Edmonton Journal

Resolution­s, Grade 1 style.

Adults get the New Year tradition; kids interpret it, well, differentl­y

- Jodie Sinnema edmontonjo­urnal. com

Setting New Year’s resolution­s isn’t easy for most of us, let alone the Grade 1 students in Mrs. Bahry’s class at St. Angela Catholic School.

“They have a hard time understand­ing time,” Jan Bahry said of the 27 fiveand six-year-olds in her class. “They’re ‘me’ people. They only worry about today.”

All good, since they’re little kids.

Not that life has been easy for them all. English is a second language for more than half the class. One boy came from a refugee camp in Beirut, where his mother died. Another recently came from the Philippine­s.

Yet Bahry wants to stretch their minds to think beyond themselves.

“It’s important that they realize they have a goal, something to work toward,” said Bahry, whose New Year’s goal is to learn how to bake a pie. An edible pie. A pie that isn’t burnt black.

“It’s a hard concept: what is a goal. They equate goals with hockey.”

Plus, the students simply think they will learn to read, to spell their last names, to ride their bikes without training wheels, to learn to swim. Those aren’t goals; they’re a future reality that will simply happen.

And “resolution” is a big, four-syllable word.

How can squirts in Grade 1 contemplat­e losing 40 pounds in the New Year when they basically weigh that themselves?

How can they quit smoking when they haven’t even started, or learn how to drive when they’re not teens with ’tude?

“A resolution is a promise you make to yourself to be better or to help others,” Bear tells Squirrel in the children’s book Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution.

“Do something for the whole year and keep on trying,” said David Omisore, six.

“(It’s) when you do something nice for another person,” said fellow six-yearold, Aron Ghirmu.

Both David and Aron aim to ride their bikes better in 2015.

Right now, “I put my feet on the floor and ride it,” Aron said. “I put one foot on the pedal and use the other foot to move the bike.”

David will “try to do tricks, try to ride without holding the bar.”

He also has a goal for his parents.

“I would like them to have a day off,” David said.

And Aron? He isn’t good at being goofy or making funny New Year’s resolution­s. (“They don’t equate funny with big people,” explains the teacher.)

So Aron’s New Year’s resolution is surely NOT to remember to put on clean underwear every day, nor to do a little bum-wiggling dance every second Thursday. And he doesn’t have a goal of seeing how many marshmallo­ws he can shove up one nostril. Funny is not needed.

Julian Ly has a very specific goal: advance from a yellow belt to orange belt in kung fu.

“You have to practise a lot,” Julian said. “You have to protect yourself if people hurt you (with) a kick, a hit with a hand and you head smash and you kick and you trip them.”

Enzo Salvador is also dead set on his goal: Get points on Roblox. Huh? “I play every Friday and Sunday and Saturday,” said Enzo of the computer game he plays on his dad’s laptop. “It’s better than Minecraft.”

Six-year-old Tristan Tran plans to save up more money to buy computer games. He earns cash by cleaning the dishes, turning off the tap water and dusting up the small hairballs left by his two sisters, one with long hair, the other with a ponytail. Tristan admits some of the hairballs in the basement might also be his. Then there is his uncle or aunt, mom or dad, grandma or grandpa, since they all live together. That’s a lot of potential hairballis­hness and cleaning coinage.

Komal Sehdeu’s resolution is to learn to fish in a river with her father, as she first tried when she was two years old.

“I catched with my dad a fish and he learned me how to catch a fish and then I know how to catch a fish,” Komal, six, said. “Then we go home and then we eat them.” Sounds great, Komal. May 2015 be filled with tasty fish, lots of games, bike rides, time with family. And for friends? Tristan has a great resolution.

“Give them a high five.” jsinnema@ edmontonjo­urnal.com twitter.com/jodiesinne­ma Watch Grade 1 students talk about New Year’s resolution­s at edmontonjo­urnal.com/ life

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 ?? ED KAISER/ EDMONTON JOURNAL ?? Grade 1 students at St. Angela Catholic School — five- and six-year-olds — shared their thoughts on New Year’s resolution­s: Julian Ly, left, David Omisore, back row in grey, Enzo Salvador, striped shirt, Komal Sehdeu, wearing ponytails, Tristan Tran,...
ED KAISER/ EDMONTON JOURNAL Grade 1 students at St. Angela Catholic School — five- and six-year-olds — shared their thoughts on New Year’s resolution­s: Julian Ly, left, David Omisore, back row in grey, Enzo Salvador, striped shirt, Komal Sehdeu, wearing ponytails, Tristan Tran,...

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