will have quiet time and centers?? Why not end at lunch and they can have quiet time and centers (aka playing with their toys) at home. I'm not buying it. And don't try to tell win me over by saying that many weeks are not a full five days because there are holidays, pd days etc, it doesn't change a thing for me.

I know kindergarten is not mandatory and I could just keep her home next year but she would hold it against me forever. For nearly a year now she has been talking about turning 5, because then she can go to school. It's not hard to see where she gets the magical idea about school, every adult that we come across asks if she's going to school, are you excited to go to school, school will be so fun, you'll learn to read, school, school, school. I'm guilty of it too, what do I ask a child between the ages of say 3 and 18? Do you go to school yet, what grade are you in, how is school, do you like school, what do you do a school,... really? is that all there is.

People seem to think that I'm just sad that she is growing up and leaving me, "I cried too sending my child off..." "...its normal, you'll get over it." Its more than just being sad to see her go though. Sending her to kindergarten is like subscribing to a system that I just don't agree with. I'm not a fan of sitting in a classroom for 12 years being taught what someone, somewhere decided will be the curriculum. I don't agree with testing and report cards, making some children feel dumb and like they are unable to learn and making others that learn how to take test well think they are smart. I don't agree with learning for the sake of the grade, I don't think children need to be taught. My biggest worry is probably that the education system will stifle or even destroy the creativity, curiosity and the drive to learn that I see in my kids. How many 12 year olds still love to learn, and enjoy school? Sure kindergarten is fun, of course it is, but what happens in a couple years when they have to just sit at a desk and listen, write out their times tables, learn about this now, oh stop the bell rang, now learn about that, no you can't go pee, its not bathroom time, I'm sorry you're hungry we can't eat now. I know we all did and and we survived but it doesn't mean it is the only option.

Its not really my style to just do something because it is what everybody does and its what we have been doing for the last 100 years. Someone is going to have to give me a better reason. I feel like I've read too much and learned too much to just send my kids to school.

So when one of the teachers asked me last night how I felt about the 5 day a week program and all I could say was "not good" there is just a sample of what I meant.

Goodbye 20's Hello 30

Today is my 30th Birthday, Happy Birthday to Me!

A decade in review:

Age 20:
  • Don't remember, kidding... partly
  • University
  • P-A-R-T-Y
  • Was Renting my first apartment in Downtown Edmonton with my lovely friend Vanessa
Age 21: 
  • More University, more party, more living downtown with V
  • Completed my BSc in Biology, Specializing in Genetics
  • Retired for a summer (I mean there was only so much time you could spend looking for a job right)
  • Took an international trip visiting England, Holland, Belgium and France
  • Got myself a job 
  • Moved with Vanessa & Jess to a 3 bedroom apartment with a washer & dryer
  • Got my first car
Age 22:
  • Continued living with V & Jess
  • Worked as Plant Manager at a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility
  • Got engaged to my lovely man
Age 23
  • Continued working in various positions at the same pharmaceutical company
  • Lived a bit with Murray & Jess
  • Bought our first house
  • Renovated the basement
  • Had various friends & family live with us
  • Built our first garage
  • Got Married to my lovely husband 
Age 24
  • Had my Brother & Sister live with us
  • Finished renovating the basement
  • Worked as Office Manager & Quality Assurance Manager at a Pharmaceutical company
  • Got pregnant
Age 25
  • Moved away to Provost buying our first acreage 
  • No longer working
  • Had massages every month
  • Sewed a lot of diapers
  • Got two dogs
  • My first garden
  • Had my first beautiful baby girl
  • Play groups
  • Started to blog
  • Quiet & peaceful year
Age 26
  • Obsessed over Nollie
  • Became an Auntie
  • Bought the truck
  • Moved back to DV
  • Had my second beautiful baby girl
  • Started building our own house
Age 27
  • The year of the house build, that's all we did, really that is it
  • Became a minivan mama
  • Moved into our new house just before Christmas
    Age 28
    • Continued working on the house as we live there
    • Started some landscaping
    • Built a shop
    • Had our third beautiful baby girl
      Age 29
      •  Momed
      • Started cross country skiing
      • Gardened my brains out
      • Volunteered on the Swim Club Executive

        There you have it, a snippet of my last decade.

        Bring it on 30, I'm excited to see what you've got for me!

        Stay Out of the Stores

        We went so the city shopping for skis earlier this week.  We had a purpose for going into the store but once we were there I felt the pull towards the clearance section, I would just take a peak on the way by.  Soon I was sizing up clothes as if I NEEDED to buy some shirts that had been marked down to $50 or maybe a new jacket marked down to some price that is way out of my price range.  I didn't need any new clothes and before I walked into the store I wouldn't even say I wanted any new clothes.  Maybe it was the excitement of shopping with no kids or simply that it was a SALE but I was ready to B-U-Y.  Luckily I came to my senses before I got anything to the till.  I took it as a reminder that the best way NOT to spend any money is to just STAY OUT of the stores.

        MY Dark Chocolate Stash

        It started with Curt dipping into my secret (or I guess not so secret) chocolate stash and eating MY dark chocolate and then complaining about how disgusting dark chocolate was... as he ate it.  Agh, quit wasting my good chocolate.  Now he has decided that he really likes my chocolate and he is going into my cupboard every day. Beat it Curt, really.  Since I see him take a piece I think that I need to as well, partly because it puts the idea in my head but it also becomes like a race, I'm afraid he will eat it all and there will be none left for me.

        I used to buy only one bar a month and savor it one tiny piece at a time.  Now there is no way that one bar will last the whole month.  Its a good thing I have a bit of a stash from when they were on sale.  I think I may have to find a new hiding spot.  Watch out Curt, I'm cutting you off.

        Oh and if you were wondering its the Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate Bars, Intense Orange usually but we recently tried Intense Blackcurrant and that was delightful as well.

        Valentines Day Art

        While I was busy making my Coffee Art, the girls were making some collages of their own.  I gave them each one of the small canvases from  Dollerama some glue and a bunch of pink and red items from the craft cabinet.  Paint, glitter glue, beads, feathers, pom poms, jewels, buttons, glitter etc.  We killed some serious time at the table creating.

        I hung them on the wall as soon as the mass amounts of glue dried.

        I Heart Coffee

        I think my new wall hanging is just the best because: a. I made it and b. I really do love coffee.  I've been dreaming about this project since I bought a batch of crappy coffee beans from the bulk bin about a year ago.  Its no surprise that I can't throw anything out so the beans went to the craft closet until I could come up with a use for them.

        I used one of the small canvases from Dollerama, the ones that come in a 3 pack.  A little paint, a little glitter, some hot glued beans and voila, you have a piece of art.

        The best part was that I got to enjoy the beautiful aroma of coffee while I did this craft.

        Maybe I'll have to make a few more.

        handmade projects

        Spaghetti Nose

        We had a good laugh the other day when Waverly got a piece of spaghetti stuck on her nose during supper.  

        It stayed there for quite a long time before it fell off.

        I know she enjoyed the attention.
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