Back in the good old days if one could learn to read, write and do their Arithmetic it was assumed that they were prepared for life. Of course that is going back many years ago. With today's technology of electronic reading books, state of the art calculators and high powered computers there is not much left for the imagination, or the manual development of these skills.
As parents though, without the risk of sounding or acting like we are old fashioned, we can encourage the children to manually apply these much needed skills. One may ask why bother when we have all this modern technology at our fingertips. Perhaps the answer to this would be is to look at some of the downsides of all this modern technology.
- If the internet is down the kids can't do their homework.
- If the batteries die in their electronic readers they can't read their books.
- If the television isn't working then a major meltdown occurs because the video games can't be played.
We could go on with the "what if's"…but having a good alternative to any emergency is a good thing. This means having the good old manual skills in place just in case, so if a "what if" situation occurs in life it is not so devastating.
Being able to write a book report with pen and paper is not so bad. Adding and subtracting a few math questions is not a big deal either. At least being able to count your change when making a purchase without the need of a calculator is beneficial isn't it? Or hey how about reading a book by turning the pages manually as this would afford a little exercise wouldn't it?
Now it may be hard to believe but I am really not against technology, it certainly is a good thing, but I am also a pro advocate of being able to do some things the old way. So I decided to figure out a way to get my eight year old to pick up a pencil and do some good old fashioned writing. Here are a few ideas that I came up with and they really worked.
- We had to do some grocery shopping so I had her sit at the kitchen table and print out the grocery list in a legible manner so we wouldn't miss anything. My excuse for not doing this on the computer was that I had to be in the kitchen to do an inventory of what foods we needed. She felt very helpful and did an excellent job at preparing the list. This has now become a weekly event for us.
- Her birthday was coming up and for some reason the printer wasn't working for the computer (hmm), so if she wanted to let us know what choices we had for gifts then she would have to write the list the old fashioned way. The penmanship was perfect because she wanted to make sure we understood everything that she was wanting.
As time progressed we came up with some other nifty ways to get her to practice her writing skills. Now this has worked so well I am designing ways to brush up on the reading and math skills the good old way as well.