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Learning With Grandparents

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 5 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Grandparent Granddad Granny Gran Learn

Grandparents can be a great source of inspiration and knowledge and, those who are actively involved in a child’s life, can significantly benefit childhood learning. We take a look at the variety of ways in which children can learn with, and from, their grandparents.

There used to be a time when generations of families all lived within close proximity of one another, so it was not uncommon for children to spend plenty of time with their grandparents. Although many families are now much more scattered, living in different parts of the country or world from one another, some families are still within easy reach of grandparents.

In fact, some grandparents are actively involved in their grandchildren’s lives on a regular basis, not least as they’re roped in for their useful childcare services. Grandparents can be a great source of knowledge for children and a lot can be a learnt from the wise words of a grandmother or grandfather. Even those that don’t live nearby and who are only seen during school holidays or seasonal celebrations can still play a huge part in imparting knowledge and learning on the younger members of the family.

Learning About Family History and Customs

Grandparents are a vital link with the past, with the history of the family and with traditional family customs. Young children aren’t always immediately keen to learn about the past, but there usually comes a time when they suddenly find it more interesting, or they’re doing something at school that involves finding out about the older members of their family.

Either way, there’s a lot of fascinating information that grandparents can pass on to children and help them learn more about their own heritage. When you get together with grandparents to celebrate birthdays or annual events, it’s a time when traditional customs can be passed on and children can discover how people celebrated in the past. Hopefully learning these traditions will give a chance for them to be passed on to future generations too.

Learning About Life

With the extra years they’ve clocked up, it’s not surprising that grandparents can be a fount of knowledge and have a great deal of tales to deal about life experiences.

The experiences of our forebears, when society was different and many technological advances had yet to be discovered, are so different to life as we know it now. It’s easy to forget and, for children, it’s easy to not give a second thought to the things we take for granted. Sharing life experiences can help children build up their learning of history, their empathy for what other people have been through and their understanding that there’s more to life than what they know as normal.

Learning About People

Getting on with other people, developing social skills and relating to adults are important skills to develop. In the case of young children, these skills will take time to develop and mature, but being around older generations of family can aid their abilities and give them a well-rounded early education.

Even if their own grandparents have died, interacting with any family friends from different generations is beneficial. There’s so much we can learn from other people and it’s great to get a different perspective on life, so doing your best to help your child get that alternative perspective is great.

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