Caroline is an official first grader, since the first of September. She's very proud of her new role, and is enjoying all the trappings of being a prvňáčka, from the art suitcase (seriously loaded down with art supplies, I look forward to seeing the results) to the special backpack shaped like a briefcase, which every prvňáčka, or first grader, proudly sports.
C's first day of first grade was more ceremony than study. Her Czech family, our babysitters, arrived early that day, and we all walked together to her new school. It felt like a festival day, with groups of families and new students calling out to each other as they passed on the sidewalk, heading to their classes. Once arrived, C found a spot near her friends, oohed and ahhed over her new books, and tried to pay attention to her teacher in the midst of a frenzy of picture snapping and occasional sob (mostly from the parents, the children were quite brave!). The kids took turns introducing themselves, the teacher read her opening remarks, and an hour later school was over for the day.
Each day for the rest of the week C's school added another hour to the first graders' schedule, working up to four hours a day. Caroline told us that mostly they were learning to behave, but that they'd also learned to talk Martian - spelling out words just the same way any self respecting Martian might demand to be taken to 'your lea-der". The first word they spelled was, predictably, Mama. The second? Praha.
If I'm not working or hanging out with our 10 year old while a bouncy 5 year old dances around us, there's a good chance I'll be hammering away on our piano, reading a book or trying to sketch. I live in Prague, Czech Republic and hail from the U.S. South.