Homeschool Help

My grandchildren are homeschooled. That’s a huge responsibility and task my daughter and son-in-law decided to take on. With some of the uncertainty of safety in schools, bullying and overpopulated classes, I totally understand why they made this choice. My son-in-law works full-time, which enables my daughter to stay home with the kids.

Of course, there are pros and cons to almost everything. While my grandchildren travel with their mom and dad, for my son-in-law’s traveling medical profession, homeschool is definitely the best option. They can take their lessons with them wherever they go, and learn along the way. A big advantage to traveling while homeschooling, is the opportunity to see many different places, cultures, people, landmarks and national parks that they might only read about in public school. I love the fact that they can visit the Grand Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park, The Everglades or The Redwoods, all while learning about them at the same time.

Grandbabies in the Pacific Northwest

There are definitely some cons to go along with it. For now, the traveling part is harder for me, because I don’t get to see my grandchildren as often. (That’s my selfish side showing.) In addition to this, is the fact that they are not in a classroom setting with other children their age. Public schools can have their benefits. Peer interaction, friendships, and learning to be part of a group, and the social lessons that, that involves. I remember times in school where we would break off into small groups (4-5 students) and work on projects or read.

I know with my grandchildren, they have each other (which is priceless) and they meet new friends along the way. Their mom makes sure they have access to extracurricular and supplemental activities while traveling. I am certain their social needs are being met also.

My daughter is doing a great job. She spends her days bouncing between 3rd and 5th grade. Some things are similar and she can work with both of them simultaneously, but then there are the individual needs, that have to be met with each child, on a one-to-one basis. The majority of the teaching is on my daughter, for obvious reasons. Sometimes that can become a little overwhelming, especially when you’re also doing all of the home cleaning, management and cooking also. She is like any other full-time working parent.

When they were living with us, I would give my daughter a little extra support or a much needed break. So now, as they are traveling, I have to be a little more creative. I use video calling just to catch up and visit with my grandchildren, but I also use it to help out a little with their homeschooling. Sometimes I will buy two copies of a book so that we can read together, taking turns reading paragraphs as each follows along. Stopping often to discuss what’s going on in the story. This helps with comprehension, vocabulary and attention span. It’s much easier for children to gain a love of reading when they have that kind of positive interaction. This also can be just reading a bedtime story with them, which can fill that need for closeness that I miss with them living far away.

Another thing I try to do is maybe work with one child, via video call, while mom works with the other child. I can help with math flashcard drills, discussing a science question or history event. It’s the next best thing to being able to sit down next to them and help out.

My grandchildren and I have recently started writing letters back and forth between us. This isn’t only a great practice of writing and spelling, but it will be fun for them later in life to re-read our letters. So many of us get used to typing on a computer, tablet or phone, ( I’m definitely guilty of this! ) and don’t really find ourselves “writing” much anymore. I have to admit, when we first started our pen pal letters, my hand would cramp from writing! These practices are great for Nana and grand-babies, alike!

Even if your grandchildren aren’t homeschooled, there are things we can do as grandparents that can help with their education. If you’re close by, sit down and help them with homework. Most things are still the same, then some current methods have changed. You’ll be surprised at some of the new ways of math they’ve come up with! Our grandchildren can teach us new things also. Most importantly, you’re developing a bond and relationship they will remember for a lifetime.

“Making Grandparenting Glorious!”

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