I have three kids, and each one has something they are passionate about! Unfortunately, they are all passionate about different things, meaning this mom is pulled in three different directions ;)
As parents, it doesn’t take long to realize how different our kids are. They all have their own interests, their own style, and their own attention spans. One may love Math, the other may hate it! One may learn to read at 5, the other not till 7. There is not one perfect way for our children to learn. However, find something that interests your child, and they will make sure they LEARN more about it. Children learn best by learning about what interests them. This is why interest led learning is so important in our homeschools.
What is Interest Led Learning?
With interest led learning a child can find something he loves and go and LEARN about it. Here is an example: Let’s say your child has a desire to know more about dinosaurs. So, you take him to the library and get tons of books (real books, not textbooks) and you come home and read them together, or if your child is a reader he reads them. Then, you go online and find a really neat Science experiment related to dinosaurs. You may make a dinosaur habitat filled with plastic dinosaurs, water, mountains and maybe even a volcano (which you later “erupt). Your child has learned Science, History, Vocabulary, Reading and maybe even some Math all while studying his own interests. This was all done with little to know real “teaching” from the home school parent. Instead, your child was able to tap into their personal passion and study it.
How do You Learn?
Have you ever really wanted to learn something? How did you learn it? Did you take a class? Get a book? Look it up on the web? Once you set your mind to learn it you probably did it right? You found something you were interested in and you went for it! The same can be said for our children. Learning does not come from reading and taking a test. It comes from finding something you are interested in or passionate about and feeding that desire to learn. Testing, or telling a child what they have to know squelches that desire.
Homeschool parents, as we plan for next school year, let’s remember to take the time and ask our children what THEY want to learn next school year. Make plans to study something that interests your child. By doing this you will be giving them the opportunity to pursue their interests. You will be allowing them to learn because they want to, in turn helping them develop an internal satisfaction for learning. This will last a child a lifetime! And cannot be taught.
Misty Bailey is a work at home homeschool mom. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares everyday tips and encouragement for the homeschool mom on her blog Joy in the Journey.