Fall is a very busy time in Kindergarten. Once the children get acquainted with their new teacher and classmates, the first round of standardized testing began. Then came fall festivities to include getting ready for Halloween and going out trick or treating. The excitement of being 5 only escalates in November when Kindergartners everywhere are busy learning about the first Thanksgiving and making Pilgrim and Native American Indian costumes. Then it’s off to Grandma’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. Now that the children are coming back to school on Monday, December and more festivities are just around the corner. Whew! Will the excitement level of the first four months of Kindergarten every settle down and even out? The answer is yes and it will happen in January. In January nothing is happening outside of school. There are no major holidays that involve dressing up and collecting candy all of the neighborhood, no holiday that involves making costumes, learning songs and having a feast of some sort, and no major holidays that involve gift giving and the receiving of gifts. Ahh, Kindergarten teachers everywhere breathe a sigh of relief when January finally arrives. This is when we can teach and know (not hope) that these young minds are actually focusing on and listening to the instructions. We will start introducing sight words (words that good readers instantly recognize without having to decode them), learn to put spaces in our writing and will even introduce simple addition and subtraction. Parents hang in there, the attention levels of your children will worsen in the next few weeks before they get better, but trust me, January will be here soon and then the real learning will begin.