A Word From Grandma…..

You’re going to what????
“Homeschool my kids ….” said my daughter.
My heart dropped.  I had been with her when my eldest granddaughter started school.  We took her to kindergarten together and I was the proud grandma sitting in the audience to watch her sing with her class later that year.  Then again she was only five and it was about a bikini!  It was February I think and there Cassie was in front of everyone with her whole class wearing bathing suits.  Very odd now that I think about it.
I had been a very involved parent in our public school system.  I am sure teachers used to cringe when they saw me coming.  I wanted to know the who, what, when, where and why of how the kids were doing.  Started to follow them in kindergarten and never let up until the graduation ceremony.  No excuses or room given for homework not done, assignments not handed in or for bad behaviour.  It was never the marks I worried about but the conduct of my kids in school.  They always did well and with the exception of a son who decided to climb toilets in his elementary school – I was always proud of what they did!  Found the toilet incident very funny but could not let him know that.  He had to see outrage so he never did it again – and he never did.
Homeschool was something my daughter had started mentioning before Cassie started kindergarten.  I was against it.  Very much against it because my daughter had three other children at home!  Most of the time the place was a riot of noise and my daughter was run off her feet!  I was worried she would be taking too much on herself and wondered how in the world she would ever be able to make time to teach Cassie with Cameron right behind her in age and twins four years behind him!  It was a houseful!  It was a zoo!  She would drive herself into the ground trying to be all things to all people.  It was impossible!
But she decided with her husband to do it anyway and I asked my son (his wife a teacher) why they did not homeschool their kids.  “Are you kidding me?  We need the break!” he replied.  Joking of course because they are excellent parents very involved with their three boys.  Just taking a different route.  It was the concept of a different route that made me zip my lip.  It was none of my business in the first place and in the second place I really could not criticize a system I knew nothing about.
I then had to make a choice.  Either support them in this effort and be a part of it or rail against this decision which was not mine to make.  These were my grandchildren – not my children and my time for making decisions had come and gone.  Now it was her turn and she was doing what she felt was right.  I could be part of the solution or be a big part of a problem they did not need to deal with.  I chose to be the latter.
All credit is given to my daughter for taking the time to help me get informed about the homeschool system of learning.  She took me to the school.  Showed me curriculum they work on and how it is done.  I helped her organize her school room (more than once of course!) and I got to wander the halls of the school the kids go to once a week.  There are times I can contribute to the teaching and the fact that I can do so amazes me!
My daughter’s children DO go to school.  It is just a different form of school that opens far more doors they ever would have had to go through via an over burdened public school system.  They do not have to deal with peer pressure and I find they are able to actually stay children longer than that system of teaching would have allowed.  We can do so much more with them as grandparents because they are not restricted by the everyday routine of public school.  They have a homeschool routine but it adapts to whatever each day brings for opportunities to learn.
They go to gymnastics, swimming, skating, piano lessons.  Make up plays they are always wanting us to watch using their own imaginations.  Cassie is taking French and though he had a slow start Cameron is reading every sign we pass now!   They are able to work at their own pace and watching them learn is a wonder!  Now the twins have entered the world of homeschool and it is really something to see them printing and reading words at Kindergarten age.  Cassie never did that when she was in public school.
So my daughter did more than just teach her children.  She taught me as well that there are other ways of doing things.  Better?  That remains to be seen but I think it is.  Their report cards are excellent in the assessment of what level they are at.  Ahead in most but right there with the rest of it.  No different than they would have been in public school yet this way they are getting far more individual attention.
Children are young for such a few precious years and my daughter and her children are not missing one second of it.  Via this method of teaching they have acquired a large chain of like minded people who support each other in this effort like an extended family.
It is said the world is a village now and everything we do connects us to one another.  Homeschool does that.  The village that my grandchildren are now involved in is a wonderful one and I am now a huge fan of the homeschool concept of learning.
A Converted Grandmother

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