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    Grandparents and Homeschooling

    Hello All,

    Does anyone have any advice about grandparents and homeschooling?

    My father-in-law spends 2 days a week at our house and my mother-in-law usually does not come, even though she is probably my children's favorite person in the world. I get the feeling that it has to do with not wanting to get in the way of homeschooling. Asking her directly probably would not get me a truthful answer either, she avoids any confrontation like the plague. She is full blooded Italian and she is really, really uncomfortable outside of her own kitchen or one that she is in charge of (so spending 2 days in another woman's home is hard to start with), and homeschooling is a complete mystery to her. I've tried to provide things that she could do with the kids while she'd here, mostly busy workbook type stuff, but it just ends up being awkward (mostly for me). Maybe I am over sensitive, but it seems like to me that she always ends up quizzing them instead of working on a lesson or wanting near perfection on basic things to the point of the kids losing interest. Lots of "you don't know what that is?" and "no, a number one is wrote like this" (alright maybe I'm exaggerating there). I know she really isn't trying to criticize them just to criticize, but how do I gently remind her that we are teaching, not testing and with littles teaching has to be repeated many times? I know she would love to be involved and I really do want her to be apart of it. I feel generational living is important, especially since we could end up that way someday permanently, but I need some ideas. To make matters worse she grew up in a home that spoke Italian (so it's almost her first language, even though she speaks fluent English) and my father-in-law says that I have to remember that she is thinking in Italian and trying to get it across in English, so lots of things are literally lost in translation. Also, I really can't let them not do school while they are here as it would set us back to much.

    Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    #2
    Re: Grandparents and Homeschooling

    Originally posted by Evangelina View Post
    I know she would love to be involved and I really do want her to be apart of it. I feel generational living is important, especially since we could end up that way someday permanently, but I need some ideas..
    How beautiful. I just love this. This is what it is supposed to be all about! At the end of our lives (the most important part) our children and grandchildren will be what really matters. You are so blessed to have grandparents who actually WANT to be involved in your kids' lives! What a gift. Have her teach them Italian! Or, give her the really hard stuff to do, the stuff you wouldn't trust anyone with. But Italian is such a beautiful language! Ask her to pass on her heritage to them. <3
    DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
    DS 10, using 5M core

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      #3
      Re: Grandparents and Homeschooling

      What ages/levels are your kids? What about delegating things like read alouds, enrichment activities (especially cooking oriented ones), science/nature things, museum trips, listening to music, looking at art, handicrafts, habit training, etc? It sounds like you want to find a place to honor her and use the help, but that staying away from core subjects is wise since you have specific ways you want those done.
      Festina lentē,
      Jessica P

      SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
      @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
      S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
      D · 8th
      D · 5th
      S · 2nd

      Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

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        #4
        Re: Grandparents and Homeschooling

        Could you take your kids to your in-laws house one day a week and have your mother-in-law do enrichment type things like teaching how to cook or reading to your children (possibly even in Italian)?
        --Amanda

        DD #1 - 3rd
        DD #2 - K

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          #5
          Re: Grandparents and Homeschooling

          very quickly -- my MIL lives just upstairs, and I have found that it doesn't work well to have her instruct or teach the children. She is best deployed as a source of joy & fun! Maybe read-alouds would work well, but other than that you might want her to be the playtime your littles get while you are teaching their sibling(s).

          If she needs help getting playing, Alex art/craft kits & various toys & games from Timberdoodle have been helpful here.

          Just one approach to intergenerationality ...
          Ana, mama to
          ds A, 13yo
          ds N, 8yo

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            #6
            Re: Grandparents and Homeschooling

            Originally posted by serendipitous journey View Post
            very quickly -- my MIL lives just upstairs, and I have found that it doesn't work well to have her instruct or teach the children. She is best deployed as a source of joy & fun! Maybe read-alouds would work well, but other than that you might want her to be the playtime your littles get while you are teaching their sibling(s).
            I agree! Some people just aren't naturally gifted as teachers. My mom homeschooled 7 kids and I could have her jump in and teach any subject any time, no questions asked. My mother in law, on the other hand, would be much as the OP described. She is also ESL so I try not to take all of what she says personally

            My MIL loves to be of service, so if I could drag her out of my kitchen, I would approach her with a "need."
            Example "This child needs to read aloud to me for 10 minutes, but I just don't have the time. Can she read to you?"
            Or "I'm really having trouble keeping up with everyone's flashcards and recitations, do you think you could do flashcards every day?"

            If she is really honestly uncomfortable with "school" then I have to agree with the other ladies' ideas: Italian, handicrafts, reading, cooking, or just playing with 1 kid while you teach the other. My MIL was very hesitant to speak to my kids in Chinese until we actually moved to China and got the kids a tutor. She is finally coming around. But she's great at passing down Chinese folk songs, games she remembers from her childhood, origami, cooking special dishes, etc.

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              #7
              Re: Grandparents and Homeschooling

              Absolutely agreeing with the other ladies here - grandparents are a source of delight and enrichment. My children's grandparents live far away and visits are a rare treat. Because we often have to school through their visits, I've found that it's best for me to continue our routine and for Grandpa to take over in the afternoon to toss the football with ds and for Tata to take dd12 to roll grape leaves in the kitchen. They both like to sit with the little one (she finishes early, for obvious reasons) and read or have tea parties or color while I'm working with the Bigs. My own parents like to spend time in their special ways - my mother will sit for hours and read to dd6 or work on needlework or fiber projects with dd12. My dad and my ds love nothing more than to just sit and fish. These are just as important as letter formation and verb conjugation!

