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January 5, 2014

Challenge: 52 Weeks of Writing Our Memories - Kindergarten Days

Challenge: 52 Weeks of Writing Our Memories - Kindergarten Days
My Kindergarten or Grade 1 Photo
Here is a Challenge for all genealogy bloggers. I want you to keep a weekly journal called Sharing Memories. Some of you may recall that in 2010, 2011 and 2012 I provided weekly prompts to help with writing up memories of ancestors and ourselves. 

If you missed this weekly series called Sharing Memories you might want to have a look and see if any of the prompts appeal to you. Many readers asked me to continue with the prompts this year so that is what I am going to do.

Please bear with me throughout the year 2014. I will try very hard to not duplicate prompts from previous years but there may be some small overlap.

We all want to find information on our ancestors and are overjoyed to find an ancestor’s diary or journal. But what about our own memoirs? It's important as genealogists that we not forget about writing our own story.

We may think writing about ourselves is boring or egotistical but stop and think how excited your descendants would be to find a journal or dairy that their great great grandmother (you) wrote.

52 Weeks of Sharing Memories will guide you in writing your own genealogical journal for your descendants. 

School days will be the start of our journal entries this year and this week's prompt is Kindergarten Days. Write about your memories of Kindergarten. How old were you? How did you get to school? Who was your teacher? What else do you remember about those days? If you have a photograph of yourself, be sure to include it in your journal entry. Maybe you have some report cards and that would be fun to scan and include in your writing.

I was just barely 4 years old when I went to Kindergarten at Lord Elgin Public School in Ajax Ontario Canada. Unfortunately the only thing I remember about Kindergarten was seeing all the wonderful picture books on a rotating rack. I was so excited! 

I learned to read before going to school and could hardly wait to get my hands on those books. But my teacher (whose name I don't recall) explained that she read to the class and we were not allowed to touch the books. I was very upset and didn't want to go back to school the next day.

You can write your stories here as comments, on your own blog or in a private journal or blog of your own. Next Sunday I will have the next writing prompt. I hope you will join me!


Celia Lewis said...

Oh yes, those first days of school! We didn't have Kindergarten here - or maybe it's just that I didn't go. Hmmm. But, I had a 15 month older sister, and I badgered her to teach me what she'd learned every day. So by the time I hit Gr.1 I was reading voraciously and writing, did basic math... and had a fabulous teacher who allowed several of us 'early readers' to read books with each other. Still loving to read!

Unknown said...

Challenge accepted! Here is mine for the week:

Yvonne Demoskoff said...

Not allowed to touch the books?! Wow, and in a schoolroom, too. It's nice to see another year of weekly prompts, Lorine!

Anne said...

I wish I remembered more about my elementary school years. Kindergarten (mornings only) -- I walked to school each day with my two older brothers. On my first day of school, however, my mom walked me all the way (about 1/2 mile from our house). My teacher, Sister Mary, (a very young, pretty School Sisters of Notre Dame) greeted her students outside. I was crying. My mom was holding my hand. Sister Mary said, "Only big girls who don't cry come to school." I guess I wanted to be a big girl because I stopped crying and stayed at school. The only other thing I remember about Kindergarten was the big wooden sandbox in our room. It was on legs so that the sand was at waist level.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Celia, lucky you getting an older sister to help you! I love reading too, & used to read cereal boxes over breakfast just to have something to read!

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Great memory story Kris!

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Hope you will join us Yvonne. It's unbelievable now isn't it (not being allowed to touch the books)

I still remember sitting on the floor with the other kids and all I could think about was that rack of books. I wanted to hold one and start reading SO badly!

Wait til I tell about my Grade 1 memory of first day of school that year. You will be horrified

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Anne - did your brothers walk you every day? My sister had to take me.

Lynn said...

I'm relatively new to the blog so never encountered the prompts before. I'm looking forward to your help in writing about my life. My only memories of kindergarden are the row of mats we used for nap-time and the huge bow window which went from one side of the room to the other. I must have liked it because, over 60 years later, I still smile when I think of it.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Hi Lynn and welcome! Feel free to just jump in and start writing.

You don't have to keep your memoirs in chronological order, just start writing and you'll be amazed at what comes to mind.

I hope my prompts do help to jog memories. I don't remember mats in K. but I don't remember much after first day!

Paul Smith said...

Challenge accepted or the long link

I didn't go to Kindergarten thanks to school district birth month policy. There were advantages to being a summer child, but there were some disadvantages too.

Denise C said...

Here's my contribution to the challenge!! Nice picture by the way!!

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Denise - love the photo of you as an Indian (princess no doubt!) :-)

How cute that you were issued graduaation certificates. Thanks for participating in writing your memoirs.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Paul, I'm glad you joined in and wrote even though you didn't go to Kindergarten. The fact that you didn't go IS your memory!

What a shame about losing most of your early photos. Fingers crossed that your sister has some of your childhood home.

Rochester Musings said...

I didn't have Kindergarten because there wasn't one in our country school. We usually only had 10 or 12 students. The interesting part was my sister, the oldest, had to wait a year so my brother could walk the mile to school with her. I was 3 years later and my mom spent a lot of time teaching me cursive and penmanship and spelling. By the time I got to school, I was helping my siblings with their work. I always enjoyed school, never carried books home in 12 years.

Marcy Belles said...

accepted the challenge. I'm new to blogging so here is my 2nd attempt (the first being in the 52 Ancestors challenge).

Linda Schreiber said...

Thanks, Lorine. I need this to get me going. I'm late, so off topic, but here's my first.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...


I'm glad you joined in and don't worry about being late to join. Just use the prompts that appeal to you!

Your link doesn't allow viewing of your blog post for me. This is what I see when the page laods

"Your current account does not have access to view this page. "

Did you mean to keep it private?

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Marcy - great to see you here! Love your driving story :-)

I wonder if you might provide a link back to my blog so that anyone reading your memories who wants to join in, can find the prompts?

You could link directly to Sharing Memories prompts at

I'm off to read your other Sharing memories stories!

Linda Schreiber said...

Sorry, Lorine. Learning.... Hopefully this works better.

Patti said...

Thanks so much for doing these prompts, Lorine. I am doing mine in a private journal, and I will be going back through the previous 3 years as well.

Back in the mid-1960's, kindergarten wasn't a part of the school system where I grew up. I don't think there was even a private kindergarten---at least, I didn't know anyone who went to it.

Even though I didn't go to kindergarten, though, I was in school at a fairly young age---5 1/2. The cut-off date where I lived was January 31st, and my birthday is a few days before that. So, I started first grade at the age of 5, and didn't turn 6 until the year was more than half over. I was always one of the youngest in the class.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Patti I love that you are writing a private journal! I just want to encourage genealogists to write those memories and stories down before they are lost.

Interesting about your non-Kindergarten.

Dana Leeds said...

I just started a genealogy blog & think these weekly prompts are a GREAT idea! I'll plan on starting with my kindergarten days. Thanks!

Bill said...

G'Day Lorine,
If it is not too late for me to add my 'two cents' to the mix, I start by saying my past twenty years have been totally devoted to helping others with their heritages. Now I am doing my own 'Stories'.

My earliest Kindergarten memory was building a tower from blocks and a girl coming over and knocking it down. In retaliation I pushed her. Her crying led the teacher to give me a 'wack' on my tender backside. So, when I kicked her in retaliation for her infraction I was sent to the Principal's Office. There I discovered she was 'NO friend of mine'. I was sent home to get my Mother. [Which I did. Mom was empathetic; Dad was Military stern.

And, this was only the beginning of my School experiences. :)