Thursday, April 15, 2010

M for Mummies, .... and Money

“I am King Tutankhamun”, declared the first grader. I became the Pharaoh when I was nine years old. I died unexpectedly a few days back at the age of nineteen. The priests are going to prepare my body for mummification now.”

The high priest, with his attendant priests proceeded to do just that. Amidst much giggling and elbowing, the first graders took the parents through the process of embalming and mummification.
They washed the body, took out the vital organs and preserved them in a canopic jar.
They then let the body stay for 40 days, before embalming and wrapping it, preparing it for entombing.
For someone like me, who had only a very sketchy idea about process, it was a learning experience. In fact, the entire "End of the Term Culmination Show" was.

The kids were supposed to show us tiny capsules of what they learnt during the term. Instead, they ended up teaching me more about Ancient Egypt than a lifetime of seeking knowledge has done.

I had heard the names of Ra, Isis and Anubis . But my six-year old’s class introduced me to Horus, Khepri, Osiris, Thoth and Ma’at, and even told me what each of them looked like and what they oversaw.

I consider myself a reasonably well informed person, but I am constantly learning new things from my kids. If it is Ancient Egypt his month, last month, it had been dinosaurs. After realising how ignorant I was about those extinct creatures, I had spent a few hours researching dinosaurs, just so I could keep up with my four-year old. And even after that, I was caught on the back-foot when he asked me “Mamma, what is the name of Triceratop’s bother?” Answer – “A rhinoceros”. Obvious, after you know the answer- they do have similarly placed horns!

I distinctly remember being far ahead in mathematics and language when I was in the same class as each of my kids, but I definitely did not know as much about the world as they do. And neither were my lessons brought alive to me through collaborative projects, as is being done in my sons’ school. Primary education these days seems to focus more on developing a love for learning than in actually teaching skills. While I do not deny the need for skills, I do think this is a much better way of doing things, don’t you?

And while on the subject of kids, don't even try reasoning with them- you can never beat them on logic!

This weekend, we realised that both our ATM cards had expired, and while we had been sent new ones, we hadn't initiated the process of activating them. Not having anticipated it, we hadn't drawn money from the bank, and found on Saturday night that we had just enough money to last till Monday.
"Let's go to the cafe and have a milkshake", suggested the older one.
"Yes, lets", said the younger one pulling on his crocs.
"We can, baby", I tried to reason. "Haven't you been listening to Papa and Mamma? We don't have enough money for milkshakes, and the cafe doesn't accept cards."
"No problem, get some money", said the older one.
"Where from? I am telling you, our cards don't work, so we can't get money from the ATM."
"Then just go to a money shop, and buy some money."

Can anybody have an answer to that?



A very interseting post. most enjoyable to read
much I didn't know so once again I have learnt something new,

Thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Oh, yeah...the money shop! Why didn't we think of that!? :) Aren't kids so cute? And they do know more than we do.

Mystery Writing is Murder

slommler said...

Yep!! They were right...the Money Store!! One on every corner! Then there is the tree too! And no money card on the weekend is a cardinal sin ya know?? LOL!
PS Thanks for your visit!!

Mason Canyon said...

What a simple solution - the money shop. :) I love it, kids come up with the cutest things and are so serious about it. I agree about the learning experience. If they help children develop a love of learning, it will be with them always. If they're just teaching them a lesson, I'm afraid it only stays with them a short time.

Thoughts in Progress

Jen said...

Excellent post!!! Oh my gosh I love your solution the money shop was very creative!!!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

What about the Money Tree in the back yard? You could pick some money off that! It would save you a trip to the Money Shop!

Jaydee Morgan said...

You gotta love kids - it's all so easy in their world. Interesting post - I learned something too!

Raquel Byrnes said...

That is so great with the canopic jars and the costumes. We are homeschoolers and tend to do things a lot like that. We actually acted out the Boston massacre with foil bullets and paper snowballs...creepy, but memorable.

Shannon said...

Wonderful are so wonderful and they know a lot more now than I did at that same age!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Tell 'em money costs money and you don't have any!

Marjorie said...

Wow, I wish the schools in my town were half as creative! I think my girls would be learning a lot more that way.

I see many more people thought of the "money tree" besides just me. I don't know if you are familiar with the expression "Money doesn't grow on trees" Something we US parents are constantly telling our children.

Lady Jayne said...

Mummies are awesome!

Those kids did a great job, btw. Love the canopic jars!


Lisa said...

Hee hee -- "buy some money." Your kiddos are at a wonderful age. Lots of funny things come out of their mouths, don't they? Neat that you learn so much from them. I like that way of teaching that teaches not only the children, but the parents as well.

dipali said...

Lovely! The school programme and your kids:)

Ellie said...

I love how we can learn so much from them and they learn from us. Sometimes I think it is a
re-education of what we didn't study or getting refamiliar with things we have forgotten

The kids did a great job!

Jamie Gibbs said...

Those are so cute! I really wish I had this kind of thing in my education growing up. I've been fascinated by Ancient Egypt since I was about 7 (I'm now doing a post graduate degree in Egyptology) and if I had this kind of learning experience it would have greatly enhanced my interest in the culture. Be sure to keep your kids interested in Ancient Egypt, hehe.

Slushpile Slut said...

That's so cool that the kids got to do a show on Egypt! Thx for posting those pics, you can tell they really did a good job and I loved the costumes.

Not enough hours! said...

I definitely replied, but my comment obviously got swallowed up.

@ Yvone - I knew I would be learning from the kids soon, didn't think it would be this soon

@ Elizabeth - very useful, that

@ SueAnn - never thought of the tree

@ Mason - I know they are going to forget all of this in a few weeks,but they will remember the fun of learning, wouldn't they?

@ Jen - thanks, and it was great, wasn't it?

@ Debra - never thought of that!!!

@ Jaydee - it is, isn't it? I always felt the best way to solve all the woes in the world is to put kids in charge.

@ Raquel - the Boston massacre must have been great fun for the kids. That is the only bit of American history we learnt in India- maybe because the tea came from here.

@ Shannon - oh yes, they know so much more. And the best thing about the costumes was that it was done by the kids and the teachers.

@ Diane - haven't I tried :-(

@ Marjorie - we can just about afford this school, but I wouldn't dream of moving them because of this reason.

@ Jayne - they are, aren't they? I'm starting to like them too.

@ Lisa - yes, it is nice to have something new to look forward to every term.

@ dipali - thank you

@ Ellie - in my case, it is definitely something we didn't study. And I love the way they teach it too.

@ Jamie - I'll make sure they don't lose that fascination. But with a new topic every term, how many professions can I support in one house?

@ Slushpile Slut - most welcome. They had fun, as did I- the pictures show it.


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