Our family’s homeschooling experience turned out to be a hybrid; a mix of academics and child-led pursuits. At first it was all academics, of course, until I realized that my kids learned even better when they were interested in what they were learning. Regular discussions with the kids (we called it brainstorming) led us to unit studies about pioneers, ancient Roman cultures, and a lot more that I can hardly remember after all these years.
As our kids got older, they began pursuing their own interests (we tried to finish academics by lunch so they’d have their afternoons free), and it was fun to see how each one went from one subject to another. Seems like a child is barely sated in one interest before he goes after another.
I guess I should amend that: change “child” to “person.” Because now that I’m retired from homeschooling, I find that I’m just like my kids were, going from subject to subject.
Earlier this winter, I was voraciously reading anything I could get my hands on regarding giving. Then I got distracted by Joe Williams, having discovered him on one of my Pandora channels. So my family has been subjected to his music for months, and I’m not tired of him yet (he even has his own “Top Tracks” page on YouTube!). But a few weeks ago the Ruth Stout books I ordered from the library came in; since then, I’ve also been inhaling everything she ever wrote about gardening.
The key to all this is time: having spent most of my life in public education, then college, and then many years of raising children, I never had the time until now to freely pursue my interests.
My kids had that time when they were growing up, thanks to homeschooling. 🙂
Unfortunately, newer homeschooling parents tend to book their children’s days full of activities and experiences. I hope they quickly learn, as I did, that one of the best things about homeschooling is that it can give kids time to follow their interests, if their parents allow it.