Saturday, August 23, 2014

Homeschooling Using a Child’s Interests

1. Find out what your children’s      
Lego Creation by Matt
interests are by observing, asking 
questions, and praying. 

The interests of some of our children showed themselves early and easily. Suzanne liked to make things almost from the day I brought her home from the hospital. Not quite, but it seems like that. I remember fixing up a little corner in our trailer where she could create. A small table, a small chair, and lots of fun things to glue onto paper. Matt fell in love with Legos. Tad’s interests developed more slowly. He drew cars first, then began to notice makes and models on car trips. Ben, at a young age, liked people!  

2. Think and pray about how to use these as motivation, learning experiences, and sometimes, a full year’s curriculum.

My key to Suzanne lay with her skilled hands. We shopped at A. C. Moore often. When I picked curriculum for her, I looked for kits, models to assemble, and things to cut out. When we cleaned our storage room a year ago, she and I threw out six garbage bags of projects she had made. Nothing lost. The value of those projects have shown up in her care for her own home, her landscaped yard, and her joy in her various jobs. 

In her senior year, I let her surge ahead and counted hours for a science course centered around her love of gardening. She gardened, read about plants, studied a little botany, and made flower garden plans. Even her nemesis, math, became easy for her as she studied catalogs, prices, and figured out costs. Another course that year developed from her interest in getting healthier and losing weight. She read lots of exercise and health books. She still loves that kind of book! Some other day, I may tell you how I logged a course using Ben's people interest.

Car by Tad
3. Dare to experiment!

You need to let go of the kind of school that happened inside the walls of a public school building. Most of traditional school depends on what will work with a large group. Homeschooling is different! Let people raise their eyebrows. Put away the fears that want to creep up. God can give wisdom and will direct when we ask.

An excellent resource for using high school age students’ interests is Delight Directed Learning  by Lee Binz

Landscaping by Suzanne

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