Nana, what was technology like when you were 7 years old?
Nana, what was technology like when you were 7 years old? This was asked by my 6, 7 and 8 year old grandchildren a few years ago when my husband and I were invited to their respective schools to enjoy morning tea.
And then they took us to their classrooms to proudly show us their current work. We were also asked to give them an idea of what our school life was like when we were their age.
This opened up all sorts of amazing ‘stuff’ for them. Naturally, they assumed that the technology had been around forever. Ours, then, was another world entirely.
One that would be foreign to our grandchildren today. I love the look of utter disbelief on their young faces when we tell them we didn’t have a TV, what, no TV, no phone, no computer, no iPod, no iPad?
Entertainment without Technology
We made our own entertainment using our imaginations with whatever props we could find. Old sheets to make a tent with sticks to support it. A steel bucket with a wooden plank produced a fantastic seesaw. To mention just a couple.
Today I have an orchestra in my bag, my Samsung mobile, which I cannot live without. I also have an iPod, a bit dated these days, but I love listening to all my favorite classics in my pocket!
Good fun without technology
Cars were a luxury, at least for most people. Apparently my father was not a good candidate to drive one. As a result, he rode a bike and loved to bike, swim and climb mountains. And he took us all with him. We also went to most of the places by train, a steam one.
My dad installed a small seat on the handlebars of his bike and another on the rear wheel, because there were so many children in our family that he could carry two at once. What fun we had.
How the hell do we live, never mind entertaining ourselves without anything technical in our lives! Yes, we had a great time.
innocence intelligence and knowledge
I love my grandchildren’s innocence, along with their intelligence all at the same time. And his confidence and knowledge of all things technical.
However, how happy we would all be if children could experience another kind of freedom. Freedom to walk to school without an adult. Play happily in the street with all the children in the neighborhood.
School in the old days
Our childhood was easy and most of us didn’t know what real stress was. So shielded were we from adult concerns, news, activities, and adult fears.
We had our own set of little fears.
There was no speaking 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 incredible motto of our days.
We got hit in the hand with a ruler. Hitting was legal in many schools around the world at the time. It was fulfilled simply by an incorrect answer to a spelling, arithmetic, or reading question. Par for the course at the moment in most schools.
cope with stress
Did I say we had no stress? It seems contradictory to me in what I have said, because of course we did. At school, but somehow, we manage to cope most of the time on our own. It is much better not to involve our parents.
Our children and grandchildren have had an easier and more enjoyable time at school. I marvel at the fun that is had especially in the Primary years. Children are heard, have freedom of expression and are not afraid to speak up for themselves. And along the way they also learn a sense of responsibility.
technology in days gone by
We grandparents, however, enjoyed our own happy days.
That was school and “tech” for me and my husband at age 7.
6 brothers and happy memories
However, this technological question brought back a flood of childhood memories.
I am one of 7 children and although we had nothing like the toys or clothes that children expect today, we had a very happy and carefree time growing up.
And although my father was an accountant and earned a good salary, he had to be shared with a family of 9. So naturally, we children also had to share toys with each other.
Since most families were pretty big in those days, we were all equal in the toy department, so we were more than happy to trade with our friends down the street.
Our clothes were always of good quality because with 4 girls and 3 boys they all had to be “revisited”, the eldest and the youngest had everything new! Good recycling practice, although no one thought of it that way at the time. But we never feel badly done.
music and entertainment
Growing up without all this wonderful technology, we had to create our own entertainment. In our house we were encouraged to take piano lessons.
Since we didn’t have a piano at first, our elderly neighbors were very happy to have my older brother (a very promising young classical pianist) practice on his piano.
Another of our neighbors was a music teacher, so those of us who liked to play took our first lessons with her. We eventually moved house and our parents bought our own piano, which was heaven.
My brother just took off and became a very talented classical musician. I think I was the next serious student, although I never reached his level. I kept playing though, loved it and still do today.
grandchildren and music
One of our 4 grandchildren took piano lessons at the school for many years. She was also very good and she loved it. But since she wasn’t going to make a career in music, she had to drop her lessons to concentrate on her schoolwork. However, it is something you can turn to at another time.
I am also very happy to say that one of our grandsons started learning to play the bagpipes when he was still very young and now, at 14, he plays beautifully in full Scottish regalia.
Music is very important and I wish it was considered more in the school curriculum. Children need it to relax more than ever in my opinion.
Next question from my grandchildren.
So, Nana, what was summer vacation like when you were 7 years old?
Oh, summer vacation.
Until next time!
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