My sisters and I went to public school. I don’t think my dad knew much about homeschooling when he moved in.
It may have been a bit of a shock to him.
Homeschool is nothing like school. At least not around here. We laugh. We play. We work together. We learn.
Books are limited (Owen will eat them, remember!) We pull books out, do what we need to do, and get them put away again quickly.
Jayme does 95% of her work on the computer.
And it doesn’t look a whole lot like school.
I love it!
So do the kids. And they’re learning, which I also love!
We’re used to this craziness we call life. We’re used to school not looking like school.
But to someone who isn’t used to homeschooling? It looks like a goofing off, I’m sure.
Thankfully Dad has a “go with the flow” type attitude, and doesn’t say much about my methods. I’m pretty sure he’s thought about them though.
So I started talking to Dad about why I do what I do. Why I homeschool. How I homeschool. What works. What doesn’t.
And I’ve asked him to help. (Feeling needed is oh so important for our aging parents!)
Here are 4 ways that a Grandparent can help with schooling.
1. Career Education
This doesn’t necessarily need to be a “This is what I did lesson”, but a long term outlook on “this is a skill you’ll need in the real world.”
Perhaps it’s creating a bunch of index cards for the kids to sort by number (Dad was a mailman!) or instructions on filing.
Lessons on working hard, stories about the office…
The older generation has so much to share!
2. Listening to Kids Read
Kids learning to read need a lot of practice! Sometimes I just can’t listen to reading right now. It’s been wonderful to have Dad around. He listens, offers praise, and usually provides a piece of candy. That kind of reward is highly motivating!
3. Local History
Dad lived here as a boy (as in this house!) The kids love to hear tales of how he fell off the steps trying to do something he shouldn’t be. Hearing how he used to go up to the waterfall every day to get water flowing into the irrigation system that used to run along the hillside.
There are so many stories!
And not just about our exact location, but about the area in general. The local City Hall was the school where Dad went.
Spokane used to start a lot further down the road.
History. My Dad’s been around longer than I, and he has a longer understanding of our area. I take advantage of his knowledge, especially now with Jayme doing Washington State History.
4. Practical Skills
I’m not much of a map reader. In fact…I may have gotten us lost on more than one occasion. I’m very thankful for a patient husband!
But it’s a skill I don’t feel confident in teaching my children.
Dad can read maps. He can explain them. So I ask him to.
What other practical skills can a grandparent teach? I’m not sure—I’m just beginning to look at the possibilities.
Wow—there is a lot to learn! I’m excited to see what other additions we’re able to make to our homeschool because of the extra knowledge base we have here!
Now a caveat—make sure to talk to your parent first and make sure s/he doesn’t mind. Some people might not like teaching or being asked to do these things.
If you homeschool, do you utilize Grandparents?