Grandparenting Homeschoolers

o-GRANDPARENTS-RAISING-GRANDCHILDREN-facebookIf you are a grandparent of homeschoolers, you have many special opportunities to help train up your grandchildren. Following are twelve ways:

  1. Encourage. Even if you disapprove of your daughter and son-in-law’s decision to home educate your grandchildren, make only positive comments, especially in front of the grandchildren.
  2. Research. Educate yourself on homeschooling. Subscribe to a journal like Homeschooling Today. Check out the threats to your grandchildren’s educational freedom by searching for their state on www.HSLDA.org. The more you understand about the issues facing homeschoolers, the more you can help your family with their educational efforts.
  3. Protect. Would you telephone the public school kindergarten teacher during class for a brownie recipe? Don’t do it to the homeschoolers either. Ask your daughter for a schedule so you’ll know when not to call. Protect your grandkids’ education—even from yourself.
  4. Chaperone. Is your daughter planning a field trip to the zoo? She’d love it if you’d volunteer as a chaperone for the expedition.
  5. Chauffeur. Your grandson needs to get to youth choir practice, his sister volunteers at the vet clinic, the youngest has a play date at Jacob’s house, and your daughter needs to buy groceries. If you live nearby, you could relieve some of the stress by taking a grandchild where he or she needs to go.
  6. Teach. Offer your grandkids a once-a-week unit study or teach a course at their homeschool co-op. Pick a subject that interests you—birds, gardening, hunter safety, bread baking, knitting, the human skeleton, flowers, Niagara Falls, Egyptian mummies, etc. If you’re near enough to help daily, offer to teach your granddaughter’s Algebra course for a semester. If you live too far away to help daily, teach a week-long short course when you visit or video record lessons for your grandkids to use daily.
  7. Tutor. In a multi-student homeschool, a child having difficulty learning to read or do fractions causes extra strain on the family. If your grandson is having trouble with Latin, offer to tutor him. If you don’t live near enough to go to his house regularly, ask to take him home with you for a week of intensive study. Or use email, fax, video, and/or the telephone to help.
  8. Apprentice. You are skilled in areas that your daughter and son-in-law may not be. Set up an after-school or summer-long apprenticeship for your grandchildren in car repair, canning, farming, animal care, woodworking, piano tuning, etc.
  9. Babysit. Offer to keep preschool grandchildren occasionally so your daughter can teach the older kids without distractions. If you grandparent long-distance, volunteer to pick them up, keep them several days, and return them. Pick a week in August to keep all of the kids so your daughter can prepare for the new school year.
  10. Sub. Fill in when your daughter is sick or has just given birth or simply needs a day off.
  11. Give useful gifts. Useful gifts don’t have to be socks or pajamas. Piano lessons, a new desk, ballet tickets, a microscope, soccer cleats, tuition to science camp—all make great birthday or Christmas gifts.
  12. Grandparent. When your grandchildren have a piano recital in their living room or a closing program with their homeschool co-op, go and encourage them. Home educated or not, your grandchildren need you to grandparent them.

 

3 thoughts on “Grandparenting Homeschoolers”

  1. These are great ideas for grandparents that don’t have home schooled grandchildren ! I do have a question… Where is the missing link? Why don’t more connect? There has always been a generation gap, but why? Is it the parents responsibility to reach out to the grandparent? Or, the grandparent responsibility to include themselves? Communication is key. When is the last time I asked our grandparents to participate? When is the last time our grandparents volunteered ? It’s selfish of us on both ends and there is enough blame to go around.

  2. One of the things I also try to do is help out with teaching resources. Teaching is expensive, no matter the venue. Though public libraries are really great resources, sometimes there are books and other supplies that are needed for the homeschool library.

  3. Great idea, Derinda. Another idea is to build on a shared interest with a grandchild. For instance, my oldest loves music and was saving for a mandolin. My dad, also a music-lover, took him to a music shop that sells mandolins. The two of them searched until they found the right instrument for my son.

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