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 I also own an iPod, a bit outdated today, yet I love listening to all my favourite classical pieces carried around in my pocket!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.
6 Siblings And Happy Memories
However, this technology question brought back a flood of childhood memories.
I am one of 7 children and while we didn’t have anything like the toys or clothes that children expect to own nowadays, we did have a very happy carefree time growing up.
And although my father was an accountant earning a good salary, it had to be shared with a family of 9. So, naturally we kids also had to share toys with each other.
As most families were pretty large in those days, we were all equal in the toy department, so we were more than happy to swap with our friends on our street.
Our clothes were always good quality because with 4 girls and 3 boys they all had to be “handed down”, the eldest and youngest getting everything new! A good recycling practice, though no one thought of it that way at the time. But we never felt hard done by.
Music And Entertainment
Growing up without all this wonderful technology, we had to make our own entertainment. In our household we were encouraged to take piano lessons.
As we didn’t own a piano in the beginning, our elderly next door neighbours were very happy for my eldest brother (a very promising young classic pianist) to practice on their piano.
Another of our neighbours was a music teacher, so those of us who liked playing took our first lessons from her. Eventually we moved house and our parents bought our very own piano which was heaven.
My brother just took off and became a most gifted classical musician. I think I was the next serious pupil, though I never achieved his level. Nevertheless, I played on, loved it, and still do today.
Grandchildren And Music
One of our 4 grandchildren took piano lessons at school for many years. She was also very good and loved it. But because she was not going to make a career in music she had to give up her lessons to concentrate on her school work. However, it’s something she can fall back on at another time.
I’m also very happy to say that one of our grandsons started learning to play the bagpipes while still very young and now at 14 years old he plays beautifully with all the Scottish regalia.
Music is so important and I wish it was considered more in the school curriculum. Children need it for relaxation more than ever in my opinion.
Next question from my grandchildren.
So, Nana what were summer holidays like when you were 7?
Ah, summer holidays.
Till next time!