Pros: Entertaining, fun, educational, enlightening
In the midst of all the recent terror and tragedy that our nation has undergone, it is quite refreshing to flip on HBO Family for some lighthearted, innocent fun. And what could be more innocent, or lighthearted, than a classful of kindergarteners?
"Kindergarten" follows a group of students through an entire school year - and oh, what adventures they have! From watching caterpillars turn to butterflies to a visit from the firemen to going on a hunt for a "runaway" gingerbread man, the kids in Miss Johnson's class learn and grow as only kindergarteners can.
The kids are a delightfully multicultural mix, and anyone who has ever taught kindergarten, or attended kindergarten, will recognize certain types - the mischief-maker, the tattletale, the know-it-all. These very real kids and their creative, dynamic teacher spend each day exploring life and all its possibilities, which is really what kindergarten is all about.
There are "bumps" along the way, such as a conflict over a red crayon and the death of a caterpillar. These are resolved with understanding and tenderness by Miss Johnson. Miss Johnson is firm, but kind and fair.I wish she had been MY kindergarten teacher! There are many touching moments where we see the children helping and consoling one another, trying to find ways to get along,sharing jokes and secrets. There is commentary by the kids themselves, and we are given a peek into the world of the very young.
There is one little boy who commands our attention by his unruly behavior; we are given much insight into how such problems are dealt with in kindergarten, from time-out to the BIG time - a Note, or a trip to the principal. Miss Johnson is fun-loving, but she's no pushover!
"Kindergarten" details lots and lots of fun activities, but underneath there is much learning taking place. The giggles, smiles, frowns and tears are sure to evoke memories in all of us. I have been refreshed by watching these children the last two weeks. The sound of their laughter is the sound of hope.