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Let Their Grandparents Help

Mom & Dad Snowbird

This picture of my parents was taken yesterday.

But KT, you’re thinking, I thought you were from Indiana.

I am.  But my awesome parents are snowbirds.  Which means they skip winter now and run off to Florida.  Leaving me in the snow.  Checking their mail periodically.  In the snow.

But that’s not what this post is about.  Haha, you know I get sidetracked, but that time I did it Immediately.  Because look at all the sunshine in that pic.  Did I mention it’s snowing in Indiana?

Anyhoo, I am truly grateful for my parents.  Not just for what they’ve done for me, but for what they do for my kids.  When you homeschool, you often lean on that whole ‘it takes a village’ mentality, right?  Grandparents are the perfect people to turn to when you want to broaden your littles’ education beyond your own scope.

My parents teach my kids without even realizing they’re doing it.  Or maybe they do, but the Littles don’t.  My dad loves to work with wood, and each of my boys has built something with him over the years.  My mom loves to play board games with them, and if you don’t know how I feel about board games as an educational tool, this must be your first time here.  Welcome.

For instance, my dad is overflowing with business acumen.  Me?  Not so much.  A couple days ago, Middle completely melted my heart.  He was talking about his future video game design company, and all the things he’s going to have to do, and he said, “And I’ll have to sit down and talk to Grandad so he can advise me on the business side of things.”  I told him his Grandad was the perfect person to steer him on that course.  Middle wants to study business alongside all the techie stuff he’ll need in high school, so I imagine he’ll be having plenty of conferences with Grandad.

My mama has worked in law most of her life.  She knows the legal ins and outs of just about everything.  Littlest is very interested in law and every career that could be had in the field.  Mama is a font of information about that stuff.  She’ll be his person where that is concerned.

My parents are also really good about having the boys help them around their farm.  They have a different take on farming than we do, and they grow different things.  The Littles learn different techniques and ideas by helping them out.  My mama grows a mean flower garden, too.  Her thumb is so green it glows.  I love knowing the littles are learning from her, seeing how she does it, understanding the Feeling that goes into good growing.

My parents are very involved in local politics, and that gives the littles the opportunity to hear about and see how that works, which helps them better understand politics on a larger scale.

I think I could list the benefits of having these amazing people as grandparents forever.

Utilizing your own parents to supplement your littles’ educations is a brilliant way to give your kids even more.  It’s like having tutors who are the funnest people your littles know.  Everybody is good at something, so even if your it’s just that your dad is a good storyteller, have him tell your littles stories about his life, the important historical events he remembers, where he was when he heard about JFK’s assassination, his take on the Vietnam War, where he stood in the Civil Rights debate and why, how he felt when the Berlin Wall fell.  Me, I remember the exact spot I was in when I heard about Stevie Ray Vaughn’s and Kurt Cobain’s deaths, but I’m just not sure that’s as relevant.

As homeschoolers, we sometimes become hyper-aware that we can’t do everything ourselves.  So make sure you give your littles’ grandparents opportunities to provide teachable moments, too.  Your littles will appreciate it.

Mama, Daddy, I love you.  Thanks for always being there.  Thanks for joining us on this journey and providing all you do for these kids who love you to the moon and back.

Lovely readers, Happy Valentine’s Day.  You’re all my Valentines because you make it possible for me to do what I do.  I appreciate you.

Love wins,

KT

 

 

YA Book Review: Monarch

01-26-15

Monarch by A.R. Ivanovich

Okay, so Ivanovich completely took my breath with this one.  I had settled in to third installment of the War of Princes series with the expectation of a certain story–a certain kind of story–and she went and turned it on its head.  Remember last week in my review of Paperglass when I said these books get better as they go?  I did not then realize the enormous truth of that statement.  So let me say it again.  So far, each of these books has been better than the last.

I mean… I thought the Prince of Shadows was bad.  The hints the reader is given in the first half Monarch about Prince Varion are even more shudder-worthy than his shadowy brother.  I found myself biting my nails (no, literally) as I read about him.

It did not prepare me for the reality.  Let me just tell you without giving away too much that there are a couple of twists here that shocked, amazed, inspired me, blew me a-freakin’-way!  And the great part is I never even suspected them, which made them all the more gratifying.  Have I said Ivanovich has the stuff?  Because she does, in spades.  The growth of each character in this series is exquisitely thought out and paced to keep the reader glued to the pages.  And I was.  Am, because I’m reading the final installment now an I Cannot Put These Books down.

My favorite line in this book is this:

Just a couple of kids from Haven.  We weren’t meant for this.

The honesty of that statement, the reality of a character even having that thought, is one of the things about Ivanovich that sweeps me away.  You don’t often find an author who is both a superb writer and an excellent storyteller, especially in this genre.

I can’t wait to see how Katelyn’s story ends.

Love wins,

KT