Monday, November 14, 2011

How to explain big words and concepts to children

My 12-year-old daughter needs to have a current event topic for every school morning. It's funny how the kids compete to have the best bit of news for the classroom, but I guess it also shows how eager they are to learn. So one day she picks a story about a former local commissioner who was arrested before last year's election on charges of fraud, corruption, and other crimes of politicians. The newspaper article headlines that her prosecution is "politically motivated". The former commissioner whined that she was being persecuted. My daughter didn't understand what "persecute" meant, so I told her, "It means that, someone or something, in this case 'the government', says, 'Nyah, you're a dirty liar! Nyah, you cheated, you stinky butthead!'"

It's a shame that most concepts have to be reduced to the comprehension level of a fourth grader, but it's amazing how many people get the concept when it's delivered this way.


  1. I would have loved to have seen this presentation at school. Wonder how her teacher felt about the "stinky butthead" part....

  2. Teachers are much more hip now than when we were in school. I'm sure she found the sentiment insanely amusing.