Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Two Halves Make a Whole

"What is the difference in step-brothers and half-brothers?" Hailey-Bug asked me driving down the road.  My mind immediately went blank.  In my adult mind it made since, but how did I break it down to a 7-year-old who hadn't started learning fractions yet, or even knew how to make change for a dollar yet?  It went something like this.....

"Well look at it this way....You are one whole person.  You are made half from your mommy, and half from your daddy."  Insert look of total confusion from Hailey here.  "Hailey, do you know what half means?"


OK start over......

"You are made from your mommy and your daddy.  Do you understand that much?"

"I guess."

"Well your brothers are made from their mommy, and your daddy.  That means that you all are partly the same because you all have the same daddy, but you are partly different because you have different mommies."  Insert another look of total confusion from Hailey here.

"Is this something I will understand when I get older?"

"Yes honey, yes it is."

OK this is the first awkward conversation I had with little Hailey-Bug.  The subject wasn't awkward, but as you can tell my responses were.  Like I said, in my adult mind it completely makes sense, but to a little girl it didn't even come close to ringing any kind of bell....that disappointed me....why couldn't I break this down for her little mind to understand?  And if I couldn't break something simple like half-siblings down to a 7 year old, how did I expect to be a teacher?

Well, first off we were driving down the road.  I had no use of visual aids.  That was my biggest problem.  My second problem was coming up with words that made since to a first grader that hadn't learned fractions we are talking about a subject that has a fraction term in it.....Sheesh what more you do yall want from me?  I kid I kid......

The more I pondered this conversation the more I came up with a way I could explain it to a little mind (child) what exactly a half-sibling was. Visual Aids would more than likely be my best bet.  The best way I thought of was using paint, and mixing colors.

For Example:

One Paint Cup has Blue in it = Phil (Hailey, Coleman, and Tyler's Daddy) 

One Paint Cup has Yellow in it = Tracy (Tyler & Coleman's Mom)

Blue Paint (Phil) + Yellow Paint (Tracy) = Green Paint (Tyler & Coleman) 

One Paint Cup has Blue in it = Phil (Hailey, Coleman, and Tyler's Daddy) 

One Paint Cup has Red in it = Beverly (Hailey's Mom) 

Blue Paint (Phil) + Red Paint (Beverly) = Purple Paint (Hailey)

I am hoping that the outcome would make sense to a little mind.....

Conclusion = Each person is made up of two colors of paint.  The outcome of two parents (Daddy + Mommy 1) can sometimes be totally different colors (hair color, eye color, skin color), than the outcome of (Daddy + Mommy 2)  but as a half-sibling you still have the same color of one parent in you; which is what links you to your half-sibling.  In this case Phil being blue :) 

What do you think?  Will this illustration work?  Or will it just confuse a little mind even more? 

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