We’ve noticed an interesting trend happening in the homeschooling community: grandparents are contributing to and occasionally full-time teaching their grandchildren. There seem to be 3 situations where this is happening. One being grandparents have custody of their grandchildren and are choosing to home educate. Another scenario is the 2nd generation homeschooled kids, now parents themselves, who are using their parents as valuable resources. And the last is when a child needs to be taught at home (having been removed from school for some reason) and parents are not available due to their own work. Grandparents then step in for the student. These calls seem to be coming in more often. When we talk to these grandparents on the phone, they are grateful to be of help to their grandchildren but also pretty overwhelmed.
Whether grandparents are schooling permanently or not, summer can be a really good time for grandparents to spend educational time with their grandkids. You can work in some math and reading or other subjects without compromising that special relationship. In this email we’ve included some materials that would be fun for grandparents and grandkids to work on together. Other ideas include reading books aloud and asking a child questions practices comprehension and fluency (while sitting on a porch swing).
I used to play a rhyming game with my youngest son while sitting on a swing for two. I would look around and say a word: grass, white, tree, feet, yard, etc. He would have to then say a word that rhymed with my word: glass, right, free, eat, hard, etc. They had to be real words-not made up ones. I didn’t realize it at the time, but even at about 3 or 4 years old, I was helping him with his future reading fluency. He thought it was a fun little game with Mom. My mother would play dominoes with my kids when they were little. They were using visual discrimination, patterns, and simple math all while spending quality time with Grandma Sue.
But grandparents who are educating their children’s children are doing more than just playing games. They have the heart for this endeavor and probably more patience than many parents. Keep in mind that grandparents may have had other plans for their retirement age than teaching. As parents, take on the curriculum decisions yourselves rather than putting that on the older generation’s shoulders. Make it as smooth as you can for them by having a schedule already made out for them to follow.
If you are the grandparent in this situation, I want you to know that you are not alone and that we have profound respect for what you are doing for these children. Parents may have no choice but to work, but still want a home education for their kids. Because of you, they don’t have to send their kids to public school when they really don’t feel that is right for them.
If you are in charge of selecting what you teach your grandkids, please call us consultants here at Rainbow Resource. We can help you find curricula with especially good lesson plans and such. Be sure to tell your parents that they can call us if they are struggling with a program. We may have some tips to make it go more smoothly. We’d be glad for the opportunity to do whatever we can do to offer help in choosing materials or giving you some ideas when things aren’t going well. We are happy to do what we can to help you homeschool the best you can.
Homeschool products that are perfect for grandparents and grandkids during the summer:
Sir Cumference series Take a math adventure with gallant knight Sir Cumference, his wife Lady Di and son Radius and help solve their unique problems. There are lots of books to choose from, so be ready to be asked for more!
Explore Money with 25 great projects This is definitely an area where an older generation has a lot to offer our kids. Practice counting money, learn about earning it and saving it with fun little projects they can do together.
Dutch Blitz is a much loved card game here at RRC. It is a version of double solitaire that can be played with 2-4 players. It’s a fast paced color, number & strategy game.
Tangram Race game – Each player has a set of geometric shapes. Flip over the pattern card and be the first to recreate that pattern using your tangram. Sound easy? There are 3 levels of difficulty.
Frida’s fruit fiesta game is about the cutest game for learning the alphabet I have seen. It also requires some fine motor skills and visual discrimination.
Q’s race to the top works on social skills, right and wrong, manners, even physical things like balance and coordination. Kids as little as 3 years old can play. The conversations that will come up are fantastic for the grandparent/kid dynamic!
Fandex are a cool thing for grandparents to have at their place. Take them on a walk, read them on a rainy day indoors, flip them out at bedtime. Nuggets of interesting stuff at your fingertips.
Honey for a child’s heart helps you determine what makes a good book, how literature affects children and provides tips on raising a reader.
iScience readers – Practice reading (at 3 different levels) and learn some interesting facts as you solve a real-life dilemma using science.
Jumbo magnifier with handle – Take to observing nature around you! These are sturdy and colorful for little ones or older kids.
3D small spiral notebooks – Record your findings! Draw pictures and write a few sentences in a pocket-sized notebook with an amazing 3D image on the cover.
The Magic School Bus books, videos and science kits get kids interested in learning more about how things work in nature and more.
Magnetic playboard puzzles are something you can do together, talk about the states and countries and get familiar with their shapes and locations.
Professor Noggin’s card games cover all kinds of topics like medieval times, U.S. geography, the American Revolution and more.
The Who Was __? is a series of biographies of historical persons from all over the world. They have a distinctive caricature of the subject on the cover and are written for elementary/middle-schoolers to read.
The graphic history library series are comic books of historical events/people such as the Boston Tea Party, the Alamo and the story of Jamestown.