Mixed Ages

One of the many joys of homeschooling is being able to use your time as you’d please. Your days are more flexible to structure in a way to meet your family’s needs.

A second homeschool joy is regularly playing with kids of all ages. What a beneficial experience it would be to regularly spend time with senior citizens. Seniors have so much to offer to our young kids. 

One thing that we schedule into our days is an every other week visit to my grandmother who lives in an assisted living community. The girls’ call their great grandmother, Gigi.  It’s about an hour’s drive from our home. We arrive early to visit a bit and then have lunch together. These visits not only bring joy to my grandmother but to the other folks living there who love seeing a young face and all the energy they have to spread around. To be honest, our visits have become not so fun. While my grandmother loves them, she is not the best at interacting with them and the kids pick up on this. We have discussions where I try to gently navigate telling them how important these visits are to Gigi and how we want to be sure to soak up our time with her as we never know how much time we have with somebody   on earth. It’s doesn’t bring out the enthusiasm I wish was there.

These not very exciting visits were prompting me to want to think about how to better their relationship with Gigi and all older folks. So I organized an intergenerational play day at the community she lives in. My thoughts were to create a mutually beneficial day for the older guests and the children. The children could bring joy to the older folks and build relationships. The guests could enjoy the fun and energy the kids brought to day. 

My idea was to be outside and let the kids run around and play together as the guests watched or joined in. I put out beads for necklace making in hopes of guests and kids working together to make necklaces for themselves or others. A joint activity they could focus on and hopefully conversation could open up around this. The morning went well and the kids warmed up to folks a bit. My hope is a regular play day will lead to relationships being built.  

Naturally the girls took a break from beading to perform a play they threw together followed by a few songs from Sound of Music for the guests. This was something we plan to do monthly. It was great for the kids to connect two of their worlds by sharing this experience with their friends. 

~Kate

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