I lived on the farm for the first five years of my life, and my parents chose not to send me to Kindergarten. Starting first grade was difficult as I had no experience in school. I eventually got caught up with my class and graduated from high school. My parents would have sent me to college, business school, or any place I wanted to go but I “was in love” and all I wanted to do was get married. I was a stay-at-home mom and felt confident as a wife and mother. As our children got older, I began to doubt my abilities, judgement and competence next to friends and family who had gone to college.
I became involved in the women’s ministries at our church and took every opportunity to attend events that would help me grow as a person, eventually becoming part of our National women’s board, which then led me to take advantage of a program in our church to become a Parish Ministry Associate, or lay-pastor.
I finally came to realize that education was the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational.
One of the things I value about the Presbyterian Manor family is that each day I have an opportunity to increase my knowledge from our residents and staff.
I can now read the poem, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” by Robert Fulghum and check off all the things that I have learned not in Kindergarten but in my life-journey.
Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
These are the things I learned in the sand pile.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life –
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance some.
And play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows
how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little
seed in the Styrofoam cup
– they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first work you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.