Nana what was technology like when you were 7?
Nana, what was technology like when you were 7? So asked my 6,7 and 8 year old grandchildren some recent years ago when my husband and I were invited to their respective schools to enjoy morning tea.
And afterwards they took us to their classrooms to proudly show off their current work. We were also asked to give them a little insight into what our school lives were like when we were their ages.
This opened up all sorts of amazing “stuff” for them. Naturally they assumed that technology had been around forever. Ours, then was another world entirely.
One that would be alien to our grandchildren nowadays. I love the look of total incredulity on their young faces when we tell them that we had no TV, what, no TV, no phone, no computer, no iPod, no iPad?
Entertainment without Technology
We made our very own entertainment using our imaginations with whatever props we could find. Old sheets to make a tent with sticks to hold it up. A steel bucket with a plank of wood produced a terrific see-saw. To mention just a couple.
Nowadays I have an orchestra in my handbag, my Samsung Mobile phone, that I can’t live without. I also own an iPod, a bit outdated today, yet I love listening to all my favourite classical pieces carried around in my pocket!
Good Fun Without Technology
Cars were a luxury, for most people anyway. Apparently, my father was not a good candidate to drive one. As a result, he rode a bike and loved cycling, swimming, hiking up the mountains. And he took us all with him. We also went most places by train, a steam one.
My Dad fitted a little seat to the handlebars of his bike and another over the back wheel, because there were so many children in our family, he could carry two of us at a time. What fun we had.
How on earth did we live, never mind entertain ourselves without anything technical in our lives! We had a whopping good time though.
Innocence Intelligence And Knowledge
I love the innocence of my grandchildren, together with their intelligence all at the same time. And their confidence and knowledge of all things technical.
How happy we’d all be however, if children could experience another kind of freedom. Freedom to walk to school without an adult. Play happily on the street with all the kids in the neighbourhood.
School in Olden Days
Our childhoods were easy and most of us were unaware of what real stress was. So protected were we from grown-up worries, adult news, activities and fears.
We did have our own set of small fears.
There was no speaking up for yourself. As a result, we had to be quiet at all times and only speak when spoken to and then only to answer questions. Children should be seen but not heard, was the unbelievable motto of our day.
We got a smack on the hand with a ruler. Smacking was lawful in a lot of schools throughout the world at this time. It was meted out simply for an incorrect answer to a spelling, arithmetic or reading question. Par for the course at the time in most schools.
Coping With Stress
Did I say we had no stress? I seem to be contradictory in what I have said, because of course we did. At school, but somehow, we managed to cope most of the time on our own. Much better not to bring our parents into it.
Our children and grandchildren have had an easier and more enjoyable time at school. I marvel at the fun to be had especially in Primary years. Kids are listened to, have freedom of speech, and are not afraid to speak up for themselves. And along the way they also learn a sense of responsibility.
Technology In Bygone Days
We grandparents however, enjoyed our own happy days.
That was school, and “technology” for me and my husband at 7.