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Grandparents Rechannel Energy to Home-schooling

Grandparents Rechannel Energy to Home-schooling

(ARA)- Sebastian Anderson is enjoying sixth grade more than previous schooling because his classroom is in his home in Tobyhanna, Pa., and his teacher is his grandmother, Grace Anderson.
Anderson, 67, spends about five to six hours a day teaching Sebastian, 12. With classical music playing softly in the background, Anderson helps Sebastian work on his lessons from Calvert School, a home-school curriculum provider that provides home teachers with complete daily lesson plans as well as textbooks, workbooks, and supplies.
"The bonding is wonderful," says Anderson. "We really enjoy each other."
Anderson's home-schooling efforts are part of a growing trend among grandparents, many who have retired from careers in their 50s and 60s in good health and with financial freedom. Eager for a new challenge and concerned about the academic performance of their grandchildren, grandparents are taking on a new role: home teacher.
"Home-schooling and the other lessons have brought us closer, and now Sebastian and I respect each other, and we grow a lot together," Anderson says.
Seated next to Sebastian, Anderson enjoys remembering and relearning what Sebastian is learning in geography, history, language arts, science, math, and art history. She is now proficient at diagramming sentences, a skills she does not recall her two daughters--Sebastian's mother Bridget, 40, and aunt, Natalie, 38,--learning in school.
"Home-schooling has done so much to open my eyes to the wider lessons in the world, to the new things that are being taught today," Anderson says.
Anderson's decision to become Sebastian's teacher has benefited her grandson. In the private school he attended in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., before a move to the Poconos last year, Sebastian expressed frustration with the teacher's pacing of instruction and the constant need to discipline his classmates.
With his grandmother as teacher, he's happier. "It's very fun, exhausting and exhilarating. I love learning with her," says Sebastian.
When Anderson needed a curriculum, she turned to Calvert School, which has been supporting home-schooling families for almost 100 years by providing curriculum as well as academic support and guidance. She likes that the Calvert curriculum, which costs an average of about $600 a year, includes step-by-step lesson plans that guide her efforts and daily instruction. She also appreciates the help of Calvert's academic support, including teachers who she can contact by telephone to address any questions or concerns with a lesson. Students are allowed to enroll in the Calvert program throughout the school year.
Jean C. Halle, president of Calvert School's home-school operations, says families considering home-schooling should choose a program that offers a complete, age-appropriate curriculum with lesson plans for each subject so the home teacher can focus on instruction, not planning. The program should include placement testing to ensure the child is properly challenged.
Halle also suggests that setting clear expectations for everyone involved in the home-school, including the parents and child, is a key to success. "Grandparents should discuss early on where their responsibilities fall as the home teacher," Halle says. "It's important for everyone, including the grandchild, to recognize who is in charge of the home-school."
Anderson, who completed several years of community college, plays many roles during the home-school day, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. She makes sure the right books are close at hand for each subject. She participates in reading literature, history and geography textbooks, with she and Sebastian taking turns as reader and listener. She quizzes Sebastian on key concepts and ideas, and she checks his daily work. If Sebastian doesn't get every answer correct, she returns work to him and watches as he corrects his mistakes.
"His work is far improved with one-on one instruction, and he enjoys school more than ever," says Anderson. "And we both are learning so much more each day."
To learn more about home-schooling, contact Calvert School at (888) 487-4652 or visit

Courtesy of ARA Content

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