Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homework and Noni

One of P's homework assignments this week was to ask a parent or grandparent about their childhood and see if it was similar or different to hers.  Since my mom, Noni, was just here last week I thought a conversation with her would be more entertaining. We called Noni this evening to find out about her childhood. The conversation went like this:

P: Noni what was your childhood like?
N: Well, it was hard. We had a revolution when I was your age.

P stares blankly into space and I can tell her attention has left after one question. 

Me: P ask Noni if she had a TV (thinking she'd say a small one)
P: Did you have a TV?
N: No.
P: Did you have a phone?
N: Just one for the whole house.
P: What?! What about the cell phone?
N: No. Just one phone for the whole house. No cell phones. They didn't exist. 
P: Did you have a car?
N: No. 
P: What?! So were you poor?
Silence from my mom who is not getting why she'd ask that.  
Me: P, Noni didn't have those things because they didn't exist or because they just came out. Kind of like ipads did not exist when you were born. It's not so much a sign of having money or not. It's that they simply didn't exist.

P: OH! So, did you have a toilet?
N: (she doesn't quite understand what P is asking so there's a silence but she finally answers) Yes!
P: Phew! That was close! I thought you were going to say no!
N: But we just had one.
P: For the entire house?! Wow! We have two. 
P: Did you have a bed?
N: Yes, we all had beds. 
P: Phew!  That's good. That would be tough to not have a bed. 

P: Did you have shoes?
N: Yes but only two or three pairs. 
P: That's it? Why so little?
N: We didn't need more. 
Me: You have more shoes for yourself than Noni's entire house had for all of them. 

N: You know when I was a child we had milk delivered to our door every day. 
P: Did you have Whole Foods?
N: No. We had farmers markets.
P: I've been to one of those!
N: Yes, and we got our bread, meat, beans in different places. There was a store for each of those things, called a bakery and butcher and mill store. 
P: That's a lot of shopping. 

P: Did you have toys?
N: Yes! We had dolls. That was it though. Just dolls. 
P: Why didn't you play with the boy toys then?
N: Because they just had cars. 
P: I like cars. Why didn't you play with cars?
N: Because back in my day girls were not allowed to play with boy's toys.
P: That's terrible! I'd play with the boys toys. 
N: We also had marbles. 
P: Did you have a marble run?
N: What's that?
Me: A track for marbles you build yourself. 
N: No. Just marbles and only a couple. Only the very wealthy kids had more than one or two. 
P: Wow!  

It was such an interesting conversation. I can't believe how much things have changed in the time between my mom and my daughter. I know TV was invented relatively not that long ago but I forgot that my mom, just one generation back, lived during a time before TV.  How different the attitudes of what girls can and can't do from my mom to P. It was such a great homework assignment and something I never would have thought to have P ask my mom! I'm glad I was there to hear it and now am documenting it on this blog...something that wasn't around when I was a kid!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Rug, Some Numbers and Some Learning

I recently discovered that Annika is a kinesthetic learner. I always thought she was a visual learner but it turns out she is more of a  kinesthetic and an audio learner.  Luckily, not too long ago we did a hopscotch runner out of Flor tiles. I chose to do the numbers in felt instead of painting them on.  I had a feeling that it would be helpful for the kids to learn numbers if they actually got to hold them, feel them, trace them and jump on them!

Thank God I went with that choice because it has been a lot of fun playing with the numbers and hopscotch. I'm not having to drill her or do a workbook of any kind. All we do is play and she is pretty quickly learning the numbers by sight. She can count and gets simple adding but she hasn't quite gotten that this: 4 is a four.

Hopscotch isn't as useful right now. Instead what we do is we take turns calling out a number and the other person has to jump on it.  When I call them out I only call what she knows and gradually add one more when I think she's gotten the groove of the first ones. So I'll call out 1-2-2-3-4-1-3 and she is jumping on each square. Then I add 5. So I go 5-3-1-5 etc. This suits her learning style perfectly.  I could not have worked out much better than this!