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My school day vs my kids school day.


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#1 hulkster

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:39 AM

The following is a typical day from when i was a kid (in the early 70's) and my kids typical day nowdays. Obviously days differ but these are close to normal days for us. My morning would start with my wind-up alarm clock reminding me it was 6:30 am and a school day. Dragging my backside out of bed Id make my way to the Loo, wash my hands and head off to the breakfast table. We would all sit around the table, my 3 sisters, brother, Mum and Dad. Mum will have dished up cereal, toast, or occasionally poached eggs. Breakfast would be eaten and the conversation at the table would be about the upcoming day, what we were going to do at school and what we were planning for our daylight hours once we returned home. After Breakfast we would put on our school uniforms, polish our shoes with black nugget and put on our hats and ties. Packing of lunches was always a mum thing. It was like a lucky dip when opened at lunch time. Sometimes yummy curried egg sandwiches or maybe soggy honey soaked bread. All depended on the contents of the pantry. Once we were inspected by mum and all deemed respectable it was off to the bus stop which was a 10 minute walk up the road then our 10 minute wait for the bus to arrive. Most times the seats were full so we would stand up, hanging onto the straps dangling from the roof of the bus. Sometimes after a sudden stop or a swerve to miss another vehicle we would find ourselves piled up on the floor of the bus, all laughing our heads off. On arrival in the bus zone outside school it was a mad crush out the single door with all escapees running madly to their lockers to throw our bags in and off to the oval for a 10 minute play before school started. Once the siren sounded a slow moving swarm of dirty kneed kids would make their way to class only to be greeted by a scruffy balding man with a fair sized chip on his shoulder that no one could ever pinpoint as to what it was about. First thing would be to hand in our homework. Many a time if homework wasnt done a slap on the knuckles with the ruler would be the punishment. And a balding middle aged man with a chip on his shoulder most likely about the kids he was teaching does swing a mean ruler. Or maybe detention was in order. Most likely it meant Lunchtime picking up papers. It all depended on how he was feeling. After the first to classes of the day (English and Music) we would have recess. Recess would start with a bottle of milk that had been left outside in the crates by the milkman hours earlier. In summertime this proved a small problem with overheating milk. Sometimes if you were quick you might score a chocolate or strawberry flavoured bottle of milk but these were few and far between. Once the milk consumption was completed it was off to the oval and out with the marbles.Catseyes,tombowlers,and numerous others I have forgotten the names of, were things of beauty. Wed spend the whole of recess after our mates best marble. Maybe try and swap him for a weird looking Catseye wed scored in the last mix bag bought with our hard earned pocket money. Then that dreaded siren again. Back into class for Social Science and German. Watching the clock on the wall waiting for the lunchtime siren was something I did a lot. The time between recess and lunch was the longest part of the day for me. While I didnt mind science and cutting up frogs, Social Science I hated. Not sure why but not something I enjoyed one little bit. Lunchtime, on the other hand, was something I did enjoy. This normally meant either off to the monkey bars to try and get a glimpse of the girls undies while they were spinning on the parallel bars or back down to the oval, footy or cricket gear in hand, unless, of course, it was Yo-Yo season. Then youd find 200 kids with coca Cola Yo-Yos trying the latest and greatest tricks. Walk the dog, around the world, the doggie bite, even the rocket ship (which I should add was responsible for the death of many a brand new Yo-Yo. One thing that was obvious though was that a 45 lunch break meant hot, sweaty and smelly kids about to spend the afternoon cramped in classrooms with no air-conditioning and hyped up prepubescents. The afternoon normally went quite quickly, maybe a PE class followed by Art where we might get to build a clay pot or paint a picture for Mum to throw out. After School there was usually time to go watch a fight behind the shelter shed before getting back on the bus, paying our 7 cents for the ticket and if lucky score a seat for the trip home. Quite often some of the kids would light up a smoke and pass it around the bus, until the driver smelt the smoke, pulled over and threw off the bus those responsible (if they owned up). Once in a blue moon the driver would turn the bus around and head back to school and dump us off refusing to take us home. On the days we made it home the first thing we did was unpack the school bag. Then it was chore