Why should grandma play?

My grands are playing with some toys. Why? Well, it’s fun! That’s what they would tell me. I’m certainly no expert on why kids play. I’m sure it’s to prepare them for being an adult in the world. Maybe it’s to teach their brains to imagine and create. I love to hear the things they say while they are playing. They work through issues they are concerned about. They copy their parents’ actions and social interactions. They even treat each other with such sweetness sometimes it just makes my heart swell.

But why do I need to play? Why can’t I just teach? I mean, isn’t that what I’m here for? Just to make sure they have learned what is necessary? Well I can tell you from experience that acting like my public school teachers is not the best way to get their attention. Yes, I use a white board and we have workbooks. But the drone of my voice won’t keep them interested and I know because I’ve tried it. I didn’t know any better then but I’ve learned a few things since then.

They will learn so much faster if they are having a good time. The first time my hubby and I were teaching my oldest grand to count to 100 we were using some cards with numbers on them that she had found in the cabinet while digging around looking for something to do. We got so truly excited every time she would get it right we would hoot and holler and her face lit up like a Christmas tree! The joy just played off of each of us and we had a blast! Somewhere in her memory she remembers that day. Some where deep inside her she remembers the thrill of learning something new. Some where in her heart she knows our love for her. All because we had fun. We all had fun. And she learned something new. If I’m honest with myself I have to admit that I learned a lot that day too.

When children play and learn at the same time, they stay focused. They are not distracted quite as easily and for some reason the information “sticks” in their brains better.

My favorite part is when they look at me with those beautiful bright eyes that say “I love you Mimi!”

I’m looking forward to writing about what we do when we play while learning. Hope to see you soon. Thanks for joining me.

Love in Christ

Brenda

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Teaching My Grands

There are so many things to teach a child. I can sit here in my favorite chair with my hot cup of coffee and think about the seasons, life cycles, farm animals, stars, woodworking, etc. The list goes on and on. I have books I’ve bought and websites I’ve visited and pins on Pinterest. I have plans and gadgets. I want to turn our family room into a homeschool room complete with shelves with bins and little tables and chairs. I have toys everywhere that are around because I have plans for them….educational plans, of course. My mind goes through scenarios of what I want to do and say to these littles.

But they are still young, 7 and 2. They don’t really care about my plans. They play with the toys and sit at the table in the little chairs. They love the games we play. My 7 year old grand loves learning but she really doesn’t care how it happens. I’m wanting to check off the boxes on my list and get every thing done in the book. She wants to sit with Mimi. She wants to hear another story about when I was a kid just like her. She wants to bake something in the kitchen and give some to every one she knows. She wants to play outside with her little brother and teach him what she’s learned while she played out there for the past 7 years (yes, she’s been outside since the day she was born). She wants to play with her beloved pet toys.

My daughter (and son in law) and I have had long conversations about why we homeschool their children. One of the reasons and probably the most important is that we want them to stay children as long as possible. She wants them to be exposed to more than what public school offers. She wants them to be taught in a little different way by someone who knows them and cares about how they learn best. She wants options.

Options. That’s the part that I was missing when we first started this adventure about a year and a half ago. I understood what we wanted. I knew the concept. But my public school brain couldn’t get the books, papers, and pencils out of the way. It was so hard to allow my grand to play. It was almost impossible to allow myself to play! Yes…I said it. I wanted to play. But how could I? I was the teacher. I was supposed to be calm and demanding, right? I was supposed to just write on the white board and read textbooks. I realized that this was going to be way harder than I had first expected. How long had it been since I played? My kids were grown. I worked outside the home for 20 years. Playing as an adult was strange enough but as a grandparent? That was unheard of. Wasn’t it?

Now, I’m not talking about running outside or riding a bike. Those abilities were long gone for me. So how does a grandmother play with her grands? I wasn’t sure how to answer that question. But I was determined to find a way. I knew that they learned best and retained more information when they have a good time learning. I knew there was a way I just had to find it. I felt led by God to help them learn and I was going to give it the best I had. Well before I get into how I play with my grands I think it’s important to talk more about why. In my next post I’m going to talk about some real reasons I think we should play at homeschool….. as a grandma. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon.

Brenda

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Fear of Writing

Yes, I know, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything on here. If any of you have started a blog or written a book or an article, you know the fear that can be involved! I froze after my first time. I wasn’t sure I could write again. Yet here I am giving it another try. I have new things happening here now. We have two more grandchildren. That is such a huge blessing! I have officially begun helping my daughter and son in law homeschooling their two children. I’ll be talking a lot about that since it takes up most of my time and energy! Thanks for stopping by and I hope to get off to a much better start this time. : )

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Trees In the Desert

All my life I wanted trees. Just trees. Sounds silly I guess. But there weren’t many growing where I grew up and if I did find some woods up at high altitudes it seemed like as soon as I’d start to enjoy the feeling of being surrounded by them, we’d drive right out of ’em. It just wasn’t very satisfying to me.
I married a man from the southern US and he claimed there were trees there. I tried to act cool. Not as many as I wanted I was sure. We lived in my hometown for the first years of our marriage.
I am so embarrassed to tell this story. But… One day I passed by some men trimming some branches off of some trees in a parking lot on my way home. I’ll never know if they were teasing me I guess but when I stopped to grab some limbs they assured me I could put them in the ground with lots of water and they’d grow roots. Maybe they weren’t used to trees either, I don’t know. Well, anyway, when I got home and told him my plan my hubby looked at me with such concern. I ignored it. I told him we were planting them in the front yard and they would grow. He said “Honey these limbs are too big even if they are the type to start roots”. Forgetting where he was from I looked at the limb’s four inch across base and 7 foot long branches. I was sure they’d grow. So…. he did as I asked and… lo and behold… we had four beautiful instant trees in our desert yard!! I was ecstatic.
Well I guess it was about two days later when the leaves started turning brown and rustling in the wind that I admitted that no matter how much water they got they weren’t gonna grow. My poor humililiated hubby had to then go out and dig them all up.
I watched from the window.

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