Our grandchildren shine! (and here’s why)

Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.

Philippians 2:15b-16a

Today’s blog entry is a “proud granddaddy” post. Most of the time the stuff I write about David, Beks, Geoffrey, and Mr. T. is focused on family; but today I have something about school.

David (ten and a half) is finishing up the 4th grade, and Beks (turning nine at the end of June) is in 3rd. Well, Wednesday was the school awards assembly, and both of them turned up on stage.

This is epic! Especially considering only a handful of kids qualified. All things considered, it is a nice exclamation point to conclude the children’s two-and-a-half extraordinary years in Miami.

Pandemic education!

It was the middle of February in 2020 when Naomi’s family said goodbye to Richmond and moved to Miami. David and Beks enrolled in school (1st and 2nd grade), learned their teachers’ names, and then – less than two weeks later – found themselves at home, “temporarily” attending class via ZOOM.

“A couple of weeks” turned into the balance of the school year. Then, something they will be telling their children and grandchildren about one day, David and Beks (and soon the new baby) had their entire 2nd and 3rd grade school experience from their dining room table at home!

By the time they showed up for the current school year in late August of 2021, David and Beks had been in Miami for more than 18-months and in the classroom less than two weeks!

I say all this because their teachers had the challenge of their lives this year and nobody knew what to expect. Some children had been, essentially, disengaged from education for a year and a half. Some had little to no access, supervision, guidance, or encouragement. Some were nowhere near ready for the next grade.

How (and why) they shine!

David and Beks, however, have continued to shine, and it is a testimony to the home and stability their parents have worked hard to provide. Here is why our grandchildren have thrived, and I believe this is a good checklist for us all:

  • Their parents (Naomi and Craig) are committed to the marriage first (kids need that more than anything).
  • Naomi and Craig understand their kids’ education is their responsibility as parents – the school just helps.
  • The family is committed to wider communities and support systems such as church, neighborhood friends, extended family, Boy Scouts, ballet etc.
  • The family took school seriously during the pandemic.
  • The kids maintained a regular school schedule during the pandemic.
  • The kids had access to good technology during the pandemic.
  • The entire family values learning, and it is not over when school gets out (books, games, museums, the zoo, field trips, vacation, etc.)
  • David and Beks have responsibilities in the home, and are hugely helpful with their little brother.

Essentially, what I am describing is a family culture that values commitment, community, and learning.

– NC writer (and granddaddy) Derek Maul

We are beings created in the image of God; and if we are to thrive then we absolutely must embrace the truth of it, learn to understand what God values and strive for that, and reach for the stars because God purposes us to shine.

I feel like this is happening in my grandchildren’s lives, and this is why they are doing so well.

I’m excited to see what’s next! – DEREK

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