This afternoon while Ottergirl was at piano lessons, I had the chance to talk to another homeschooled child who is about Rocketboy’s age. He sat down next to me, book in hand, (which is another common homeschooled-kid trait that I love… those books go everywhere with them! Car rides- no matter how short, visits to friend’s and relatives houses, trips to the park or grocery store, you name it! The book comes too!) I began to ask him about his book…what it was, why he was reading it… Turns out, it wasn’t just a novel, it was a grown-up level book on nutrition and healthy eating. Normal fare for any a 12-year-old boy, right? 😉
Needless to say, I was impressed. Rocketboy has been doing the same thing lately, albeit different subject matter. Nutrition would bore him to tears, but lately, he’s been checking out “grown-up section” books from the library on theoretical physics and quantum mechanics. These boys are so impressive! It will be fascinating to see where their lives eventually take them.
That’s one of the things that I love most about homeschooling: The ability to custom-focus our learning on exactly what the kids are interested in. Would a 7th grader in an “away” school get the chance to study Stephen Hawking’s theories in depth? I can’t say for sure, but my gut says probably not. I sometimes wonder how Rocketboy would be different, as a person, if we had put him in school all those years ago.
Now, I realize homeschooling isn’t right for everyone but I do believe that children, boys especially, can benefit so much from it. I know that he’s more self-assured than he would’ve been otherwise. He’s had the chance to step up and become a leader, an officer in one of the groups we attend. He is free to speak his mind when something is on it, and he doesn’t have to worry about an opinion he’s expressing being quashed because it might be an unpopular viewpoint. He knows how to question things that don’t make sense to him, and he knows how to research to find the answers he seeks.
He gets to pursue his interests. As a homeschooling mom, I could never teach him all he knows about theoretical physics. All I did was feed the little flame of interest he had back when he was a first grader asking questions about Space, and he grew it from there. Now he teaches me about gravitational lensing, and how if Earth’s sun were suddenly replaced by a black hole (other than the lack of light and heat) we’d actually be fine and not sucked into its
vortex singularity. (I was corrected on proper black hole terminology there. LOL!) And so many more deep questions about things that I would never otherwise even begin to consider. Now, how cool is that? And it all starts with a book and a little spark of interest.
What are your kiddos’ interests? Has that interest grown into a passion?
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