Chapter 7 of the “CROW” series


No kindergarten for me. Nope, I was “home-schooled” or rather, “unschooled” until I was old enough for first grade. According to Mary Griffith—author of the book, The Unschooling Handbook;


Unschooling means learning what one wants, when one wants, in the way one wants, for one’s own reasons. … choice and control reside with the learner … She may find outside help in the form of parents, mentors, books, or formal lessons, but SHE is the one making the decisions about how best to proceed. Unschooling is trusting that your children are at least as clever and capable as you are yourself.


My library was the WORLD as elucidated through a rich tapestry of intriguing images accompanied by comprehensibly educative descriptions from the pages of World Book and Child Craft encyclopedias, and that massive Masonic magnum opus that was our family Bible. My classrooms were the living rooms of the two homes that served as home. My facilitators were my parents, grandparents, and a wizened cabal of kin.


My little sister, however, graduated with honors from kindergarten. Kindergarten is an interesting concept. The word kindergarten is of German origin; it literally means, garden of children. This metaphorical transliteration of the word kindergarten conjures up a comical image in my mind. With my mind’s imaginative eye, I can picture the scene from the movie Major Payne in which, the “Major” refers to his charges as his “little patch of Brussel sprouts, as he “waters” them with a garden hose.


In this little garden, my sister and her fellow “Brussel sprouts” were “watered” by their teachers with A, B, C’s and 1,2, 3’s. Once these little “sprouts” had grown and developed for a year, they were plucked from the garden of children, dressed in satiny white caps and gowns, and paraded—in full graduation regalia—across the Day-Care-Center’s stage; a splendid sight indeed.


Baby Brother didn’t attend kindergarten either, but he did start first-grade a year early. It had been imperative that he start a year early, for we’d become so accustomed to each other’s company, since those days of bottles and blankets, that he couldn’t bear to watch me go off to school without him. So, arrangements were made to get him into school as soon as possible. His constant cawing was driving the parental units nuts. As an old Czech proverb says, “Crows of a feather, flock together”.




One for sorrow,

Two for joy,

Three for a girl.

(a nursery rhyme)



  1. While I loved kindergarten, my favorite school experience was pre-k. Well, not really pre-k. It was my uncle’s garage/gas station/pool hall. I learned all kinds of things from how to play tunk to how they get the peanuts into the beer bottles! Lol! I wouldn’t change that experience for anything in the world!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been away too long from these deep resonant posts Ron. My apologies. This was a lovely imagery of ‘schooling’ in its broadest and arguably most important time. Thanks for the insight.
    In British folklore (well some bits of Britain- because there’s so much folklore here), the rhyme referred to magpies and continued as follows:
    Four for a boy
    Five for Silver
    Six for Gold
    Seven for a secret never to be told
    Eight’s a wish
    And Nine is a kiss.
    Apparently the One for Sorrow and Two for Joy is a reference to the fact that magpies (and crows) mate for life, so to see one magpie is a sign it has lost its mate and thus ill-fortune will follow
    We have magpies in our area to see One normally means that the other One is off somewhere else scavenging – or duelling with the crows!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My British friends the Magpies!😊 During my research for this series, I found several versions of the rhyme. I’ve used parts of several already. I’ll be using the one you cited, and others as well going forward.

      The variety of versions and interpretations is very interesting.

      Thanks Roger

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I agree Ron, you can really spend fascinating time wandering through variations and origins. The wonderful richness of heritages. Maybe they never be forgotten.
        Best wishes Ron

        Liked by 1 person

      2. More power to you Ron, tradition and heritage are part of the people’s spirit.
        While we’re here, send my best wishes to Gwin, always in my thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is interesting. I just read something where a philosopher describes how we don’t need education. His premise was that we all already know what we need to do; we just have to discover/uncover it.

    Also, love how your little bro HAD to go to school because you were 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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