Cooper the Grader

We are easing back into our fall schedule around here; school finally started yesterday. I think September 14th has to be a nationwide record for the latest start to a school year, ever, and yet I was still not ready for it to begin. We were all a little bleary eyed around here yesterday morning, and getting all of us out the door, dressed and fed and teeth brushed, by eight a.m., seemed insurmountable after a couple of months off from the grind.

But we’re back! And despite the kids’ protest, they are happy about it. Well at least Cooper is. Fergus, as you can see, has more of a resigned outlook.

Cooper is particularly excited this year because he is now “a grader,” as he likes to put it, as in a first grader, which in his school is a very big deal. No more snack time, no more nap mats. It’s uniforms and desks and HOMEWORK, heaven help me. Last night’s took half an hour, plus we had to read a book so he could mark it on his reading log, and I don’t think I am ready for the next seventeen years since I considered last night’s work to be already somewhat excessively taxing.

But it was also incredibly informative, and so I’m going to pass the blog baton over to Cooper at this point so he can tell you a little bit more about himself.

He loves to plae, and he hates babby toys, like rattles and teething rings. I very much enjoy his Chaucerian spelling. This is the new way for children to learn to write, called “invented spelling,” and it is absolutely adorable, but I am not sure, as a parent, how to navigate it.

“How do you spell ‘baby’?” Cooper asks, pencil poised. “Sound it out,” I say. “B…A…B, B…Y?” he asks, and I think I’m not supposed to say no, so I do not, but this feels duplicitous. Should I tell him the correct spelling? Pretend i haven’t heard him? Leave the room entirely? I keep asking this question at parent/teacher conferences, and have never really gotten a straight answer. Just another thing to keep a mom uncertain and on her toes, I suppose. Happy New School Year!