Delighted to welcome educator and storyteller Norah Colvin and some posts from her archives. In her first post from 2015, Norah who is a dedicated participant in the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction challenge, was reminded about a family mystery.
Understanding family relationships by Norah Colvin
At the Carrot Ranch this week Charli Mills is talking about cold cases and challenges writers to, In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an old mystery in the current time. Is it a discovery? Is it solved? Does it no longer matter, or does it impact innocent generations in between?
My thoughts immediately turned to a mystery that occurred in my family over one hundred years ago when the two-year old brother of my grandfather disappeared and was never seen again.
Most families do have a skeleton or two in the closet. Not all families like it to be known. Many Australian families who can trace the arrival of ancestors back to before the end of convict transportation in 1868 can find a convict in their ancestry. I have two; one on each side of the family. Generally the reasons for transportation were rather minor so I am not too concerned about sharing that information. In fact, many Australians are delighted to find a convict in the past as it adds a little interest and colour to their family tree.
Children generally love to hear stories of their own lives and families. I have written about that before here. However young children probably have no need for or interest in delving as far back into family history as the three stories I have mentioned above. An interest in ancestors further back than living relatives (grandparents and great-grandparents) usually develops later, if at all.
A great place to start thinking about history in early childhood classrooms is sharing stories about the families of children in the class. Most classes in Australia are comprised of children from variety of backgrounds so sharing those stories helps to develop an appreciation for each other as well as knowledge of the world. I developed a unit called Getting to know you for use in early childhood classroom which aims to develop discussion about family histories.
But children can start learning about family relationships even earlier than that by discussions of who’s who in the family and explanations of the words and relationships; for example father/daughter; brother/sister; aunt/niece; grandmother/granddaughter.
Here is a picture of some pages of a book I made for Bec when she was just a little tot, just to give you the idea.
Photo books of family members are much easier to make these days with digital photos and programs such as PowerPoint, as well as glossy books you can make and order online.
I am very proud of my two grandchildren, as any grandparent would be, and am pleased to say that they have a good understanding of who is in their family and their relationships to each other. It is a frequent topic of discussion. However I was very tickled when my three year old granddaughter proceeded to tell me, with some excitement, that her Daddy and her Aunty Bec were brother and sister in real life; in REAL life, she emphasized.
Regular readers of my blog may be familiar with a character I have been developing in response to Charli’s flash fiction challenges: Marnie. Her story is not real life but, sadly, aspects of it could be, for others. There was a period of about twenty years when, after escaping her dysfunctional family, Marnie was untraceable, living without any connection to her family and past, a mystery. It took authorities five years after both parents had passed to track her down with the ‘news’. This episode takes up there.
The officers looked friendly enough but still she tried to hide the tremble in her soul and tremor in her voice behind the blankness of her stare.
She’d opened the door just a crack, as far as the chain would allow.
“Marnie Dobson?” they asked. She shook her head. She’d not . . . ; not since . . . ; no longer. She shook again.
They asked her to step outside. With no other option she reluctantly unlocked and emerged into the glare of daylight.
“Marnie Dobson,” one said, “We are here to inform you . . .”
About Norah Colvin
I am an experienced and passionate educator. I teach. I write. I create.
I have spent almost all my life thinking and learning about thinking and learning.
I have been involved in many educational roles, both in and out of formal schooling situations, always combining my love of teaching and writing by creating original materials to support children’s learning.
Now as I step away from the classroom again, I embark upon my latest iteration: sharing my thoughts about education by challenging what exists while asking what could be; and inviting early childhood educators to support children’s learning through use of my original teaching materials which are now available on my website http://www.readilearn.com.au
Connect to Norah via her websites
And social media
Twitter 2: https://twitter.com/readilearn
My thanks to Norah for sharing this post and I think the family picture book is an excellent idea. I have done our family history but perhaps I can do that for the younger generation with the photographs that I have scanned and saved from the 1900s.
If you would like to share some posts from your archives that deserve to be read again and by a different audience, as well as promote your work.. then this is how…
Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.
- Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
- Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
- Fur family past and present.
- Favourite recipes.
- Memorable holidays.
- Places you have lived.
- Memorable homes you have lived in.
- Grandchildren tales.
- Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
- Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.
I think you get the idea.
The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to firstname.lastname@example.org
You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.
So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.
Previous participants are more than welcome