Friday, April 27, 2007

A kindergarten crack-up

All these years I have been looking for my "voice" as an intellectual, but now I realize I had it wrong. I already have my voice... I should have been looking for right audience for that voice.

Well... I've finally found it! My six-year-old son's kindergarten class. The teacher invites parents to drop in and read a story, which I did yesterday. I explained to the kids that I had a hard time reading sometimes, and perhaps they could help me by telling me when I got the words wrong. Then, I took standard kindergarten books, read them aloud, and then made preposterous interjections. (That's one of the few things in life that I'm really good at).

The kids loved it! I loved it! We laughed and goofed and read for 30 minutes, and that night my son brought home a giant thank you note from them. Also, I received a return invitation. Sweet. Now I just have to figure out how to put this on my vita.


Knumb said...

Try this the next time you present a paper at a conference.

Worst case scenario: more time to hang glide near said conference.

Ben said...

I'm happy to hear I'm not the only one who regularly lies to my kids. For me it began as a survival technique. My firstborn daughter has always been a book fiend, and after the 20th time of her favorite books, I had to find a way to keep myself engaged. The challenge in say a Dr. Seuss book is to get a good "mistake" in without disrupting the rhyme or rhythm Since she had already memorized many of her books, I tried to make my slip-ups as subtle as possible to see if I could sneak them by her. Now six, she's tired of it. "Dad, can you just read the right way tonight? I'm tired of always having to correct you." Luckily, my three year old still loves the game, and we've broadened it out to other areas of daily life.

I figure it teaches them critical thinking early on. Otherwise, they will wind up believing some college sociology professor who tells them that all the cockroaches they see are males. But what are the ethics of lying to your kids in order to help them become critical thinkers?

Brad Wright said...

Very funny Ben about the need to teach critical skills early on.

I actually had to pass on the Dr. Suess books... there are so colorful and outlandish as is, anything I would add would just break the rhythm and make it less interesting.

Sadly John, I think people already do this at conferences all the time!