Friday, September 8, 2023

F ³: What Are They Learning in School These Days?


What Norman Knows, by Julia A McCready

(This story is dedicated to the real Norman and his family. I hope someday it will be a published picture book.)

On Monday Dad picked up Norman from school.

“What did you learn in school today?” asked Dad.

“Nothing,” said Norman.

On Tuesday Mom was driving Norman and Leah to the library.

What did you learn in school today?” asked Mom.

“Nothing,” said Norman.

On Wednesday Grandma was sitting at the kitchen table helping Leah with her homework.

Norman was doing a puzzle.

“What did you learn in school today?” asked Grandma.

“Nothing,” said Norman.

On Thursday Dad was tucking Norman into bed.

“What did you learn in school today?” asked Dad.

“Nothing,” said Norman.

“Now wait a minute,” said Dad. You go to school every day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. You stay all day. And you mean to tell me you don’t do anything?”

Norman looked at Dad. 

“What did I learn? Or what did I do?” asked Norman.

Dad thought for a minute.

“Okay. What did you do?” he asked.

“Well, Mrs. Evans read a book about an ant going for a walk. The ant had red sneakers! Then we had center time and there was a cool play mat with all of the places the ant went in the story and I got to play with the bugs on it. It was like a map.”

“Next I went in the blocks and me and John built an apartment house for all the bugs but we had to figure out how many rooms we needed and how big they were. The grasshopper was biggest.”

“Oh, this was the best—we had a snack center and we made Ants on a Log and I got to eat them!”

“After we cleaned up we sang the Ants go Marching but I wouldn’t suck my thumb. That’s baby stuff, right? But Ms. Jackson sucked her thumb. We laughed.”

Dad’s face looked surprised. He was quiet for a long time. Then, he said,

“Thank you, Norman. That was great.”

And he kissed him goodnight.

On Friday Norman had the day off from school. When Dad came home, Norman asked,

“What did you learn at work today, Dad?”

“Nothing,” said Dad.

“Come on, Dad! You were gone all day. You must have done something!”

Dad grinned. 

“What did I learn or what did I do?” 

(Illustrations show them laughing, maybe tickling, wrestling or some positive physical interaction.)

- - The end

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