I remember a game we played in grade school. It was called “Around the World”. One student would stand next to another student’s desk and the teacher would give a math problem using flash cards. Simple multiplications. Addition. Subtraction. Whoever answered first between the student at the desk, and the standing student, proceeded on to the next desk. If the standing student lost, that student sat at the new traveler’s now vacant seat. It was fun. I still remember doing this in second grade with Miss May. I remember it all through grade school. The skills progressing with each grade. I loved that game. It put a little bit of pressure on us. Made us think fast. Made us want to remember our math skills.
And we learned our multiplications, and many other things, by rote. Repeating over and over again. Writing our multiplication tables over and over again. We used this method for more than just math, and it seemed to work well. There are just some things you do not need to fancy up. Nor do we need to make them easy. If we did it and said it often enough it became a part of our brains wiring.
To this day if I have a simple math problem presented to me I go in to automatic “do it quick to win” mode.
I think of this because Husband is telling me about his work with the youth of today. Youth who can not tell time using a clock with minute and hour hands as opposed to a digital display. And students who can not do math without a calculator.
I just think back to all of the brilliance that came from one room school houses. Without electric. Without calculators. I think of the progress our world has seen. All thought up and created by people who did not have the technological advances we have. You know, back when we had to use our brains to think for ourselves.
We are teaching our children how to not think for themselves. We, and I am guilty, let the computer figure out things we use to have to figure out for ourselves.
I’ve always wondered what exactly we are progressing to.
We might be progressing to brainless twits.
I don’t want to be a brainless twit.
I’m going to go get the flashcards and gather up the kids. The oldest is four. I might stand a chance at still winning. Wish me luck.
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