School Readiness

The Edge Bitty

Today and over the next days, last year's Tracks class is beginning kindergarten. I wrote this post in our Week in Review in April 2012 after the class had a visit from some Tracks 2011 kindergartners. These ever-so-much-older children gave the Tracks the news about kindergarten. And it was mostly good, but it was still an "edge bitty."

This week...the children painted Klimt designs, they discovered new materials in the classroom, finished setting the stage in dramatic play, moved most of a ton of gravel, learned how to install a french drain, documented the construction of a dry creek bed, and almost finished that creek bed! A regular week in nursery school, familiar and comfortable.

What is an edge bitty? An edge bitty is the name of a bit of dark forest. It is named this by a group of children in one of Claire Warden's Inspirational Early Childhood posts (do visit, it is a quick and delicious read).

We had edge bitties when I was growing up. They were those places that we all agreed were just a little bit too far away from the familiar and outside our comfort zone. This also made these places incredibly alluring and we would plot and plan our trips to these edge bitties in order to head right into the known-unknown!

On Thursday, we had kindergartner guests into the Tracks to talk about kindergarten. Talk about an edge bitty! We hold this kindergarten presentation event each year. While on the surface it would seem that we want our current Tracks to learn about kindergarten, the event is planned to show the parents that children have been to the kindergarten edge bitty and lived to tell about it. It also serves the child presenters -- they gain perspective through the second look. They return to their school either through this or through summer camp programs and gain the knowledge..."I went to the edge bitty and lived to tell the tale!"

I cried when my oldest went to kindergarten and he did too. I cried again when my second went too, but he didn't. They both found their way. All of the children will have to -- and will be able to -- find their way to all kinds of edges and then find the way back again. Adults sometimes forget about the edge bitties and how once conquered, the feeling gained that is both overwhelming and satisfying through a sense of accomplishment.