Wednesday, October 15, 2014

_The Hancock News_ Column-- September 24, 2014

I was almost six when I started kindergarten. My class was the first in my town to go to kindergarten all day long, but for some reason, we only attended every other day. So on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other Friday, I stored up a whole lot of fine memories.

I still remember excitedly climbing on school bus #5 with my Snoopy lunchbox and my Miss Piggy binder. I’m not certain, but I think on my first day I wore a cute little school-themed dress with ABCs, pencils, and apples all over it. 

When I was in kindergarten, I remember playing with blocks, pegboards, and coloring with chunky crayons. I remember making windsocks out of bread bags and playing with a parachute in gym class. I remember Mrs. Junkins, my teacher, somehow knowing my friend Keri and I were the ones secretly peeling the plastic coatings off the covers of all the Little Golden Books. 

I even had a wooden cubby-hole with my name on it, my own place to hang my coat and to store my other belongings which included a change of clothes since kindergartners are still prone to having accidents now and then.

My favorite memories center around the Letter of the Week activities. Each week’s activities related to that letter. “Aa” week brought an ambulance to our playground, “Ff” week saw us climbing on a real firetruck, and so on. My favorite week was “Cc” week because one day we got to dress up like cowgirls and cowboys, and I just so happened to have a pair of cowgirl boots. Our teacher even brought bales of hay into the classroom. We pretended they were our horses.

Maybe that’s why I like having a letter of the week for our kindergarten at home. Kindergarten is so very different for my children since we homeschool. They don’t have the bus ride or the lunchboxes or new clothes, but I do try to keep it fun with plenty of play mixed with the learning. 

This year my oldest daughter is my eager kindergartner. She loves writing, worksheets, and learning phonics. Best of all, she really gets a kick out of experiencing books, toys, games, words and field trips that match each week’s letter. For me, it’s like being in kindergarten all over again--minus the lunchbox and cowboy boots.


Last week was “Dd” week at our house, and I took advantage of some aging bagels to make one of our favorite snacks. Don’t let the name fool you; these are really meant for people. I’m not sure what the original recipe called them, but one of the kids saw a picture of a dog on the page and thought I was making dog treats. The name stuck. You can use any flavor of bagel you like that would be good with cinnamon and sugar; this is a good way to use up day-old quality bagels that might be a bit stale. While not necessary, I find using my electric knife is much easier and quicker for the cutting.

A little messy, but certainly finger-licking good!

Dog Treats

2 bagels 
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Toast the bagel halves. Using a bread (or serrated) knife, slice the bagel halves into small strips (1/4-1/2-inch-wide).
In a large bowl (or zip plastic bag), coat the bagel strips with the melted butter. 

Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the bagel strips. Stir or shake to coat the bagel pieces. Serve immediately.


  1. Fun idea. I love ways to use not-so-fresh leftovers (when I have them!) My kids would find it hilarious to eat "dog treats."

    1. I find that my kids definitely eat things better if it has a fun name. "Monster Scramble" tastes so much better than scrambled eggs with sauteed onions and peppers (or bits of leftover meat and vegetables) and cheese.