Childhood Memories Friday: Kindergarten

Childhood Memories Friday

“Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.” ~Pierce Harris

Many years ago, in a place far from here (well, three hours by car), I went to kindergarten.

Kindergarten Jackson Elementary Seymour 1970

Can you find me?

Kindergarten was a half-day affair in those days, and I went to afternoon kindergarten.  My mom had heard that afternoon was the class that the more impressive parents chose.  Was this true?  I don’t know.

I remember show and tell.  My friend Anita kept bringing things for show and tell that I thought were really pathetic, and I remember asking my teacher, Mrs. Wintin, “Why does Anita always bring such bad things for show and tell?”  She wisely replied, “Maybe that’s the only things she has.” I remember this seeming like a really deep insight to me. It was definitely not anything I had considered.

I remember us practicing writing our numbers, and Rex having real issues making “1.” I just couldn’t understand how drawing a vertical line could be difficult.

Our kindergarten room had a large, awesome playhouse.  One day I was playing in this playhouse with my “husband,” Stewart.  We were moving the furniture away from the walls to clean, when we discovered some awful black stuff all over the playhouse wall.  It turned out that the playhouse was infected with termites, and it was off-limits for a while after that.

We always had “milk time,” when two students would pull a wagon down the hall to the cafeteria to get milk cartons for the class, and bring them back for us to drink.  One day, I opened my milk, and then had to go to the bathroom so I left it there.  When I returned, I couldn’t remember where I had sat with my milk and I couldn’t find it.  Finally I just took another milk and drank it. After this, we sat on the floor for “circle time.”  Mrs. Wintin spotted my original, mostly full milk carton on the table and asked whose it was.  Fearing I would get into trouble, I kept quiet.  She kept insisting that whoever left that milk carton confess, and that we would not continue until she knew.  Now I was really afraid!  I was sitting there, sure she could tell that it was me, but I didn’t confess and we did eventually continue on.

Okay, in the picture, I’m in the 2nd to back row, 2nd from the right.  I did NOT like that dress – it had a tie on it, which I felt made me look like a boy (along with my short hair, which I disliked as well, but that’s a topic for another day!). I always dreamed of being one of the little cute girls who got to sit in the front row.  But alas, I was always big ‘n tall and usually ended up in one of the back rows. I look so … forlorn in this photo, and I notice that in many of my childhood photos. I don’t recall feeling unhappy, so I’m going with the theory that I’m just lost in my thoughts. That is entirely possible 🙂

What memories do you have of kindergarten?






9 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Kindergarten

  1. Here I sit in the very same part of the building you went to school in for seven years. Sixth grade children still learn here some 46 years later. Mrs. Wintin continues to be a special friend of our family.
    She taught all 3 little Barnett girls in this building. Back when my girls came here, they did not so much as own one revolving fan. Now the entire building is air conditioned. We have lots of Hispanic students. When my girls came here there was nary a one. I feel many students lack motivation more now than years back. Am I old school? You bet ‘cha!

  2. I found you quickly. How cute you were! I like your haircut! I enjoyed your stories about being in kindergarten. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to kindergarten. It wasn’t mandatory at that time, we lived several blocks from the school, and we had no second car. So my mother didn’t send me. I did really well in first grade even without the kindergarten experience. But I made sure my daughters not only went to kindergarten but nursery school as well. I wanted them to have the social experience as well as the academic.

  3. I found you! Could be one of my school pictures. I remember little of kindergarten besides one boy “always” getting the trike. A few other things like we had to have a certain kind of rest matt and we were told to bring one of our father’s “old, white shirts” for art time. And, guess what? Every kid brought an old, white, dress shirt! Tells you what neighborhood we lived in–although we were in an apartment since the move was supposed to be less than a year (i went to 2 years of school there). Great post! Fun memories.

  4. We had no kindergarten when I was the age to go. It’s too bad, because I was definitely not prepared to go to first grade when I started at the age of five. After my horrendous start, my parents would have allowed me to drop out for a year except for the fact that I had a sister a year younger than I who was raring to go to school, and they (wisely) didn’t want us to be in the same class. (I would definitely have lived in her shadow, even though I was older.)

  5. No kindergarten at Roanoke School when I was growing up, but all of us were in the same boat. None of the county schools offered K, just the city schools. My parents taught me everything that I never learned in Kindergarten, so I was well prepared for 1st grade. Reading came easy for me! Oh yes, I also found you right away in the picture. Very cute!

  6. K-5 wasn’t required where I was, so I started with first grade. I happened to be in a class which had 1st and 2nd grade combined, and I always wanted to be up with the 2nd graders in their skills. Maybe that’s what set me off as a competitive student, LOL! I don’t remember much about the first grade except discovering reading, which started a lifelong habit and love.

  7. I was in Mrs. Winton’s class too, the morning class, I assume since I can’t find myself in your picture. I remember the giant playhouse, which I loved very much! One memory I have is coloring in our ABC book. One girl colored the cat purple. She was creative, but I thought she was ridiculous.
    Mrs. Winton was always one of my favorite teachers.

  8. I was writing a comment, but it disappeared. I’ll try it again. Susan, in the picture you look like you are contemplating. I’m not sure what, but contemplating something. I recently had a conversation about that wagon you mentioned. My youngest son found it under our Christmas tree with his name on it when he was 3 or 4 years old. Over the years it has served us all well. It was not only the milk wagon at school for most of my 23 years there. I made uncounted numbers of trips around the block at our home transporting grand and great grand children, pulled by Grandpa Walt. In later years it became my garden cart, and most recently the easiest way to bring my groceries from the car into the house. We wore out the wheels! Since I had to take it apart to put the new wheels on, I decided to give it some tehder loving care by getting rid of the rust and repainting it one more time. was also able to gently sand several layers of paint to reveal the original “Sears Ball Bearing Allstate 400” logo. I’m nearly ready to put it all back together now and see how the new wheels work. Comment to Kelly – Thanks for the compliment! Comment to Peg – In the “good old days” of this picture many kindergarten agendas were not academic. That has happened much more recently.

  9. How wonderful to get a comment from your kindergarten teacher! I loved this post. When i was 5, we were offered two weeks of 1/2 days, as a crash course in school, two weeks before 1st grade started. I took swimming lessons in the morning, so by the time I got to kindergarten, I was more sleepy than anything. I don’t remember much, except for some teenage girls leading the class (I don’t remember any adults) and having to go up in front of the class once, but I don’t remember why. I did very well academically and could already read when I began 1st grade, but I don’t think I was really ready emotionally.

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