              **Funny story about having parents "help" with education: My dad, who has quite the dry sense of humor, told me he wanted to sit in on some lessons awhile back, so we wholeheartedly invited him to join us. He sat observing our grammar lesson and, with mock seriousness, raised his hand. I asked what he needed and he said, "You wrote that wrong. It's not 'He gave the flowers to the girl', it's 'He GUV the flowers to the girl'." And with that, he led us on a rolicking 5 minute lesson on his version of English verb tenses - "give, gave, guv", "bring, brang, brung" and so on. "The correct way to say "I brought my lunch" is really "I BRUNG my lunch". *cue the kids howling with laughter and trying to correct him.* The kids NEVER forgot that lesson with their Papaw...and they still try to sneak things like "brung" into sentences. *smacks head, laughs*


              I agree that if your MIL is more comfortable in her own kitchen (my MIL is the same way), tell her how much you enjoy her cooking or some special thing she makes and ask if one (or more) of your children could spend some time with her learning to cook after school. Or just tell her that you love her and you want your children to have a close relationship with her and ask her what she'd like to do with the kids. Who knows? Maybe she's been dying to teach them Italian phrases or read her favorite book to them but just didn't know how to bring it up. I always have to remind myself that I'm still learning to be a good parent...and that my parents are learning how to be grandparents - not one of us was born into our current positions. We transitioned into them. We are all in uncharted territory and it's an intricate dance to keep healthy boundaries while spending quality time. <3
              Last edited by Mary; 10-11-2017, 08:25 AM.
              Mary

              DD14 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
              DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
              DD8 - SC level 2

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                #8
                Re: Grandparents and Homeschooling

                Originally posted by alihuyoung View Post

                If she is really honestly uncomfortable with "school" then I have to agree with the other ladies' ideas: Italian, handicrafts, reading, cooking, or just playing with 1 kid while you teach the other. My MIL was very hesitant to speak to my kids in Chinese until we actually moved to China and got the kids a tutor. She is finally coming around. But she's great at passing down Chinese folk songs, games she remembers from her childhood, origami, cooking special dishes, etc.
                That's interesting. My mother-in-law never taught her own kids Italian and never speaks it unless she's having an Italian cussing fit (which none of us can understand anyway), with Italian family or a few terms of endearment she uses while talking to the grandkids. I never understood why she didn't teach her own kids. I may try to encourage her in this though. I have found over the years that the woman in her family did not do a great job of passing on handiwork or cultural traditions. It's almost as if it was a competition among them and they wanted to keep what they knew to themselves. I think that may be why she is so uncomfortable with the whole "teaching" process in general, she was just never taught how in a loving way. Anyway, we'll see what we can do
                Thank you.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Grandparents and Homeschooling

                  Originally posted by Evangelina View Post
                  That's interesting. My mother-in-law never taught her own kids Italian and never speaks it unless she's having an Italian cussing fit (which none of us can understand anyway), with Italian family or a few terms of endearment she uses while talking to the grandkids. I never understood why she didn't teach her own kids. I may try to encourage her in this though. I have found over the years that the woman in her family did not do a great job of passing on handiwork or cultural traditions. It's almost as if it was a competition among them and they wanted to keep what they knew to themselves. I think that may be why she is so uncomfortable with the whole "teaching" process in general, she was just never taught how in a loving way. Anyway, we'll see what we can do
                  Thank you.
                  Recipes. They always leave something vital out of the recipes, too. Just so it will never be quite right. You can spend years (and gallons of sweat equity) waiting for a time-honored recipe to finally be revealed to you, and you’ll think you’ve gotten it... UNTIL...

                  My husband is Portuguese, but was also never taught any real Portuguese other than his grandfather’s cussing (in traffic — imagine a four-foot tall fireplug, a cigar hanging out of the side of his mouth, behind the wheel of an enormous solid steel sedan, yelling unintelligibly at all of New England). I took me 12 years to finally get a workable recipe for Portuguese sweet bread. And then it was because one of my husband’s friends from the old neighborhood finally wore his poor mother down with begging. She gave it to him over the phone in Portuguese. No real measurements, no real cooking times. But I took it gratefully and guard it like a state secret. (I don’t wait until the curtains are drawn and the sun has gone down on Holy Thursday to bake it — something about “keeping away the evil eye”? — because that just sounds kookoo-zagoots, but I do sprinkle holy water over the loaves if I can remember.)

                  Bottom line: I empathize.
                  Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
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                  “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                  ~Pope St John Paul II

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                    #10
                    Re: Grandparents and Homeschooling

                    Originally posted by Evangelina View Post
                    That's interesting. My mother-in-law never taught her own kids Italian and never speaks it unless she's having an Italian cussing fit (which none of us can understand anyway), with Italian family or a few terms of endearment she uses while talking to the grandkids. I never understood why she didn't teach her own kids. I may try to encourage her in this though. I have found over the years that the woman in her family did not do a great job of passing on handiwork or cultural traditions. It's almost as if it was a competition among them and they wanted to keep what they knew to themselves. I think that may be why she is so uncomfortable with the whole "teaching" process in general, she was just never taught how in a loving way. Anyway, we'll see what we can do
                    Thank you.
                    My in-laws didn't teach their kids to speak Chinese either, nor did any of their siblings who also immigrated to the US. I've finally come to the conclusion that as immigrants, even though they came as children and were fluent English speakers by the time they had kids (my husband's parents have zero accent) they just wanted their kids to be as American as possible. I mean, they and their parents went through a lot of trouble to get the family moved to the States and learn a new language. I sort of get it. I still wish my husband had learned when he was little though and could pass it in to our kids!

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