Dash couldn’t sleep last night, so he requested a notebook and a pencil and wrote a book. As you do. Then he fell asleep for a few minutes and dreamed that theives came in and stole his pages, and woke up in a fright. I had to lie down with him for aaages to get him back to sleep, and by then it was my bedtime and the 3:10 to Yuma is going to have to wait for another day. (Which is okay with me. It’s one of those “We should probably see it” films. Is it any good, really? Have you watched it?)

Anyway, this is his book, all three pages plus cover:

Cover page
 Ten is a Grat Nomber by [redacted]
First page
 My favorite nomber is 10. 10 is a good nomb[er] becus it is the first 2 nomberd nomber.
Second page
Nombers are grate but i’d say 10 is better out of them all. 1 to 100 is not all.
Third page
Nombers go on forever, but I stil think 10 is better.

I can’t wait for the next thrilling instalment. I think he displays a grasp of the concept of infinity and a general liking for digits that I find admirable, though I’m not sure why he says “better” all the time instead of “best.” I also note that his literary inclination is not towards fiction.

I told him how to spell “favorite” (the American way, to my chagrin) and to put another t in better, but the rest (as you can tell) is all his own work. He has the vaguest of understandings that I used to have a job in the outside world and of what it was, so he asked me, “And tomorrow, will you do that thing you used to do, in the library or wherever it was…?” He meant would I edit it. I said I would.


Some time after Christmas, homework stopped being the royal pain in the ass it had been. Mostly because I stopped caring so much, and therefore stopped bugging him to do it when I thought he should be doing it. He does his homework every night, usually not until Mabel has been taken upstairs to bed and is therefore no longer a distraction. It doesn’t take long. Then we go through his spelling words either orally or by typing them into and letting him take a test on the computer, which is a great attraction. And he does his twenty minutes’ reading with us at bedtime, before or after stories.

It’s all very low pressure and I’m fine with that. I can see that his writing has got neater, his punctuation is pretty good, and some weeks he gets 100 percent in his spelling test. His reading level has leapt from a 12 (on the DRA scale) at the beginning of the year to a 24 this month. (Which sounded spectacular to me until I heard that some other kid went from 12 to 40. What an overacheiver. Sheesh.) But things are moving in the right direction and nobody is stressed out, and that makes me happy.

So all in all, first grade turns out to have been just fine.

5 thoughts on “Decimal

  1. Jennifer Thorson

    When he’s perfected the personal jet pack, any remaining spelling issues will be considered proof of his quirky charm.

    Were the first graders discussing their scores, or did the information about the overachiever come from some other source?


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