About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kindergarten Readiness

   A few years ago I wrote an essay called “Five Things I Wish Every Parent Knew Before Sending Their Child to Kindergarten.”  I was inspired by the five years I had spent teaching four and five year olds.

   This week my son began kindergarten, and I thought I should examine my own list, make sure I had been doing my job as a parent and that my son was ready for kindergarten.  After all, there’s a lot more to kindergarten readiness than identifying one’s own name, knowing colors and shapes, and recognizing letters and numbers.  

  1. Basic skills are a necessity:  crayons color paper, scissors cut only paper.  Ryan knows how to cut paper, but I admit that he’s not the biggest fan of coloring.  He’d rather read.
  2. Kindergarten kids need to wear clothes they can manipulate.  Ryan wears pants with elastic waists, so there’s no fussing with zippers, snaps, or buttons.  His shoes are Velcro which means he is self-sufficient at school.
  3. Kindergartners need to be responsible for basic hygiene:  washing hands before eating and after restroom visits, drying hands on paper towels.  Ryan is independent and knows he needs to do his part to stay healthy and strong.
  4. Waiting in line is a fact of life:  At school, there will be lines for the water fountain, for the restroom, for getting a sticker from the teacher.  From our visits to the market, the pharmacy, and Coffee Bean, Ryan understands that turns must be taken and sometimes lines move faster than others.
  5. No means no:  Ryan is like every child I have ever taught.  He will sometimes repeat his request, hoping that my answer will change from a “no” to a “yes.”  It didn’t work for my students and it doesn’t work for my son.

   On top of all that, Ryan knows our address, his full name, and has been reading since before his fourth birthday!  As a former teacher, I know I’ve done my best at getting him ready for the year ahead.  But, as a parent, I still hold my breath a bit each day as I send Ryan off on this new adventure.

By the way, the essay that inspired this blog was published in an anthology titled Beyond the Diaper Bag in 2011.  All of the authors’ proceeds were donated to a charity called “The Mommies Network.”  The book is available on Amazon; here’s the link:


  1. Everything you wrote is so true.Every parent should read this.You have certainly done a great job in preparing Ryan for Kindergarten.He is one special little boy and he is so lucky to have you for his mommy.I so hope he gets teachers like you.You were a fantastic teacher and if not for your medical condition you would still be teaching.I love you and I am so proud of you.I love that you are being published so often.

  2. You have done a great job preparing Ryan for Kindergarten and Life. I know that Ryan's teacher will be please with his efforts. I am proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  3. Honey,
    Ryan is loving school and you have been the driving force behind this! He is a lucky boy to have such a wonderful mother like you.