'committee'?" the youngest child-next-door asked me yesterday. He was standing outside waiting for his mother and brother and - shock and horror - he didn't have a screen in front of him.
He had no idea where to start.
I went through the word in my best "teacher" manner. I noted he had difficulty actually physically writing it down. Handwriting is not actually taught at his school. Keyboard skills aren't taught either. "They just learn to do it", his mother told me.
It seems they "just learn to spell" too.
This child has views on a range of things I knew nothing about when I was his age - or rather I knew about them in a different sort of way.
He knows about the "environment" and "global warming". I knew about nature and taking care of it.
He knows about "politics" and has met his local member of parliament when there was a visit to school. ("He asked me what I liked best and I told him soccer and he said he liked football.") I knew about the way we are governed. Our local MP didn't visit the school but he would sit in our kitchen, drink tea and talk to the Senior Cat about education policies.
Youngest-child-next-door knows about "same sex marriage". I did actually know about same sex relationships. They were illegal when I was a kitten but there were two men who lived in the house next door to us in the city and my mother wouldn't even speak to them beyond a socially polite acknowledgment. She told us not to be rude but not to talk to them unless they said hello. Childlike we ignored her because they seemed very kind to us. Certainly one of them was good at putting wheels back on "billy carts" and showing us how other things got fixed. My paternal grandfather, a devout Presbyterian, employed the other one in his tailoring business.
I thought of these things as I watched this child struggling to write the word "committee".
In the end he had written, "We had a comittee meeting and desided that we will do 3 things."
It seems they had a discussion in the class room about some forthcoming activities and whether they would do three or four of those activities.
We just did as we were told - and I think we might have done more.