Monday, August 2, 2010

Do you know?

I had a very interesting discussion with a 6 year old yesterday.
I started on a new topic this week - The Human Body.
There was a model of the human body and I started with disassembling and
assembling the organs.
After the exercise some of the kids decided to play with other stuff and this guy came to me and
said : Do you know that the human body is made up of molecules?
I : Yeah, I do know
He : Do you know what molecules are made up of?
I : Yeah atoms
He : Do you know what atoms are made up of?
I : Yes, electrons, protons and a nucleus
He : Do you know what the nucleus is made up of?
I : Yes, neutrons and protons
Now he was going too deep into this theory and I was getting worried.. :)
He wasnt too happy that I gave him the answers till now so he then went on
He : Do you know why atoms combine to form molecules?
I : Because they get attracted to each other.
He (Was finally very happy) : No! Its because they dont have enough electrons in their outer shell!
I (Stunned) : Okay! Yeah you are right.
Then he went on to explain why some elements dont combine while some do. He said two oxygen atoms combine to make the oxygen molecule and this molecule combines with hydrogen to make one water molecule.
I was really glad. He knew the stuff not just by-hearted but he actually could understand the concept.
He also told me that electrons when they move out of the their shell, they create holes and since electrons keep moving out of their shells, atoms and hence molecules have holes and hence we humans are made up of primarily holes!!!!
I didnt know what to say!
But I cant deny I had fun. It was a challenging day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Left Right Left

Recently at the parents teacher conference I witnessed parents worries for their child who might be left handed. Parents of one child were not sure if their child is left-handed and just wanted to be sure so as to help him accordingly but the parents of another child were worried.
This child in question is very intelligent and mature for his age and is able to do all activities which are his age appropriate. However he has yet not mastered the pincer grip for writing and doesn't show an inclination to using colors or pencils. I guess the problem should have been obvious for us but we just didn't realize. When his parents told us that they seem to find him using his left hand more, I suddenly understood. But they requested us to make him use his right hand more. I was sad. I didn't expect it. I thought now that we know he might be left-handed its easy to make him develop his fine motor skills but their insistence has got me worried. Their worry is genuine to a certain extent. They say that most tools which people use are made for right handers. I told them the computer keyboard is designed for the advantage of left-handers though but I couldn't argue more on their point that most tools are made for right handers - The scissors, knife and other cutting tools, most musical instruments and so on.
And so I came home and did some reading on this topic. Yes its true that most things are made for right handers but they can be customized for left handers. Also I read that if left-handers are forced to be right handers in childhood, they develop learning disabilities like dyslexia. Now I think this is more worrisome than customizing things for a left-handed person. My husband is a left-hander and so is my sister. I didn't know till this day that they must be having problems using a knife or scissors. If only people are aware, can help be given to them. I think that forcing a child to do something that prohibits his natural development is a hazard and shouldn't be encouraged. Forcing anyone to be like you (eg right-handed) is not fair. A left handers brain is different than a right handers. We cant change this by force. Just imagine someone forcing you to become left-handed. Will you be able to do everything with your left-hand with the same efficiency as the right? I dont think so.