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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

 

 

Getting It Right (Again) and a link to free science resource

We are days away from starting our new school year–we always ‘go back’ the day after Labor Day, though our actual school year begins with 7 weeks of summer science.  If you recall, we studied video game design this summer.  It was a hit, but didn’t really teach us to write code like we expected, so we are on the hunt for the next course that will.  Middle is still gung ho about designing video games for a living, and Littlest still wants to be a spy.  I did find an awesome free course in forensic science that includes an ebook, quizzes, powerpoints, and the like here. I think it will interest Littlest since it is part of detective work.  If you have a little interested in forensics, it’s a pretty brilliant rescource.

Remember our boring classroom table?

Remember our boring classroom table?

As the week winds down, I am in a flurry of making sure I’m prepared.  You homeschooling mamas know what I mean.  Did I get everything planned?  Do I have all my supplies?  Did I plan Too Much?  Who the hell told me I was good enough to teach my kids?

That’s right, all the old fears and doubts come back at the beginning of  a new year.  After all, when we started this adventure, the Littles were little.  1st & 3rd grade.  The possibilities were wide open.  I thought we had forever to learn all the awesome things I wanted to teach.  But now… Well, Middle is in 7th grade.  This is probably the last year I can get by with him before he begins his high school focus (bet you can guess what it will be).  Littlest wants to graduate early so he and Middle can go to college together.  So I have to start figuring out how we’re going to go about that.  If we Are Going to go about that.  No one but mothers of multiple births expects her nest to empty all at once.

Not boring anymore!

Not boring anymore!

If you are new to homeschooling, rest assured that you are not the only mama who is Questioning Everything.  I’m pretty sure we all do that.  Every year.  I know I do.  I want so much for my littles.  It’s the whole reason I school them at home, so they can learn about anything and everything with a depth not available in public or even private schools.  I am uber proud of their accomplishments and their dedication to learning.  But I look at all the folders saved on my ‘School Flash Drive,’ all those ebooks and ideas we haven’t gotten to use, and I wish we had an extra 10 years to do this.  Since we don’t (in fact, we may have several less than I expected), it is my job to put on my big girl boots and get it all figured out.  Daunting?  Well, yeah.  But I knew going in that I was going to have to work as hard at this as they do if it was going to benefit them the way I wanted it to.

And it’s also just as exciting as it was that first day of 1st grade.  Because as stressed as I am this week, I know my Littles and I are going to be Having A Blast this time next week.  And learning so much more about China than I ever did in school.  So I have that to look forward to.

So buck up, little campers.  We are in the midst of the greatest adventure of our lives.  Take a deep breath.  We can do it.

Love wins,

KT