Welcome to 10 Days of Pouring into Your Child’s Passion at Blog, She Wrote
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Today’s topic is using your homeschool to pour into your child’s passion. This is probably the easiest thing to do when it comes to pouring into a child’s passion. I think the hardest thing will be giving yourself permission to give your student ample time to do so.
What are some ways to incorporate the pursuit of a passion within your homeschool?
Difficult Subjects- When you have a subject that is a challenge for your student, look for ways to involve their interest in the process. I always look for ways to include sewing in R11′s math. She responds to it well and the more authentic the better! Right now she’s in 6th grade doing some work with diving decimals. She doesn’t like it- imagine that! But this week, after having more practice the conventional way, I set about creating some sewing math for her. She has to measure fabric and convert the fractional measurement to decimals and then I give her an assignment that asks her to do something with that quantity- so that she’ll divide! I’m not talking about sewing word problems. That’s not authentic enough…she’s smart enough to know it’s just a word problem on her favorite topic. Instead, I’ve been asking her to measure and work with the numbers. After that, she gets to make the creation from the piece of fabric she’s been using and sometimes I’ve put some fun parameters on that.
|R11 tries out her new serger and does some decimal math at the same time.|Unit Studies
- of course! We are a unit study family, but if you aren’t it’s a great way to focus on all the aspects of a particular topic in a way that connects the subject to all disciplines
. There are many sources for commercial unit studies, but often writing your own is the way to go. One of my favorite inspiring resources for this is Valerie Bendt’s Unit Studies Made Easy
(also available in digital download now). You can incorporate the Adventure Box
here too and let your child explore the possibilities. I9 has been really interested in space and flight this year and has expressed interest in learning more about flight. This year he’s helped to build a model Wright Flyer and a model rocket which we’ve been launching this spring whenever we have good weather. His last unit of the school year will likely be the Amanda Bennett Unit Study on Flight
. Unit studies are a great way to insert some charge into a slow moment in the school year. Take advantage of them!
Books- saturate your print environment with books on the topic and of related areas. You always want to have on hand the books and other print materials that will give your child more information. If it’s a hands-on endeavor, then have the how-to books right there for them to pick up and try. R11 often reads her sewing books, gets them from the library, and reads blogs that give her instructions on new things to try. She is given the freedom to investigate and try out new projects which has helped her to learn new techniques and to practice them.
Time for Passion Pursuit- in addition to providing materials for them, children need to be given the time to explore the opportunities they have in front of them. Without time in their day, it’s difficult to achieve much success. Once our school work is finished for the day, I allow time for them to play and investigate and just generally spend time with the thing that they love- the thing that drives them. For my youngest, it will be anything science related. As I write this, he’s making circuits and trying to design his own using his Snap Circuits. Or you’ll find him looking at things under our digital microscope. You might find my kids reading on their favorite topic or working on that new doll dress. This is a truly Charlotte Mason style activity in our home, but lots of time is given over to working on what they love (outside of video games!).
|R11 spends time trying on the dress she will help to refashion for the Civil War Ball this year.|
High School Plan- make sure your high school plans include plenty of time for the pursuit of a passion. If you follow along and provide opportunities and mentors for your child’s interests, the hope is that out of those efforts a desire for a vocation will form. High school is the time to focus on those and see what comes of it. So many young people leave for university without knowing their goal, helping our students to discover their passion will help in this process and give them a strong vision for their future. High school is the perfect time to follow the passion in the form of volunteer work, part time work, internships, online coursework, day-long seminars, etc. This is where keeping an eye out for opportunities is important. In the fall, we are planning for E13 to attend a falconry meet here in NY to see other falconers and experience more of the sport. That’s just one more chance to see the passion in action.
|Newly trapped male red tail on a trapping expedition last fall.|
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to allow the time for your students to really dive into an interest and develop it. Don’t be afraid to let go of some of the convention in your homeschool to allow this to happen. It will reap great benefits far beyond those you can plan for in your homeschool.
Equally as important, particularly as they get older, is that they own the passion. It doesn’t work well if you as the parent is the one with all the excitement, though you may be the one to get things started. At a certain point, the student must own it for themselves and that’s just what I’ll be talking about in our last 10 Days post in this series, tomorrow.
The 10 Days Series is organized by iHomeschool Network
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. And of course, click the image below to visit all the 10 Days posts from these homeschool moms of the iHomeschool Network.
You’ll be blessed with tips on how to handle bad days, cultivating curiosity, teaching with Legos, and much much more!