No Kidding in Kindy

Yesterday I shared this at the gathering of Kindergarten principals and teachers in our Methodist Preschools Network.

Robert Fulghum wrote a book that became a number one bestseller. It touched the hearts of millions of readers.

The book is entitled, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Here is an excerpt of what he wrote:

“Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox …

These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush …

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together …

Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup – they all die. So do we …

And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK. Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living …

Think of what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes …

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to “hold hands and stick together.”

And he concluded – “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

It underscores what the Bible says in Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Train up a child, not a young adult or a youth or a teenager but a young child. The word for child in Hebrew is “yeled,” which refers to “a young boy” – presumably a preschooler who is at an age when he can be trained.

Education does not begin at the tertiary level, neither at the secondary nor primary level. It starts at the kindergarten level, which sets the curious mind of the young child on a learning curve.

It’s no kidding in kindy.

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