Starting Homeschooling-Step Six-Explore your Child’s InterestsJul 17th, 2008 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: General Homeschool Posts, Lead Article, Math and Science, New to Homeschooling
- If your curriculum provides an introduction to medieval history and your child is enthralled, take the time to pursue it further.
- If you know your child has a passion for the study of electricity, give him the tools to dig deeper.
- If you have a budding writer who can’t wait to publish her own book, provide the time to develop her writing skills.
- If your child loves photography, let him pick up a camera, enroll him in a class, or just provide ample time for him to get out and start shooting.
We learn best when we are interested in knowing more. Consider yourself-when you decided to consider homeschooling, you suddenly developed a deep interest in learning more about it. You have likely spent considerable time surfing the web, reading as many resources as you can find, questioning those you know are involved in homeschooling, and seeking answers for your many questions.
You have been learning.
And all of that study will likely remain with you. Why? Because you want to know!
Kids are the same way. When they want to know something, they are ready to learn. They are willing to take the time to read, to listen, to study, to explore.
Let me provide some personal examples.
- One of my children is passionate about animals. She is convinced that she will grow up to be a vet someday. As a result, when she was in second grade, we decided to skip the typical science courses and focus on Animal Science.The course we selected was wonderful. It not only covered a variety of different animals, but tied in the instruction to principles of character and Christian living.Because she was so excited about animals, she began each unit with enthusiasm, often heading to the computer to look up more about the animal covered in each unit.Then, because I am at heart a writing teacher, we worked together ate the end of each unit to write a full-page report on the animal studied in that unit.Now, as we look back at her portfolio from second grade, I am impressed with the number of details she remembered and captured in those papers. And, as we encounter various animals, she still comes out with interesting facts that she picked up way back in second grade.She was passionate about animals and, as a result, passionate about her science course that year.
Another example of how interest can inspire learning happened more recently in our household.
My girls have recently discovered You Tube, the wealth of information it can provide as well as the fun music videos they can watch. They can often be found searching out different artists that they know.
Last week, one of my girls stumbled upon a song about 911. This inspired her to want to know more. As a result, she spent about two hours searching out news coverage, documentaries, and articles on the twin towers. Not only did she learn more about the horrifying events on that day (which she can only vaguely remember), but also their design, their construction, the plans for the future, etc.
In the end, this did not even come close to fitting with what we were studying, but it generated some incredible discussions and (of course-remember her Mom) a wonderful short essay on 911.
What is my point? If you know at the onset that your child is passionate about a particular topic, plan to cover that this year.
Whether you cover it with a formal curriculum or simply supplement your core, your homeschooler will be a much more enthusiastic learner and will more than likely retain much more now than if you wait until he or she is no longer terribly interested.
Additional homeschooling posts:
What Every Homeschooler Needs
Just read this post and thought it was a great list of the supplies every homeschooler needs.