Breakfast conversation is often interesting in our house. There was the memorable morning when Pearl, then aged 7, asked, “Mum, what’s philosophy?” and just a few days ago Pearl and Fainjin were discussing Gorgons and the Minotaur.
This morning started much like any other. Fainjin began by telling me about a cartoon he had seen set in Egypt. He was describing the “Stinks with no nose” which I quickly worked out was the Sphinx. Then he said his class was reading about Ancient Egypt now – they’re really working hard on mythology this term! I asked what he knows about Ancient Egypt, and he said, “Well, someone wanted the biggest pyramint but the servants had to build it.”
This is the kind of situation where I really love twitter. I happen to “know” someone via twitter who is an Egyptologist. We’ve never met. I knew she would find his pronunciation cute, and be chuffed that a 6yo was interested in Egypt, so I tweeted to her.
Before I knew it, I was passing information from her to both Pearl and Fainjin, and they were sending comments and questions back. I was surprised at how much Egyptian mythology they both know – much more than I do! We learnt that “Ra sent his daughter to get rid of all the humans because they annoyed him, but changed his mind at the last minute…” and Pearl immediately said, “Oh, was that Sekhmet?” (it was) and Fainjin chimed in, “Yeah and then she turned into a lion!” (she did).
The kids found out lots of cool facts they hadn’t picked up in their own reading, and came up with all sorts of questions (like, was there an Egyptian god of snow & ice? – no, but Seth, god of chaos & anarchy, would probably look after that. (I reckon he has a hand in the kids’ bedrooms, too…)). It was much better than anything I could have dealt with on my own – there would have been an awful lot of “I don’t know” and “I haven’t had enough tea yet to even think about that”.
Now Pearl is wondering whether she can nominate Ancient Egypt as an “inquiry topic” for school next year, or perhaps as a “passion project” for her own research.
Thanks, @GrumpyYetAmusin – it was great fun having breakfast with you this morning!
© UpsideBackwards 2013.