time. Normally quiet a few. Mine included collecting the eggs, sometimes 80 a day (we had 105 chooks), emptying the rubbish bins, clean up after the dog. Once we were done with the chores we could go out and play. Usually wed place a wooden apple crate out on the road as wickets and wed have a cricket game, maybe football, depending on the time of year. On dark wed hear Mum or Dad yell out that it was Tea time. Another time where we all sat around the table, ate a cooked meal and talked about our day. We were not allowed to leave until all our food was gone from our plates. Even those horrible vegetables we all hated. After tea wed wash up for Mum, feed the dog then settle in to our homework. Normally wed be there for an hour a night. Usually on the kitchen table, books everywhere, dictionaries, atlas, and world books, anything we could use to help us in our project/homework. Once homework was done wed catch about an hour of TV, depending what was on, then off to bed by 8:30, ready for another day tomorrow. A day in the lives of my kids. Wake up at 6:30 by the alarm on their phones, followed 5 minutes later by me telling them it was time to get up and get ready for school. 6:45 I go into my Daughters room asking why she isnt up yet to find her on her iphone, facebooking and texting her best friend. She finally heads for the shower and stays in the Bathroom for the next 30 minutes. All this time my son is sitting on the couch watching the Simpsons hed recorded from the weekend. Breakfast usually is a Milo for both of them, consumed on the couch, in front of the TV, watching more Simpsons. Now time to pack lunches. Neither kid likes sandwiches. They usually take a yogurt, an apple, a biscuit, small packet of chips and saladas with cheese or vegemite,sometimes some cold chicken but once a week it's a trip to the school canteen and spend $5 on their lunch. Usually by 7:45 both kids are ready for my wife to drive them the 5 minutes to the bus stop. She waits there with the kids in the car till the bus arrives because the kids normally are insulted or physically picked on by the bus stop bullies. Once on the bus the kids have to be all seated before the driver will start the journey to school. On their arrival the kids normally sit around waiting for class, texting or facebooking. They arent allowed down on the oval before school in case someone gets injured so they spend the time waiting to be given access to the inside of the building. When allowed in its a mad rush to the computers, all logging in to their preferred method of communication with the friend they were just outside texting. This goes on until the teacher makes his/her appearance. Once the lesson starts phones are meant to be turned off and put away, but someone will normally be sending text messages from behind their math book until the teacher spots them and confiscates their phone for the duration of the lesson. When recess hits its time to grab their phones and head outside to sit down and text their friends at the other end of the school yard Every now and then my son gets involved with a footy kicking end to end but this only lasts a few minutes and its then off back inside to the computers. Back to class and while the name of the subjects have changed over the years it seems the basic learning criteria is still similar. Still do PE, Math, Science e.t.c, only now the teachers have different ways to teach them. No more blackboards and chalk. The kids seem to enjoy the lessons and the techniques used to deliver the knowledge, especially the use of the computers. After school the kids need to line up in their Bus line for the trip home. They are supervised by teachers and any sign of bullying or fightiing is jumped on very quickly. Again once on the bus all are to be seated and be quiet before the bus leaves the school grounds. Every know and then the driver feels the need to stop the bus and ask the kids to quieten down which they seem to do,mostly. It costs them $1.20 each for the lift home. Once home its bags on the floor, laptops out and on the net they get. Facebook, YouTube, doesnt matter. My daughter also next to her laptop has her iphone, texting her best friend about the day just gone. Tea time means 4 different meals usually. I have what I like, my wife has what she likes and the kids get whatever we dish them up. It means we all normally eat at different times and in different locations. My wife likes to eat her meal in front of the TV and so do I. The kids sit at the table. Once Tea is over the kids do their chores. One wipes up, the other feeds the dog, and then its back on the laptops till shower time. Once showers are had laptops are to be put away which now means its TV time. The wife has Austar going in the Lounge room so the kids make their way to our bedroom to where the other Austar box is and flick to their favourite shows. I usually go out to the shed to work on the EK or sit down at the computer and put a couple of hours in on line. As 9:30 hits its bedtime for the kids and normally we arent far behind.
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#2 Morgoth

