James Lileks wants to send his daughter to kindergarten at the neighborhood public school.
There’s something about walking home on a spring day — or, for that matter, one of those wonderful autumn afternoons where is damp and misty and somehow very private, as though your only friend in the world is the world itself, the hidden mysterious world that revealed itself at times like this. It’s an integral part of childhood, at least as it was defined for me. I used to come home for lunch, too; is that even an option anymore? I came home to soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, Noonday on the B&W TV. No cartoons on that show. No hope of cartoons. Farm reports and LBJ; a dog from the pound if you were lucky. Then back to school.
I walked home for lunch from elementary school too, though we weren’t allowed to watch TV. Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, definitely.
Lileks discovered the school offers all-day kindergarten, but only to non-English speaking children who are bused in from elsewhere. The extra time is used to teach “concepts” — like colors and shapes — in their native language. Lileks is dubious, but there are children who come to school without the basic knowledge that middle-class parents take for granted. Whether they’re incapable of learning “green” but capable of “verde” is another issue. Generally, more learning time for poor kids is a good idea.
He’s got a great anecdote about his daughter.
This morning she was painting, and what had been a portrait of her and her friend turned into a self-portrait, with the friend morphed into a house. And then she said something that’s stayed with me all day: “All of my mistakes are giving me ideas.”