Kindergarten: The Great Opportunity


Joe Delmont

I’ve mentioned my four grandchildren before, but bear with me; I have two stories about how kids view kindergarten as a great opportunity that might brighten your day.

My five-year-old grandson, Sammy, will be heading off to kindergarten in the fall, and he’s looking forward to it. Sort of.

Sammy’s a rough and tumble kind of guy. He’s husky and very coordinated, and he’d rather play tackle or dig for worms than read a book. But that’s OK; he’s coming around and he loves to go exploring at the internationally-recognized Minnesota Zoo and the very excellent Children’s Museum in downtown St. Paul, Minn. He loves the dinosaur exhibits and if there’s a truck or tool anywhere in sight, he’s after it.

Anyway, Sammy’s dad, my son, Bryan and his mom, Brooke, have been working with him on his numbers and letters to get him ready for school. He hasn’t been to pre-school, but the day care center he visits is run by a former teacher, who seems to be pretty good. So, Bryan and Brooke expect that Sammy will make the adjustment to big time kindergarten sessions in good shape this fall.

During a recent training session, Bryan asked Sammy if he was excited about the new kindergarten opportunity. Sammy said with enthusiasm, yes, he was. Bryan beamed.

“Maybe I can get a girl friend, Dad,” Sammy said. Hmmmmm. I hope he’s not disappointed.

A Disappointing Experience

On the other hand, the grandson of a friend of mine was somewhat disappointed with his first day at kindergarten last fall. When you start talking about kids, all sorts of wonderful stories pop up.

It turns out that this young fellow had very high hopes for his first day at school. Like Sammy, he had been working with his parents on numbers and letters, and he was really excited about learning to read. In fact, he was disappointed that he couldn’t start reading immediately. He hoped he would learn that in school, he told his folks.

His parents were happy, though, because he was anxious to see what kindergarten was all about, and they assumed he would do just fine in the new school. The boy set off for school that first day with high expectations, unrealistic expectations, as his parents found out that evening.

When the boy arrived home after the first day, it was obvious that things had not gone well. The boy wasn’t happy; in fact, he was in a downright funk. When the parents sat down with the boy and pulled out from him what went wrong, they were pleasantly surprised that the problem wasn’t to serious.

His answer was simple and direct. “I didn’t learn to read today,” he said. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at or 952/893-6876.



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