Tuesday April 3, 2007

I’m a Homeschooling Grandma. There are two ways that statement could be taken, and both apply to me! I’m a Grandma, but I’m still homeschooling two of my own children; and I’m a Grandma of homeschooled grandchildren. Both definitions apply, and I’m happy to be defined by both!

 

Because I still have young children at home that I am homeschooling, I cannot do all of the “Grandma stuff” that I would like.  My time is very much taken up with all of the things that a homeschool mom does, leaving very little extra time.  I do make it a priority to spend time with my grandchildren, but that time is obviously limited. Because the time is limited, I work very hard to make the times I do have with my grandchildren special.  If they are here while their mama is running errands, I let my household tasks go by the wayside so that I can spend my time with them.  If it’s been quite awhile since they’ve been here, we might even let our boys take the time off from homeschooling to play, too.  I am, as time goes by, implementing traditions to take part in with my grandchildren. For example, from their fifth birthday on, Copper and I will take the birthday grandchild out for an outing with just us – including lunch, buying birthday gifts and a fun activity of some sort together.  We had the pleasure of doing just that for the first time a couple of weeks ago.

Because I still have young children at home that I am homeschooling, I cannot do the things financially that I’d like to do for my grandchildren.  We are still in the midst of buying books, curriculum and school supplies for our own children, not to mention food, clothing and other normal stuff for two quickly growing boys; and we are still living on one income.  However, I do what I can.  When I run across a wonderful book that is deeply discounted, I try to buy two – one for our library and one for my daughter’s shelves.  As my other children marry, I will be stretched a little bit more in this way.  I’m not discouraged by this, though.

What I am doing for my own children still at home, I am also doing for my grandchildren – all of my grandchildren, those I can now see and hold, but also those, Lord willing, yet to be born.  I am building our home library to be a heritage library for not only my children, but for my children’s children, and, perhaps, even my children’s children’s children!  Every book that I buy for our library is bought with the thought of generations to come.  I may not be remembered for the wonderful toys, clothes, and other things I can buy; but my prayer is that my grandchildren will remember the library that Grandma built with them in mind.

Because I still have young children at home that I am homeschooling, I can still relate to the struggles that my daughter, and other homeschooling moms, have.  I may be older, and I may have been doing it longer, but I’m still in the midst of it right along with them, and I understand when the days are hard!

Because I still have young children at home that I am homeschooling, my daughter and I can, and do, attend homeschool conferences together.  Sometimes we even end up in the same workshops!

Because I still have young children at home that I am homeschooling, I still have lots of great toys at my house! While most grandmas have a coffee table in front of their couch, the table in front of the couch in my school room is a train table!  One drawer is full of Brio and Brio-knock-off trains, tracks and accessories.  The other drawer is filled with toddler friendly Duplo blocks.  I have a closet in my school room with Lauri Puzzles by the score, as well as a nice stack of wooden puzzles.

Because I still have young children at home that I am homeschooling, art supplies are not only still in my home, but they are right out in the open for little hands to find! “Gwamma, can I play with the Play Doh”, is easy to say, “Yes”, to because the Play Doh is already out and all the Play Doh tools are together in the same bin.

Because I still have young children at home that I am homeschooling, I understand the need for discipline and, hard though it may be, I do not let my grandchildren get away with bad behavior.  Well, not usually.  I rebuke.  I correct.  I give instruction.  I have even applied a swat or two (though, truthfully, it nearly broke my heart in the process!).

Because I still have young children at home that I am homeschooling, and because I have a child and a grandchild with some special needs, I understand completely about special diets, ritualistic behaviors, and tics.  I also understand, better than most Grandmas, what damage just that one chocolate cookie can do to a kid.  I also understand, better than most Grandmas, that giving that child just one chocolate cookie, just one, can sometimes be the most wonderful thing in the world despite the negative consequences!

Because I still have young children at home that I am homeschooling, my life is different than many other Grandmas.  I love this season that I’m in.  My day for having no children still at home is coming, more quickly than I would like; and then my Homeschooling Grandma title will only mean that I am a Grandma of homeschooled grandchildren.  When that season comes, I will love it, too.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households!
Proverbs 31:27

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