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Ideas for how extended family members may work with the homeschooled scholar ...
1) Researching and making family trees (complete with history, pictures, birth/death certificates, funny stories, etc.)
2) Reading to children
3) Seeking their input and/or recommendations for curriculum
4) Attending historical re-enactments
5) Taking homschooling scholar on science / geography / history field trips
6) Creating a wish list for curriculum for Christmas / birthdays
7) Getting involved with Christian community or civic projects (learning about and helping persecuted Christians, visiting geriatric centers, selling poppies for the VFW on Memorial Day, etc.)
Homeschooling is becoming so well known that fewer and fewer individuals are being antagonistic to family members homeschooling. However, some families members still like to give grief and be oppositional. One example that was mentioned was how a maternal grandmother would send audiotapes to her grandchildren telling them how much they were missing in government school in a story format (e.g., the smell of warm mittens drying on radiators, whispering to classmates, writing notes, etc). It was recommended to this family that they take the audiotapes and have their children reading a classic story into it during their literature segment, taping their science class, taping their history field trip, etc. The audiotape was returned along with a note to grandma thanking her for sharing what school time was like in government school when she was young. The young grandchildren were quick to point out, however, that it was due to homeschooling that grandmother's audiotape could even be listened to and thoughtfully discussed !
Other ways to include antagonistic families included ...
2) Not going on the defensive about homeschooling
3) Talking about those things the antagonistic family member was interested in and figuring out how to include same in the homeschooling environment
When homeschooling first came about, many were very antagonistic to the very idea. As homeschooling has become more mainstream with most individuals knowing at least 1-2 families that homeschool (if not more), and seeing the positive results of this educational method, the demographics have changed. Many grandparents and other extended family members are attempting to help those in their neighborhood, community, work, and church environments to homeschool!
1) Many grandparents will tell anyone who will sit still long enough to listen how their grandchildren are being homeschooled and how proud they are
2) One grandmother wears a t-shirt with the logo "Ask Me About Homeschooling" where she talks to many others across the country during her travels encouraging them to either (a) homeschool their own children or (b) have their grandchildren or nieces/nephews homeschoooled
3) Some grandparents send newspaper articles to their grandchildren about homeschool success stories, problems in the government schools, and notes wishing they could be homeschooled and that homeschooling is a blessing.
4) Other grandparents hand out literature promoting homeschooling at work, in their community, and at church.
More and more extended family members are attempting to find ways to have their grandchildren or nieces/nephews taken out of the government schools and homeschooled. Problems have arisen, though. Many grandparents are running into children that will not homeschool their grandchildren resulting in extended family members feeling frustrated and concerned for the children's safety and welfare. A growing trend is for grandparents to homeschool their grandchildren until the parents get themselves out of debt.
This page resulted from the 25 June 2002 Tuesday Night Chat entitled "How to Tap the Talents of Extended Family Members."
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