S4L Book Club – Garmann’s Summer and Garmann’s Street

Our discussion leader in September is Harriet. She’s a very creative embroiderer, knitter, painter, and photographer, among other things. She loves shibas and books. She lives in Norway, and English is her second language. She communicates very well without my help, and the regulars here enjoy her “voice,” so I won’t be editing. Much. Just my usual butting in and puttering about.

Do you think it’s common for children about the age of 6 to think the way Garmann does in the books?

Is it common for adults to underestimate children and what they are able to comprehend or to solve on their own?

Is it common to over-estimate adults and their ability to comprehend or to solve challenges they meet their own?

Categories: Reading

1 reply »

  1. I do think Garmann’s perspective is a good representation of a six-year-old perspective. Shelly mentioned his literal interpretation of butterflies in his stomach, and that’s spot on for that age.

    I do indeed think it’s common for adults to underestimate children’s ability to understand some things. Understanding and being able to verbalize and convey that understanding are different things. I think kids comprehend things they don’t have means to describe. Heck, I can say the same for me, which leads me right into the third question:

    I also think we sometimes over-estimate adults’ abilities to understand some things. I think we too often project our own understanding on others. We’re fairly self-centered and tend to underestimate how different our experiences and perspectives are.

    There’s a certain routine to life within any given culture, and as long as that routine isn’t interrupted, we cruise along. When we meet with a bump in the road, however, adults can be as lost as any kid. If we’ve never navigated a serious illness or a divorce or a death, we have very little understanding of the process, and we must investigate, learn, and figure things out just as a kid must learn how to deal with a bully.