Interest-led homeschooling might seem all good and dandy while your kids are younger but what happens when they are older. Are you going to start them on a curriculum for all their lessons once they hit middle school or high school grades? Or are you going to continue interest-led learning for older children in your family? We’re going to keep going with interest-led for our kids, focusing on the long term.
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Interest-Led Learning for Older Children
Following their interests and encouraging them to follow their dreams. To me, that’s the whole of interest-led learning. Why would you stop when your child starts to get older and are developing their true sense of self, and are thinking about their future?
Where to Start With Your Kids
I have a child going into the seventh grade in the coming school year. I get chills down my spine just thinking about that. She has had a goal of wanting to work with animals in some form for years already and I don’t see that changing any time soon. This means we have a goal to work towards in her education.
We will be working towards what she currently wants to do in the future, vet or animal conservation officer. What does she need to do these: math, other subjects. Hands-on learning experiences.
What does your child want to do? What are they interested in? Start working towards that goal. It’s a place to start. It might come to light that they aren’t interested in doing XYZ in the future once they learn more about it. But knowledge is never wasted, and now they know what they aren’t interested in.
If interests and/or personal goals for the future change, then so be it. We can change what we are doing, or add to it if that is what they want to do.
What You Need to Get Started
Let’s start with just one of your children, just to get this ball rollin’.
What are they interested in? That is the key. Interested in cars, mechanics? Maybe animals like my oldest. To make this easier I’m going to start working on planning for her.
I don’t believe there’s a right or wrong way to be interest-led but I will tell you that it must be partnership-based. Flexibility helps, as does the willingness to throw in the towel, start over, change topics (and, yes, follow their interests, even if you don’t quite jive with them).
Language Arts – She is creative and enjoys writing, so this one really isn’t a hardship.
Science – I bought a homeschool curriculum from 4H. A lot of curriculum from them for her because it hits the nail on the head so to speak for interests.
OutSchool is a great source for different lessons. They have everything. There are lessons for zoology which are right up our alley.
Books – There is most likely a book or twenty on the topic your child is interested in.
We have good hands-on learning here at home for some animals – cats, dogs, chickens, quail, we did have turkey as well but she learned a different aspect of farm life with the turkeys.
Researching college programs. We are working together to plan out the next few years of homeschool high school to meet requirements set up by me and his dad and to encourage his interests. Homeschoolers, just like those in public or private schools, need to meet the requirements for college and university admissions.
So the homeschool mom I am just putting my kids in the direction of that they need to move in to be their best person when they go out into the world.