‘Gramma’ School

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“‘Gramma’ School,” Ensign, Sept. 2008, 66–67

“Gramma” School

Barbara R. Matson, Washington

Several years ago I had the impression that my grandchildren wouldn’t live near me for long, and I wanted to spend lots of constructive time with them while I could. With their mothers’ permission, I invited the children over to my house twice a week for two hours each time. We called it “Gramma” school.

We started our days together with prayer and talked about Heavenly Father. We emphasized good values, enjoyed scripture stories, and colored religious pictures. And that was for starters. The possibilities of what we could do together were endless. I didn’t spend a lot of time preparing, nor did I spend much money. I just brainstormed ideas or found activities in books.

A few of our favorites included dancing while I played the piano, baking goodies, making play dough, and exploring nature. We also learned the alphabet and sounds of each letter, which helped the children become early readers. We studied insects under magnifying glasses and picked apricot blossoms to make “popcorn” balls while we sang “Popcorn Popping” (Children’s Songbook, 242). We picked autumn leaves, carved pumpkins, and told stories (while wearing homemade costumes) about pilgrim ancestors. We even had dress-up parties wearing Great-Grandma’s hats and outfits.

My feeling that the grandchildren would move away proved to be true. Fortunately, I had taken pictures of all our activities so I could make a simple keepsake scrapbook for each child. Now that I’m the “too-far-away Grandma,” as one grandchild puts it, I travel for visits, plan reunions, and use the telephone, recordings, mail delivery, and e-mail to keep in touch. I love being a grandma and am grateful for the knowledge that families can be eternal.