“That’s why I’m going to school, Mom!”
And together they leapfrogged all the way home--flop flop flop.
from Froggy Goes to School
by Jonathan London A whiff of a new box of Crayolas and I’m back in first grade with Mrs. Zimmerman. My desk had a hinge at the top. We were supposed to keep our books and pencils and crayons and round tipped scissors neatly inside. I was not one of the neat kids. Stray papers ended up in a wrinkly jumble. Sometimes the crayons scattered around at the bottom. I’d root around looking for the one I wanted.
I was a slow learner about neatness. My mother impressed on me early that the worst thing I could was waste time; we’re only allotted a certain amount and nobody knows for sure how much. When I realized I was spending way too much time looking for things, I felt like I woke up suddenly from a nightmare.
My grandmother told me she could find anything in her bedroom drawers with her eyes closed. That thought rattled about at the back of my brain for probably 40 years. Now I can find everything too! My spice shelves are alphabetical. My bookshelves are arranged by subject and author. And you already know about my sock drawer!
So, as the kids head back to school, bookbags packed with supplies, I will try to understand that we all learn at our own speed. Math is hard for some kids. For some, spelling. Still others have a hard time with neatness. I truly believe that we need to give our kids (and ourselves!) good examples, good tools and lots of patience!