This week's Blog Cruise topic: How are your spouse, grandparents, or other family members involved in your homeschooling?
Most people seem to be posting about their wonderfully involved husbands, or active grandparents. I'm struggling with what to say, and am tempted to not post. But I guess I am going to go ahead anyway and at least write this. We'll see if I post.
The kids' grandparents are not really involved in their homeschooling. All are supportive. But we live a thousand miles away, which makes it difficult to be involved in any real day-to-day stuff. Same for the kids' uncles and aunt. When we visit home, or someone comes out here, some school will frequently happen. And grandparents have purchased "school stuff" as gifts, especially science-y stuff, or great children's books.
As we are approaching studying the 20th century again, I'm sure the kids are going to be conversing with grandparents about various events. I remember last time we studied 20th century history, the kids had a long conversation about some "I Like Ike" buttons with their grandma. I can see things getting a lot more in-depth this time around. The Vietnam War ought to lead to an interesting conversation with Grandpa. Watergate, the Carter malaise... I know I look forward to doing a multi-generation conversation about some of that.
Dale's primary role in our homeschool is to work long and hard so that I can stay home to teach. He is also pretty good at laying down the law when bad attitudes prevail. He has listened to a number of audiobooks during his commute that we are listening to during the school day so that he can be a part of discussions involving the book. He has recommended some audiobooks that neither the kids nor I would have found on our own.
He is always up for watching a movie based in the time period we are studying and is able to discuss those as well.
Sometimes, he will listen to a kid read. And if I'm totally pulling my hair out because we have a math concept that just won't sink in for a child, he'll try working through it. By that time, the child involved has probably heard the same concept presented in 4-5 different ways, and very, very often it will just "click" when Dale goes over it. That frustrates me, selfishly... like I'm a horrible teacher and it was so effortless for Dale. But the relief of kiddo finally grasping it generally outweighs the annoyance that Dale didn't have to see firsthand how frustrating it had been.
He's also quite willing to figure out a way to get an iPod or other gadget when he knows it would make life a bit easier for me, or for the kids.
Probably the biggest thing he does is to not complain (too much) when school seems to have taken over the house. Books stacked on the island, science projects all over the dining room table, books stacked in the living room, art project all over the living room floor...
Check out the TOS Crew Blog on Tuesday for more ideas as to how real families are involving adults besides Mom in their schools... I know I'll be looking for ideas!