My grandmother has lived such a full and story-filled life. My three children are beyond blessed to have her in their lives. She was in Alaska in 1963 during the huge earth quake. She lived in Indonesia during the USA’s bicentennial. She was married twice – both to officers in the USA Army.
Learning is not completely academic. It is holistic, and when my children visit her house they are hearing her stories, looking at her collectibles from around the world, and gaining a broader view of their world.
On Grandparent’s Day this past Sunday, my 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son spent the afternoon with her. I sat back and listened as my grandma’s eyes lit up, reminiscing her past.
David’s favorite story was the Alaska earthquake. Great-grandma pulled out an original magazine, published soon after the quake and filled with photos.
“I was in church when it happend and I thought it was the end of the world,” she shared. “The scary thing was that it happened on Good Friday. The priest was holding the Bible and just finished telling the story of how Jesus died when the ground started to move! We heard a huge roar as the beams to the church bent and swayed!”
My children were born and raised in Kansas. They have never heard of an earthquake yet. Until now. They turned the pages of the magazine, asking questions.
“What happened to that house?”
“Was someone in that car when the building fell down?”
Great-grandma laughed when she told us about how she immediately flew home to Kansas to be with her parents after the quake.
“But as my dad was driving me home from the airport he kept looking at the sky,” she said. “Turns out we were in a tornado watch!” Her eyes rolled and she slapped her legs as she remembered the irony of her homecoming.
My children are blessed to be able to learn social science and cultural studies from their great-grandma. I hope one day I can help her write down her stories so they can be passed down to my children’s children too!
What do your children learn from their grandparents?