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:17 AM

That post makes me even feel old! Most of us in primary/high school didn't have phones, I think the Nokia3310 was *new* and *cool* when I was in year 10 :/ I can say kids would learn more and pay more attention without that distraction. Very cool post, Hulkster
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#3 linke

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:21 AM

Great post, thanks. My kids will be at school in a couple of years. Will be interesting times for sure.

#4 Takoma

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 10:28 AM

My family, when it arrives, will eat dinner at the table. I'm also considering a no-computers-or-games-until sunset rule, which I'd need to abide by as well.
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#5 TUALMASOK

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 11:15 AM

My kids have it completely different to me. I was raised by a single mum and was the man of the house from the age of 2, and although I got to be a kid, having your own at 17 means you need to grow up quickly. Never having Dad around meant that I wasn't too sure WTF they were for, exactly. I mean, if I could do it without a Dad, surely any kid can? Pfft, sure found out how wrong that was with my own. My kids have it pretty well off, they get everything they need in terms of fun. They eat well, and pretty much anything (the benefit of being Dutch/Swedish with Asian godmother and half raised in China Town; when you can eat from opposite ends of the food spectum, anything in the middle is fine), and the little bastards are literally going to either unite the world under one loving banner, or destory it in a heinous, fiery apocalypse. A little more on that: My eldest was born on the 09/09/99, so the running joke is that he's the Antichrist of 9. My youngest was born on Christmas Day, so I've got Satan and the Second Coming for children. Makes for some entertaining evenings. But back to the main point, phones for kids are banned. Unless they have no battery and want to be broken. There's no need for it. Sure, they love the computers, and games, and TV, etc, but they also love flying down the driveway at 60KM/h on the billycart, chasing rabbits and lighting fires.
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#6 bowiee

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 11:32 AM

Good story old man :) Only you missed out on the part where you got the cuts. Harumph, bring back the cuts I say.

#7 Rybags

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 11:35 AM

Still got my marbles and old Coke/Fanta yo-yos. You neglected to reflect on a few key rules for kids: If you drop something like some marbles, change etc. you quickly must yell "No scabs!" Doing so means that absolutely nobody will attempt to make away with the booty. If you fart, you must quickly yell "Safeties!" If someone else says "Slugs" before you can, then they're entitled to punch you in the arm.

#8 thesorehead

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 11:49 AM

Great story, hulkster. I didn't go to school in the '70s but my days at school were eerily similar to yours. Especially primary school, sans milk at recess and with handball on the asphalt the main lunchtime/recess game. If I ever have my own family, dinnertime will be one of the few things I will strive to enforce. The habit of having a meal together is probably my favourite tradition. Any other plans would be far too speculative to take seriously. :--D
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#9 codecreeper

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 11:49 AM

Still got my marbles and old Coke/Fanta yo-yos.

You neglected to reflect on a few key rules for kids:

If you drop something like some marbles, change etc. you quickly must yell "No scabs!"
Doing so means that absolutely nobody will attempt to make away with the booty.

If you fart, you must quickly yell "Safeties!"
If someone else says "Slugs" before you can, then they're entitled to punch you in the arm.


I remember collecting the caps from coke bottles to buy yo-yo's it was fun. As for Cuts is that like in caning?

I went to a Boys Tech College in Adelaide in the mid-70's and we had teachers that yelled and paraded around with canes in their hands. If we did anything wrong it was stand on line outside the class room then when class finished we had to do our class work then. Science was the worst subject with most students ignoring what was going on.

But Students in today's time have it very easy with no discipline or respect at all in any way.

