Talking to Madeleine about School

While preparing to write Madeleine's pre-K application (blech), I decided to talk to her about school to get some inspiration.

School is just like home.  Cause it’s playing.  We don’t do art, no art.  Just a little bit of art.  We have some snack and we read books after snack until we hear the Put Away the Books song.  We go to the playground, too.  But before the playground, we line up on the footprints.  Not real footprints, just the colored footprints.

About the playground:
There’s a house, and in the middle of the house, you might fall down, but there’s a bridge across, and there’s a house.  And there’s a spaceship with a ladder and a ball at the top, when you climb to the top of the ladder, you spin the ball.  And at the side, you could play.

Who’s there, a Mom?
There’s teachers.  They make sure everyone’s OK, or where they’re supposed to go.

There’s trucks.  Three trucks!  There’s two that’s red.  And one that’s yellow.  And I don’t remember what the colors are.

They have a bookshelf.  And they have a kitchen.  And they have a chair.  And two couches.  One in the kitchen, and one in the block center.  There’s lots of blocks.

Do you like school?
Cause it’s very fun.  And there’s ten students.  If there’s not me, there’d be nine students.
Why is it fun?
Cause all my friends are there.  But some are not there.  Cause some are not in my class.
Why else is it fun?
Cause there’s lots of toys. <shrugs> But not as many as home.
There’s not as many toys at school as at home?  Really?
So do you wish you could just be at home all day?
You wish you could be home all day?
Wow. But you like school, because your friends are there.
So if all your friends at school could be here at home instead, you’d like that better?
Yeah. <sees what I’m writing> S O makes “so” like sewing!
No actually S O makes so not like sewing, it makes SO like a different word, SO which you could say like “So, how are you?” or “So tell me, what’s new?”  It’s a different word. Sew like sewing is spelled S E W.  Like that.  So, if you stayed home instead of going to school, who would be your teacher?
My mom.
Would you like Mom to be your teacher?
Cause I like her at home.
And you think she would be a good teacher?
Yes.  Can I have a napkin, Dad?
<Hands over napkin>.  Why do you think Mom would be a good teacher?
Cause she sometimes goes out, and that’s what camp kids do...
What does that have to do with being a good teacher?
<Repeats> She goes outdoors a lot.
And going outdoors is what makes someone a good teacher?
That’s totally crazy!!!  So if a teacher doesn’t go outdoors a lot, they’re not a good teacher?
That is the silliest thing I ever heard.  You are a crazy lady.
Please move the page down.
So look, what kind of school do you want to go to when you’re a little older?  Like, when you’re in kindergarten, do you want to go to a school that’s lots of playing, or lots of reading, or lots of singing, or lots of everything?
Lots of singing.
Whoa.  Anything else, or just singing all day?
What else?
Playing, reading, dancing...
Playing, and what else?
Reading, dancing, experimenting...
Some reading!
OK, dancing, experimenting,
Dancing, telling stories, drawing pictures
Telling stories.
Dancing, drawing pictures, …
Drawing pictures, and that’s it, OK, Dad?
So here’s the list: Playing, reading, experimenting, telling stories, drawing pictures, and that’s it.  Is that it?
So no dancing?
Whoa!  No dancing?
A little bit of dancing.
I knew it.  So here’s the list: Playing, reading, experimenting, telling stories, drawing pictures, a little bit of dancing, and that’s it.  Anything else?
That’s it.
How about math?
Yeah, lots and lots and lots of math.
Wow!  You like math a lot then?
I didn’t know that.  Oh and how about spelling?
And how about playing music on instruments?
How about learning history, like when America told the King of England he couldn’t be in charge any more?
How about... learning to make things?
Is there anything you don’t want to do in school?
How about gymnastics?
How about soccer?
How about swimming?
Yes! I want to do a swimming team!
What else do you want to do?  How about make robots?
Yeah, and then we could sell them!
That’s a great idea.  What kind of robots would you make?
Scary, scary, scary, scary monster robots.
Whoa!  What would they look like?
They would look like big giants, that are even bigger than you!
OK, anything else you want to say before I stop writing things down?
Hmm, I think we could plant trees.
Whoa, that’s a good idea.  Where?
At, when I’m...  at school when I’m older.
That’s a great idea.  Anything else?
OK, thank you.