All grandfathers can play a critical role in their grandchild’s education. Research shows that when significant men are involved, children learn more, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior.

Young boys especially need encouragement from men in the education department. Most commonly, it’s moms who check homework and women who teach at the elementary school level. The result is that many boys get the message that education is a female thing. They may get turned off and search for a more so-called “masculine” pursuit—often gangs, anger, violence and the like.

And this issue is really important for all grandparents. We need caring adults who are involved at school and at home to help kids recognize that a good education is often a major factor in propelling them to long-term success in life. If we’re not interested in our grandchildren’s school work, chances are they won’t be either. And that could have far-reaching, lifelong implications.

Let’s let them know—without a doubt—that school, education, and achievement are very important, and then become involved ourselves by helping them set goals, being aware of their day-to-day assignments and progress, and providing lots of praise and encouragement.


  • Read a short story, Reader’s Digest article, or essay to your grandkids.
  • Have your grandchild read to you, or take turns reading a story where you can use a variety of voices for the characters.
  • With an older child, read a news article or editorial and discuss it.
  • Put an “I love and appreciate you because …” note in your grandchild’s lunch box or book bag.
  • Visit your grandchild’s school at least once this month.
  • Write an encouraging note or e-mail to your grandchild’s teacher(s).
  • Learn the names and something about your grandchild’s 3 best friends.