Discovering Your Children’s Interests

Yesterday we discussed setting goals and how you may have a few goals for your children that you’re going to want to see them accomplish.  However, as you begin to try and implement an interest-led education for your child, you’re going to find that it’s not always about you.  In fact, most of the time what your child learns is all about the child himself.  So, before you get too far in planning for a school year, you’ll going to want to get a handle on what your children’s interests are.

Discovering Interests

There are several ways to go about this.  The first thing you can do is to discuss with your children what they want to learn.  I have a conversation like this with my children every once in a while and it occasionally reveals something new that I didn’t know, but often your children will be tongue-tied, even if they are used to having their interests at the forefront of your homeschool.

For example, in my most recent conversation with the children, I mentioned to them that the children who go to public school were going back to school that week, and  I wondered what they were wanting to learn this year.  Here are their suggestions.

Firecracker wants to learn:

  • How the made the special effects on the Star Wars movies
  • How are movies made anyway?
  • A frog’s digestive system

Rose decided that she wants:

  • to go to the apple farm we visited last fall
  • dissect more owl pellets
  • Raise butterflies  (We never made time to do that when we reviewed a Moving Beyond the Page unit study earlier this summer)
  • Read more Roald Dahl books and watch more movies based on his books
  • to finish reading the Bible
  • to make sock puppets
  • to write a book
  • to learn how to sew some clothes

Monkey just wants to finish learning about the virtues that we started learning about when we reviewed We Choose Virtues.  I  didn’t even ask Owlet, but I’m positive she would have mentioned how she just wants to play on my Kindle all day long!!

While this was helpful information, there are two things that help me even more when thinking about what we’re going to do as school each year.  The first thing is that I look around at the things that they already enjoy and try to think about ways that we could expand upon that.  For Firecracker, that’s Minecraft, Angry Birds, Pac-Man and Super Mario Brothers.  For Rose, that’s drawing, writing, creating with various materials, nail art and My Little Pony.  For Monkey, that would be superheroes and Super Mario Brothers.  For Owlet, that would be Dora, My Little Pony and Barbie.  They have other interests, but these are the ones I’m hearing predominately about right now.

The other–and the best way–that I gather information is to listen to the children and what they seem interested in as we’re learning and living together.  I make a list and that’s where I often pull ideas from as I’m coming up with activities to invite the children to do each day.

In the past two weeks, the interests and activities that I’ve put on my to-do list have been:

  • Make Angry Bird Star Wars paper dolls from coloring sheets
  • Make pemmican
  • Learn more about army ranks
  • Learn the differences between an alligator and a crocodile
  • Print off Super Mario Brothers coloring sheets so that we can make a character guide
  • Make a model of the Alamo
  • Make a covered wagon model–maybe even one large enough for the children to play in
  • Make silly putty
  • Find Pac-Man coloring sheets
  • Watch the movie Matilda (We just finished reading the book)
  • Begin reading Bunnicula
  • Read more Boxcar Children books
  • Find out when the next Whatever After book comes out.  (January 6th!!)
  • Have a Star Wars marathon

As you can see from the list, not all of these “to-dos” are traditionally schoolish, but if you’re pursuing an interest-led education, you’re probably not heading in a traditional school direction.  If you’re very concerned about the educational value of this list, most of which I view as very educational, you probably need a little more deschooling 🙂

So, you’re observing your child and studying their interests.  You have a few goals that you want to put into play.  Now, how do you gather resources?  That’s a great question and the focus of Thursday’s post!  Tomorrow, I’ll be taking a little break from the blog hop to bring you my weekly wrap-up with some of the links to fun learning projects that we’ve done this week.

This blog post is part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew’s Back to Homeschool Blog hop.  If you’re interested in reading more “Back to Homeschool” themed posts, there are some great ones to be found at these blogs:

Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy
Crystal @ Tidbits of Experience
Jennifer @  Milk & Honey Mommy
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Monique @ Living Life and Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Lisa @ A Rup Life

You can also click the banner below to get back to the main blog hop webpage and continue exploring!

 

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

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One thought on “Discovering Your Children’s Interests

  1. This has been something that is hard for me because I want them to be interested in what I’m interested in. However I have sat down and talked with the oldest and we’ve found a few things we are both interested in for the new year. 😀

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