You forgot about the Birthday Bash what it meant too, lol. On my birthday i always had sick day and stayed home but most often caught the next day. My locker was always being cleaned someone kept pouring coke in my locker through the vents. Used to carry a ton of books with me everywhere ,maybe that is why i have a bad back now.

Those where the days ,how i miss them so.

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#10 hulkster

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:30 PM

Good story old man :) Only you missed out on the part where you got the cuts. Harumph, bring back the cuts I say.


I did get the cuts once. A mate and I were wagging school and we were swimming at the Basin and swam into a teacher that was on Annual leave.
We were taken to school and we got 6 cuts for that little swim :)
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#11 The Fuzz damn you!

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:36 PM

But Students in today's time have it very easy with no discipline or respect at all in any way.

lol. Generalise much?

Today's classrooms are different, yes. They are not, however, unmanageable. First up, we have one really good discipline tool that didn't exist "back in the day". Now more than ever, students who don't get an education don't get a job. Even manual labour jobs will have employers looking for people with at least a year 10 pass -- there'll be people going for the job who have that, and if you don't that's a pretty big mark against you. Kids know this, and even the rattiest student will want to be in school and want to learn. My approach to discipline is essentially this: do whatever you want, but here's a list of things that will make me fail you. I don't put it in those terms and it's not as simple as that, but generally that's it. That tends to solve the problem of not doing work or being a dick in class.

The other end of it is getting kids interested in the lessons. If kids are interested in whatever it is that they're studying, they're going to be more interested in doing that than chatting on Facebook or texting endlessly. Yes, I know how naive that sound; and no, it isn't. It does require that teachers have a good deal of knowledge of their students, their students' interests and the subject that they're teaching, but even the "worst" student is curious about the world to some degree. Present them with new knowledge that challenges their preconceptions and that is relevant to their lives, their education or their interests and they respond. They will also respect you.

Finally, the internet is a wonderful thing. Apart from the wealth of information at students' fingertips, it gives me a platform to publish student work for parents to see. Once students know that everyone in the class as well as everyone's parents will be able to view the work that they've created, they become a hell of a lot more interested in making that work of a standard that will have them seen in a positive light. Activities are no longer just classroom busy-work, they are productions that have a critical audience.

Now, sure, not every school allows this and not every teacher does it. The potential is definitely there, however, and the rewards for teachers who are willing to put learning in the hands of the students are significant. Teaching is about preparing students for society as it is today, technological distractions and all, not for how society used to be 50 years ago.
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#12 hulkster

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 12:42 PM

If kids are interested in whatever it is that they're studying, they're going to be more interested in doing that than chatting on Facebook or texting endlessly.


Yep. Not sure what the teachers are doing with my kids but they certianly are interested in School. My Daughter is loving grade 9. Doing very,very well. Terrific grades, in the top 5 %.
My son,whilst not as "smart" as his sister is also loving his education.

It seems a lot better nowdays than I remember it. Teachers actually seem to care if the kids are learning or not. It didn't seem the case back in the 70's.
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#13 bowiee

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 01:43 PM

If kids are interested in whatever it is that they're studying, they're going to be more interested in doing that than chatting on Facebook or texting endlessly.


It seems a lot better nowdays than I remember it. Teachers actually seem to care if the kids are learning or not. It didn't seem the case back in the 70's.

Oh they cared alright, but you didn't. ;)

#14 hulkster

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 09:11 AM

If kids are interested in whatever it is that they're studying, they're going to be more interested in doing that than chatting on Facebook or texting endlessly.


It seems a lot better nowdays than I remember it. Teachers actually seem to care if the kids are learning or not. It didn't seem the case back in the 70's.

