3 Ways to (Really) Support Your Homeschooled Grandchildren
By Linsey Knerl
School as we know it has been largely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading families to wonder how they can provide stability to kids in uncertain times. Homeschooling is one way forward, and with over 2.6 million grandparents helping care for grandchildren in their homes, there’s an incredible opportunity to help. You don’t have to share a roof to make a difference, however. Here are some ways to support quality at-home education from anywhere in the world.
#1 Ask for opportunities
Homeschooling looks different for every family, with some doing 100% online learning and others taking nature walks for most of their day. The best way to be of help is to inquire of both the parent and child, “What can I do?” The answer may be as easy as sitting on a video call while grandchildren do their daily 20-minute read-aloud time. Most solutions are simple, but investigating is the only way to know for sure.
#2 Show your support
The home education path is one fraught with challenges, and parents often second guess if they have what it takes to complete the mission. Even if you’ve had your doubts about its validity in the past, the changing education landscape has put even reluctant homeschoolers in places they never thought they would be before. Your family needs your words of support more than ever, so find ways to express that you believe in their efforts. It means the world to them.
#3 Model empathy
Kids have a lot to say, and one of the most effective things you can do to relieve overburdened parents and build strong relationships is to simply hear the children out. You don’t have to understand everything they’re passionate about to make the conversation count. Whether they are complaining about the rigor of their math course or simply sharing their favorite Minecraft mod, you can model empathy and create a safe place for them to work out their problems by lending an ear.
“Your willingness to provide an emotional and social partnership is one they’ll cherish forever.”
One benefit of homeschooling is that it supports inter-generational relationships, as grandchildren aren’t confined to one classroom of their peers. You can help them realize the value of seniors by being an active part of their education. You may never need to “solve for Y” or translate French adjectives, but your willingness to provide an emotional and social partnership is one they’ll cherish forever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linsey Knerl is a 15-year home educator. Her book Homeschool Hacks: How to Give Your Kid a Great Education Without Losing Your Job (or Your Mind) is coming May 2021.