Getting ready for Big School is for the birds

Posted on July 25, 2011

Mr4 came home from preschool with one thing on his mind. “We need to be bird spies this afternoon, Mum,” he said. “I’ll get the binoculars.”

Given that last weekend he was trying to ‘shoot’ all the birds in the neighbourhood with a stick, there’d obviously been an epiphany.

Binoculars in hand, we went to sit on the front steps to await our feathered visitors. And we waited. And waited. “Why aren’t there any birds today, Mum?” he asked.

Let’s see. In the 15 minutes that we were on the steps, he’d recounted a story about The Kings, his friends from preschool, in his (very loud) Outside voice. Sung me a new song that he’d made up about birds. Jumped down onto the paving to show me how ‘jumpy’ his new gumboots were. Waved the binoculars around to show our neighbour across the street.

You get the picture…

“The birds won’t come unless we’re very very quiet and don’t move,” I whispered.

“Oh,” he said, dropping back down to sit next to me. A heartbeat of silence.

“Mum, how do birds fly? What do they eat?”

Hmmm. “Why don’t you put those questions on the Wondering Wall at preschool? You can ask K, your teacher.”

“Good idea.” Pause. “Mum, I really like K. She teaches us really good things.”

Like what?

“Like stuff we need to know to go to high school next year.”

Oh, big school stuff. Like what?

“Like how to sit really quietly on the mat and listen and be patient.”

Good to see those lessons are sinking in.



  1. supermac

    Oh, I also love the idea of a Wonder Wall. Maybe I should have one at home and at work! xx

  2. therhythmmethod

    Funny Mr 4. You’ve got to love his enthusiasm, even if it loses its way in the execution.
    Visiting from rewind. 🙂

  3. asampler

    I love this age, so full of wonder and chit-chat and such busy little adventurers.
    It reminds me of what I have to keep telling my 4yo about the cat – sit quietly, stroke her gently & she’ll be your friend. It’s impossible!
    Lovely post.
    Visiting from the Rewind.

  4. Sarah

    I love the idea of a Wondering Wall. And Mr Small has asked for a telescope for his birthday so we can look at the stars together. Somehow I suspect it will be a time for conversations that go more like the ones you have with Mr 4. Magic.

  5. Kelly Exeter

    I am late to this post but … A Wondering Wall … that is AWESOME!!
    As is sitting on the front step waiting for birds. Very inspiring Al :o)

  6. Jo

    Perfect end to my night. You cracked me up! Great post, and I think Mr little-bird might like the how-to-be-a bird-watcher page coming up in BIG! lol. Thanks.

  7. River

    “sit quietly and listen”. Made me laugh that did.

  8. Jodi @ The Scribble Den

    How cute. And how nice to have these special moments to lock in the memory bank.

  9. therhythmmethod

    I’m with Todd, although it sounds like a convenient way for the teacher to dodge hard questions: “Talk to the wall kids!”
    Sure to bring out a feeling of outer peace, and inner puzzlement.

  10. Seana Smith

    Sweet boy! I think he’d get along with my Master5, he loves to tell tall tales. He was just recounting how he’d woken up so early and made himself a Milo and taken it to bed where he shared it with all his cuddles whilst reading his book all by himself in the new pyjamas that Dad had bought him, and he had a dream about…. Can see a future writer in the making here.

  11. FlyFshrGrl

    What a cute story. Mr. 4 has a great personality! You and your boys might like the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website and/or facebook page.

  12. todd carr

    I like that there is a Wondering Wall to turn to, I think we all should have access to this wall.

  13. InkPaperPen

    Too cute.

    I was thinking along the same lines as Lucy. You sat and waited for the birds with him. A lovely moment. Even with all the gum boot jumping.

  14. Diminishing Lucy


    And you have the time and inclination to watch for birds with him – you are a kinder Mummy than me, I suspect Al.

    He will be so ready for the big school when the time comes.



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