“T” mentioned that she was learning piano, but she would also like to play guitar! No sooner had she said something, than my father-in-law put his shoes on and out the door he went. He returned about an hour later, guitar and music book in hand.
He sat down to show her the instrument and to read part of the book with her. (He doesn’t play guitar himself, but played first chair on clarinet for years.) He patiently showed her how the strings worked and highly encouraged her to start practicing daily.
This past weekend, my father-in-law called to ask “T” to bring her guitar and book on our next visit. It seemed he wanted to check her progress and to start his own lessons with her… reading music!
They studied together for some little while, her listening patiently and him briskly instructing. “T” loved her lessons with Yayo (grandpa in Spanish) and promised to keep up with her studies.
What blessed me the most about this situation (and others like them) is that the more our family sees what our children do and love, the more they want to be involved in their learning process!
My in-laws teach our children to cook, sew, and garden! Not because I don’t, but because they love it and want to share a part of themselves with the children. My sister-in-law gives instruction on how to be a better writer, speaker, and crafting guru (being the cool college professor that she is). Not because I don’t give instruction in these areas, but because she too loves them and wants to help them grow. My mother loves to encourage and support. She often brings them things to help them along; books, supplies, and ideas.
While the bulk of my children’s education will come from me (and my husband), I find it very touching that this has become a family affair. No one is excluded, all ideas are welcome, and everyone has a part in the fun!
Does your extended family participate in your children’s education? How so?