The Grandparent Factor: A Key Ingredient to Homeschool Success

•“My mom and dad take the kids on field trips and also have my kids over for sleepovers and school days when I need a break. My mom is super creative, so she does many fun things with them!”—Lauren VanEwk

•“My mom is always teaching something to my kids, whether it is in her conversation or her activities. She bakes with them, does crafts with them, and includes them in her gardening.”—Leshia Jennings

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Practical Ways to Win Over the Skeptical Grandparent

Include them in projects. Working on a history lapbook with the children? Let Grandma help them with the research. Ask Grandpa to aid in building the model for the local science fair. Build birdhouses together. Collect leaves at the park. The ideas are limited only by your imagination and resources.

Use their skills. Grandparents can teach sewing, art, woodworking, and whatever else suits their interests and hobbies. If you belong to a teaching co-op, ask grandparents if they have a skill they could teach a group of students.

Invite them to go on field trips. A tour at the post office, a trip to a medieval village, even a fire truck exhibit will get them excited about homeschooling and the variety of ways there are to learn.

Read good literature together. Find a classic that the children would enjoy, and invite the grandparents over once a week to read a chapter or two, with cookies and tea as a treat afterward.

Offer hands-on opportunities. Save spelling tests and math corrections for Grandma or Grandpa. This is a nice solution for busy moms who could use the help, and it allows Nana to see the children in action. Use grandparents as an audience during practice of oral reports, speeches, and debates.

Joy Kita is a mother of four and blessed wife of Stan. She has been homeschooling for seven years and is currently the director of a thriving co-op with eighty plus children. She is a fiction author for children, specializing in adventures for boys. She tries to stay motivated by her all-consuming love for the Father.

Copyright, 2012. Used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine, April 2012. Read the magazine free at or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

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