Oh they cared alright, but you didn't. ;)


Lol. You might be right. I use to hate school. Never liked going.
But in saying that I do remember having fun there too.
One particular lunch break a group of us lifted our woodworking teachers mini up and put it between two trees. He couldn't get it out.
We did get into a fair bit of trouble over that one :)
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#15 Director

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 09:57 AM

Wait what? There are people who let their kids lead their lives like that? Maybe I'm too strict, I let junior have a bit of a play on the PC AFTER he's dressed and ready to go and had a proper breakfast, he know he's not getting a mobile phone until he's old enough to buy it himself and sign a legally binding contract. After school he gets to play on the PC some more AFTER he's done his homework and any chores and the idiot box usually doesn't come on until about 6pm. He's in bed by 8:30-9pm and has no computer or comms devices in his room. And despite all that torture he's a pretty good kid. But, like me he's also bored at school, which I believe is a problem with the system rather than any particular teacher, you know holding them all back to the lowest common denominator and all that, then then we edumacate him at home as well so school is there for 'rounding out' and helping him to be a good wage-slave to the system when the time comes.

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#16 robzy

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:52 AM

That was a really good post :)

Maybe I'm too strict, I let junior have a bit of a play on the PC AFTER he's dressed and ready to go and had a proper breakfast, he know he's not getting a mobile phone until he's old enough to buy it himself and sign a legally binding contract. After school he gets to play on the PC some more AFTER he's done his homework and any chores and the idiot box usually doesn't come on until about 6pm. He's in bed by 8:30-9pm and has no computer or comms devices in his room.

I was not allowed PC nor television before school. In about Yr8, too, my parents implemented a "no computer between the hours of 6pm and 7pm" rule, which I hated with a fiery passion.

My father upgraded his phone when I was about... 12 years old. Maybe even a smidge younger. I had a bicycle, and on one of my trips to Tandy noticed this "prepaid mobile" thing, and upon request, I got his old phone and paid the $30 for the sim card. Times have changed since then, though.

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#17 h3viw8

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 11:08 AM

yeah school days have changed since i was at school, and i only graduated in '99. i had no mobile, didnt get that till i was 19 i think, no computer at home till same age, primary school I was driven for grades 1-3, then i was to catch the bus, so up at 6am, walked to the bus stop which was a good 10 mins too, onto an empty bus tho, mine was the first stop, yay. yeah it was so less strict back then, caning was rife, i caught a few, usually for no reason, the oval was always open, no gates, fences or such things, we didnt need permission to use it or equipment. way more fun in my opinion to todays schools. someone I know her kids, all three have laptops, mobiles, consoles, flat screens, etc each, 3 of eaach, i'm wow that's ah, i dunno i guess its usual. they get driven to school, all the way, because even tho it's a private school she pays a shitlaod for they deem a school bus too much of an expense or some shit, but thats besides the point, they[the kids] from what they've said have computer labs each day, they can choose not to do sports, they have so much choice it's actually too much for them to make a decision. no corporal punishment, they need permission to use the oval/tennis courts/basketball courts/etc and any said equipment to play, they need a supervisor to watch them play, it's ridiculous. but i guess it's evolution of education, in 20 years kids will prolly skype the whole lesson from their room.
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#18 hulkster

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:52 PM

in 20 years kids will prolly skype the whole lesson from their room.


God let's hope not!
That would be a sad day.
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#19 Kir Kanos

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 10:43 PM

I still have my bag of marbles. Handed to me by Dad. Handed to him by his Dad. Handed to him by his Dad. There are some in the bag over 100 years old. I've added a few over the years. Never had a mobile in school, none of us did until year 12 and even then only a few people had them. Discipline? Yeah I guess it exsisted in some form. We disciplined each other in some sense in class. I remember the bus rides with affection. Broke a kids nose. Cracked a window with his head. Seperate occasions though. Have no idea what will happen when my kids hit school (if I ever have any). Hope they will be able to look after themselves, but also have respect for their teachers and the work they put into their jobs (well, my teachers anyway).

#20 Fragasaurus

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 05:09 AM

I think we might be of similar ages Hulks, sounds like my schooling in the 70's also....
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