Posted by: Nancy Keim Comley | September 24, 2014

Soothing The Savage Kindergartener

This fall our son started kindergarten. He enjoys school but, as the week progresses, the tiredness builds until he has a stunned hit-by-a-brick look about him. By Thursday he stumbles into the house and loses his temper at me, the dogs, his sister, chairs, and dust particles. Or at least that what it feels like.
Last week, in a desperate attempt at stemming the tiredness-fueled temper I downloaded the audio book of SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS by Arthur Ransome. I put on the story during snack and he immediately calmed down. After he finished eating he began building with Legos.
After SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS he asked that we listen to an old favorite, FREDDY AND THE SPACESHIP by Walter R. Brooks. More Lego contraptions followed. He even asked me to build with him (I made a flying machine piloted by a dog).
Most days, as soon as we walk in the door, even before he eats his snack, I turn on an audio book. After an hour of listening and building he’s still tired, yet calm. After that down time I can get him to go for a walk with me or play on the swings outside, things that before he hadn’t been able to find the patience to do. And then he tells me stories.
FREDDY AND THE SPACESHIP led to him to build numerous Lego rockets and then inspired him to tell me a long story about going on a rocket and exploring space. With a pig, a cat, an old lady and a bad guy who is actually good. I had to listen very carefully becausehe then asked me to tell the story back to him and corrected every deviation from the original.
I am delighted that as his life changes and expands he can find comfort in beautifully told stories. Long may it last.


  1. Excellent idea. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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