Updated: Oct 7, 2022
More and more families share multigenerational living space or include grandparents with custody of grandchildren. Even if living in more traditional circumstances, with the turmoil of the recent pandemic, grandparents are becoming more involved in their grandchildren’s education.
With this in mind, there are important considerations for all so that the grandchildren receive the best education possible. As usual, communication is at the top of the list. Has your family discussed the importance of education, the values your family embraces with respect to education, and the decision-making process? Some parents will welcome your participation, while others might find it intrusive. Communicate early and often so you can build a strong team supporting your Grands in their learning process.
How Can You Support Your Grandchildren’s Education?
What about finances? Is this an issue for your family? Is it school supplies or tuition for private schooling? Personally, I’m an advocate for helping where you can. Again, discussions with parents will help in this area. Here’s a simple example: school supplies. It can be fun and exciting to shop for school supplies, however, grandparents need to be considerate and not overshop and spoil the excitement for parents. Having said that, we can help with finances to buy the necessary supplies and make it a win-win for everyone. Or maybe you can choose some portion of supplies and gift it to your Grands. There are lots of ways to work out the finances without causing insult, jealousy, or resentment. The key is always to communicate and agree on what works best.
Are you helping or can you help with virtual education or homework? Some grandparents excel at offering this kind of support. They understand how to teach and have the patience to work with students. Supporting the youngest scholars in the family this way can be a huge blessing to both the grandchild and parent. Parents are scrambling to figure out how to manage the post-pandemic world, shutdowns, and masking. Your help could mean all the difference as children adjust to new or different learning situations.
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Finally, let’s remember that regardless of political positions, social issues, or the chosen learning environment for the upcoming school year, our primary focus in this area needs to be our grandchildren and their development. With the interruption many children have experienced in their education the last couple of years, it’s more important than ever before that we work hard to create good learning experiences. Children often choose whether they like learning at a young age. We can play an important role in instilling a love of learning in the hearts of our Grands.