Grandparents answer the School Bell
The Good Life|November 2020
The pandemic has thrust some families together, with parents working from home and kids learning remotely, using a dining room or kitchen nook as a makeshift classroom.
By Marlene Farrell

Everyone’s on their own device, doing their best to be productive.

In other cases, parents are away at essential jobs and children become their own time managers. Both scenarios are rife with problems, and quality education can be a casualty.

Some lucky local families are tapping into a key resource to help — grandparents! This option works if grandparents live nearby and feel safe sharing a bubble with their younger family members.

DARAKSHAN FARBER

For Darakshan Farber, his daily routine has changed dramatically from a year ago.

In the fall of 2019, he was wandering and exploring Spain, Turkey and Egypt, four and a half years into world travel. Back then, being on the move was his constant.

Now Darakshan has settled in Leavenworth; this summer he found a small rental with a river view. His mornings are punctuated by the arrival of Ori, his fourth-grader grandson, who comes in time to start up Zoom on a laptop, attend class and work on assignments. Ori’s older brother has a different routine, working at home while his mom is present or at work.

“I’m only helping one child, and it’s pretty hands-off,” Darakshan said of their arrangement.

“It took a few weeks to get the rhythm down. Occasionally, Ori comes to me with a question, but that’s pretty rare. I am supposed to keep track of when he should be working and when on break, but that’s been difficult. I usually don’t hear the current instructions from his teacher, so I have to trust Ori’s word.”

Trust is based on good intentions, but even the best intentions can be derailed by accidental misunderstanding between teacher and student through screens.

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