My grandmother was a school teacher who possessed a passion for learning and loved history. Growing up, my family would go on trips with my grandparents to Colonial Williamsburg. My grandmother wanted to see and experience everything and would make sure we all experienced and learned as much as possible on each trip. We would walk down the streets and see the people in their 18th century garb. My grandmother would share stories about that time period, introducing us to the key people, events, and ideas from history.
All these years later, I still remember how meaningful this time with my grandmother was and her ability to make history come alive. My grandmother’s engagement in my learning has had a significant effect on my life and helped create a love of history and learning.
It is important for kids to interact with their grandparents. Not only does developing a relationship with grandparents strengthen the emotional support system for the child, it allows our children to learn from people even older and wiser than ourselves. Grandparents who are engaged in their grandchildren’s learning can help inspire them to read, to study, and to explore.
Wisdom often increases with age. In many cultures, the elderly are revered and looked to for insight and advice. Encouraging and facilitating strong relationships between grandparents and grandchildren is a great way to enhance our children’s education while exposing them to the wisdom of our parents who have more experiential knowledge than we do.
“The presence of a grandparent confirms that parents were, indeed, little once, too, and that people who are little can grow to be big, can become parents, and one day even have grandchildren of their own. So often we think of grandparents as belonging to the past; but in this important way, grandparents, for young children, belong to the future.”
– Fred Rogers (“Mister Rogers.”)
Part two of a four part series on generational learning.
Part 1 – Why Generational Learning Is Important
Part 2 – Williamsburg with My Grandmother
Part 3 – Intergenerational Learning: Insight from Research Studies
Part 4 – Tips for Intergenerational Learning