Saturday, July 28, 2007

Learning . . .

The hum of locusts at dusk is a reminder that summer won't last forever. The first day of school is, if not just around the corner, at least within sight.
Our children and grandchildren begin to gather school supplies, shop for new school shoes and clothes, think about school-year routines.
As grandparents we have unique opportunities to encourage our families to enjoy the educational process. Here are five things you can do to offer encouragement:
* Affirm how much fun it is to learn. Share your own enthusiasm at learning new things. Talk about the learning adventures the next school year might hold.
* Affirm your confidence in your child/grandchild's ability to learn. Talk about things they've learned and done well at previously. Help them imagine how they might use the things they've learned, how they might build on information they already know.
* Share something new you are learning. Let them see your enthusiasm for learning new things.
* Help your child/grandchild see how what they are learning applies to their every-day life. Point out how the life-skills they are learning at home use skills they learn at school: learning fractions helps in cooking, or building, or sewing; learning spelling and grammar helps in letter writing, and so on.
* Watch to see if there are practical ways you can help. Grandparents are often good sources for the extras that parents can't quite manage on their own, but ask first if parents mind if you provide those extras.

Speaking of learning new things, what are you doing to learn something fun and new this summer?
When we are comfortable, we can easily become complacent. That recliner exerts a strong pull, especially when it's right in front of the television set!
If you haven't set some learning goals for your own self this summer, it's not too late!
Open your eyes and look around: pay attention to the abundant life going on all around you. Your own life will be richer for it, and your children and grandchildren will benefit from your good example!

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