Letter: Observations on school with the grandkids | VailDaily.com

Letter: Observations on school with the grandkids

Today I went to school with my grandchildren. My son and daughter-in-law are taking a Labor Day break and we are enjoying some grandparenting time this long weekend. It’s Friday morning and I’m sitting across the kitchen table from our elementary school-aged grandson who just completed his remote arithmetic lesson on rounding numbers. Next is English, writing a story with a beginning, middle, and end about a photo of elephants. He has been going to class two days a week and studying remotely at home other days. Soon he will transition to all in-class learning. Yay!

In the office, our ninth-grader is online with her high school teacher and classmates studying science. I can hear the back-and-forth chatter as they discuss the scientific method. Our other high schooler is sitting at her desk upstairs in her bedroom studying world history and Spanish. Neither of the high school girls has in-classroom learning yet and they may not return to their Boulder classrooms until after the first of the year. They, like their parents and grandparents, recognize the deficiencies of online learning.

What a change from our elementary school days. We sat at wooden desks with inkwells and used Esterbrook pens to practice the Palmer Method of penmanship. Today cursive writing, like in-desk inkwells, is an artifact of the past. Schools and educational tools have changed and so have newspapers. I’m reading today’s online Wall Street Journal article “Teachers want More Online Training.” Meg Jones, a teacher in Manhattan said, “It’s been a scramble to figure out how to do it better.” I’m sure around the country, other teachers are echoing that comment along with parents and grandparents. We are all scrambling to do it better.

Skip Thurnauer


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