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. 🙂
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