As a secondary educator and now a community college professor, I admit I don’t know much about early childhood education. I figure in pre-K, kids learn to play, talk to each other in nice voices, learn their alphabet, numbers, make some art, build with some blocks, eat some snacks, and then voila! They move on to kindergarten.
It’s not that I don’t value pre-K or think that those who teach it are something akin to magical sprites (because they are), it’s just that I feel like after two years of it via my two kids, I get it.
My son Nico’s class just completed an extended study on castles with a wonderful long-term substitute teacher while his teacher was on maternity leave this spring. As the study concluded, the class parent and another parent had a brilliant idea (introduce my thick sarcasm here): Let’s have a medieval feast for the kids! Yay!
For the feast, we should 1.) sign up to bring some food, 2.) dress your kid in a medieval costume, and 3.) attend the feast (arrive at 10:30am on a Friday to set up, feast at 11:30, stay for feast). This was my first response:
And this was my second: “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
I know, I know, I am a total party pooper. I just have had it up to *here* with parents who think that kids need parties 24/7 during the school day and they want you–the working parents–to be at all of them. Enough already!
But I did my parental duty. I signed up to bring the easiest thing possible: crusty bread. I made Nico a knight costume out of cardboard, aluminum foil, and ribbon (complete with a sword to take to school because, you know, they asked for this hell). I even came to set up at 10:30 and was there until 1:00pm.
And it was….AWESOME.
Thank god there are other parents who are way nicer than me. Seriously. Thank you.
Two parents ordered gold chalises for all the kids to drink grape juice from (fake wine). Others brought gold and silver paper plates and cutlery to keep a medieval authentic look. Someone else made a huge thing of chicken legs (Nico literally sucked the marrow out of that one, our poor carnivore in a mostly vegetarian home). The same two parents who bought the chalises made a freakin’ MAYPOLE out of a piece of wood, ribbons, and a Christmas tree holder and a soundtrack for the feast.
The kids–girls all dressed as princesses (no surprise) and boys dressed as either knights or dragons–had a blast. And look at this feast:
It was like Game of Thrones (minus the backstabbing, murder, and torture).
Honestly, the kids were so well behaved it was ridiculous.
So, I stand corrected. These events are pretty amazing. Sometimes, I am wrong. Grumpy parent has been converted. . .for now.
Nico’s castle below: