“Learning with Grandma,” Ensign, June 1994, 73
My mother was happy when some of her married daughters settled near her to rear their families. Besides being able to enjoy the company of her children, she wanted to develop a close relationship with her grandchildren. That desire led to the formation of “Grandma School.” On Wednesday mornings, the moms take turns driving those grandchildren who are three to five years old to Grandma’s house.
Grandma meets the children at the door with a big hug and a smile. When everyone is assembled, Grandma School opens with the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. The children are eager for their turn to hold the flag or lead the pledge. Soon they know the words by heart. This is followed by a prayer, and then Grandma reads a story.
Then the children sit around the kitchen table where Grandma has a couple of simple worksheets prepared. The children learn simple preparatory skills such as identifying colors, matching, and counting.
Art is the favorite activity of the day. Grandma often selects a project corresponding to the current season or an upcoming holiday. For example, close to Valentine’s Day every child creates a valentine person made up of different sizes of hearts. Many of the projects emphasize cutting with scissors, a useful skill for kindergartners that takes lots of practice to develop. By observing each grandchild and noticing how he or she is progressing, Grandma can give her daughters helpful information about their children’s preparation for kindergarten.
Grandma School concludes with a simple lunch. After a hug and kiss, the children go out to the car, clutching their art. They often fall asleep on the way home, tired from an exciting morning of school with cousins and Grandma.—Rauna Mortensen, Mesa, Arizona