I spent a few days with my mom’s parents earlier this month; during that time we went down to Portland and toured around a bit. My grandparents, who live in redmond, love that since we are homeschooled, my siblings and I can take a few days out of the week to do that. When my mom was a child she lived overseas, so she didn’t get to spend as much time with her grandparents as I do. My mom grew up going to different schools as she moved around including Montessori when she lived in Panama and public school when she moved back to the United States. When my mother told my grandma that she was going to homeschool us my grandma was somewhat surprised. “But I don’t think I was as surprised as your mother was. I think that she always thought that she would be going out and having a career, and it surprised her when she decided that really what she would like to do is be home with you guys, and school you at home,” my grandma said.
My grandma always thought homeschooling was a good idea because she always had wanted a slightly different type of schooling for my mom and her brother, and she thinks that her own family was very fortunate to live in Panama and have that for awhile. “I always thought that education at home was a good idea, I just didn’t think I personally could do it. And I probably couldn’t, because I was overseas at the time,” my grandma said. She went on to say that she didn’t have the resources that people have today to homeschool. My grandma thinks that my siblings and I have “blossomed from homeschooling” and surpassed her already high expectations.
Unlike my grandma, my grandpa was a bit concerned about the social aspect of my mom homeschooling us. In other words, he wondered how we would learn to have friends and deal with people. But he did have a turning point. “As I saw you and Isa having various activities, getting together with homeschool groups, being in plays and doing all sorts of stuff, I realized that there was a way to resolve that without having to be in school.” So that concern pretty much melted away.
He does have another concern right now though. “I am surprised with the lack of structure you have. In other words, I would have thought that your homeschool teacher i.e. your mother would have more assignments for you... to keep your skills at the right level, and stretch you a little bit. To keep it a little bit harder, so you have to work a little bit harder. To learn more, and achieve more.” I think my mom likes the homeschooling structure the way it is, with us going at our own pace and learning what we want to learn in the elementary years. As I have gotten older, the expectations have increased. But I can see my grandpa’s point of view to stretch us, and my doing so, improve us. Overall, in my family’s specific case he thinks that homeschooling has gone pretty well, but in general he thinks that some kids might do better in school than homeschooling, and the other way around.
My dad’s mom lives in California, and we normally see her about once a year. She doesn’t really understand homeschooling, because she isn’t around to see it firsthand, but she trusts that my dad knows what he and my mom are doing. My dad’s father lives in Mexico, we also only see him once every few years. Normally when we see my grandparents on my dad’s side schooling doesn’t even come up because there is always a lot of family around, and the focus is really just about being together.
My relationship with my grandparents on both sides is a very special one because they give me a huge amount of unwavering support in whatever I do. My mom’s parents are amazing role models because they are active and engaged in life. My grandma in California is always there for everyone in her family who needs it. In fact she took in four grandkids when their parents couldn’t care for them and is raising them. And even though I don’t get to see my Abuelo in Mexico that often I always enjoy seeing him because he is so much fun. Overall, I think I have pretty amazing grandparents and i’m glad I can be so close to at least half of them. I'm lucky that my grandparents are supportive of us homeschooling because I know that some familys are not as supportive of homeschooling.