From The Andy Griffith Show:
[Andy and Barney are watching a sign painter]As the straight man, Andy was pulling Barney's leg a bit with his spelling device. And Barney, the gullible, bought it. I sometimes try these kinds of things with my boys when I don't know the real answers to some of their questions. Most of the time, the boys don't pull a Barney and fall for my tricks. They are smarter than Barn and me so they tell me stop playing around and just Google it.
Barney Fife: Ain't he got chicken spelled wrong?
Andy Taylor: No, it's right.
Barney Fife: You sure?
Andy Taylor: Yeah, it's "i before e except after c and e before n in chicken".
Barney Fife: [chuckles] Oh yeah, I always forget that rule.
Sadly, I find these situations when I don't know the answer occurring more frequently. The kids are exposed to so much more information than we were when we were kids. For instance, my second grader freely uses words like "rubric". I didn't learn that word until well into my 40's and still I am not comfortable enough with my mastery of it to toss it about in everyday conversation.
My fifth grader has known for some time that you can determine if a number (no matter how many digits) is divisible by 9 (or any factor of 9) if the sum of its digits adds up to 9. Try it. I may have that slightly incorrect, but that is my very base understanding of that math trick. Thank goodness my Smartphone has a calculator.
My boys are much more highbrow than my generation was at these young ages. They already read novels. These are the graphic type not to be confused with comic books of our day. The differences between graphic novels and comic books are better quality paper and covers, more words and fewer gratuitous "Pows!" and "Boinks!" And the publishers can charge more if they call it a "novel". But my boys devour them and reading is reading.
I am not old and I don't feel old but I sure sound old when I talk about things like this. I am schooled in some way every day by my boys. But that's good. I'll let you know what else they teach me next week.