My granddaughter is going back to school in five more sleeps. For real, in class school. She has been learning online since last March, almost a year now. Since September she has been coming here for school on the days her Mom goes to work.
She is very excited to be heading back, over the moon in fact. Grandma, not so much. Of course, I am happy she is happy, but I will miss her and the quality time we have spent together these past months. It has been a bright spot for me throughout our pandemic restrictions.
We have settled into a comfortable daily routine before, during, between, and after her online lessons. Classes start at 9am with her school day ending around 330pm. That’s a long day for a seven year old, and an over sixty year old, but we manage to sneak some fun into our day.
When she arrives around 630am, we start our day with several rounds of cards, while I sip from my first cup of coffee. She has learned, and is now quite proficient at, the games of Concentration, Go Fish and Crazy Eights. So proficient in fact that she beats me often, without me having to let her win. She is very competitive, so winning is important and losing results in a pout and a demanded rematch. I look at these games as exercise for my short term memory.
Stretches and Yoga
After she has won enough card games, we get into stretches and yoga poses. As a competitive gymnast, she knows and excels at all the warm up stretches. Grandma can keep up for a little while, until the planks last longer than a minute or she tries to shape me into a human pretzel.
We have been reading lots too. She reads Mia Mayhem to me, and I read Harry Potter to her. Mia Mayhem is a series of books appropriate for her age and reading level, but even more special because she shares her name with the super hero star of the series. Santa was very clever to pick those books out for her. Harry Potter, I would imagine, needs no explanation or introduction. She loves the Harry Potter saga so much that she dressed up as Hermoine for Hallowe’en.
Concocting treats in the kitchen has been popular too with an endless supply of cookies, muffins and even Daddy’s favourite candy for Grandma’s counter and freezer. With doggie bags for her to take some home too of course. Fresh fruit smoothies and breakfast pancakes are other favourites too. Oh, and she doesn’t let me forget an ice cream treat after her last lesson of the day, before she starts the independent learning hour. Today, in honour of her last day at Grandma’s school house, we went to Dairy Queen for their Blizzard BOGO event.
We also get outdoors for some fresh air and sunshine every day, so important in winter. Before the snow and cold weather arrived we spent our outdoor time predominantly in my gardens, with a few treks to the gardens I tend at our local hospice.
These past few months, since our gardens are covered in snow, our outdoor time has evolved to include walks in the snow, shoveling the snow or playing in it and with it.
Cultivating her Green Thumb
Even though we had to postpone our gardening adventures outside, we did spend time perusing garden catalogues, choosing new and interesting plants and seeds for spring planting. We also tend the seeds and cuttings we planted last fall, that now take up the entire counter area in my basement.
This week she has also been helping me repot my existing houseplants and find new homes for the new ones that have just arrived. (keep your eyes out for my next post about houseplants) We also rescued a forlorn and partially frozen large tropical corn plant from a neighbour’s snowbank today, hopefully it will survive.
All my grandchildren appear to love my piano, but this granddaughter, as the eldest grandchild, is really showing interest and talent. She has worked her way through the kids books, recently attempting a more complicated book of Christmas carols. We had planned to perform a mini concert of these songs at our family Christmas gathering, but neither the concert or the concert happened, thanks to the current rules of the pandemic.
She did let me record her playing a few tunes though…
As you can imagine, our days together have been jam packed with activities, and school lessons too. Her computer skills are now amazing for her age and she is thriving online, although she does miss her friends.
I do understand the importance of developing social skills at this age. Sitting at a computer for close to 5 hours every day is not healthy for any child. (or adult for that matter)
Grandma will miss the quality time. But not the 6am alarm.