I have taken one example for each of my children and described how we facilitate and engage with their interests. They all have multiple pursuits on the go and they access them as and when they want to and the degree to which they want to. The things that I have chosen are areas that have been visited repeatedly, in some cases, for many years or passions that they have immersed themselves in deeply, or both. It is not a set formula, each child is different, how they access their interests and how they engage with learning is as individual as the things that they love to do.
Welcome to the House of Wonders:
Mr 13 is interested in all aspects of film. For years he has watched film upon film upon film. We have subscribed to online viewing platforms and purchased films and gone to the cinema and have participated in the Into Film Festival. When we watch films at home he is always interested in how the film was made and how the special effects are achieved, we always watch the extra bits that give inside peeks into costume design and voice overs and story boards etc and we have also been to the Harry Potter Studios.
He watches films repeatedly and questions character motives and story lines and finds inconsistencies. Recently he has joined a home educators film making group and his contribution to our current family quiz evenings in to compile a round of questions on film quotes. He also has his own not-a-go-pro and recording capability on his phone which he couples with a video editing app to compile short clips. This week we had a family film night with a film that he chose and recommended for us all.
He also likes taking pictures of random things of interest, like the gate (above) that is completely useless.
Mr 11 loves gaming. He has his own pc and phone, both of which he uses for gaming. He has accounts with several gaming platforms and subscribes to many YouTubers who play extensively and trial new products. We help him to access and download new content and with in-game purchases. He is able to play and connect with friends via platforms such as Skype and Discord. We have a family pc which we use to create our own accounts and play with him.
We also regularly attend a home educators session at a local gaming cafe. He also likes product merchandise and has several figurines of key characters.His love of gaming extends to arcades and historical fun fair and penny arcades, and retro gaming, that we access via seaside resorts and museums. This week we have purchased an additional controller so he can access a new game with Mr 13.
He also likes playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Miss 8 has a creative tendency which is mostly out-poured through the medium of arts and crafts. When she was two years old I set up a small corner of our living room with pencils and crayons and paper for her to access and she has never looked back. We have an area dedicated to art and craft supplies. These range from poster paints, water colours, acrylics, paint brushes, pastels, chalks, various sized art paper to pipe cleaners, wood pieces, various fabrics, plain t-shirts and fabric pens, craft kits, beads, embroidery thread, and play dough.
She has access to books on various themes and craft techniques, we subscribe to an on line art hub and attend a home ed art group. We have also visited local and national art galleries and museums.
Miss 5 has recently developed an extended interest in small world play, specifically using her barbie collection. Our collection was small to begin with but grew via several trips to charity shops and a sizeable donation from a friend plus some birthday gifts but in the past few weeks she has become increasingly submerged in this world that she has created. We play together daily, finding appropriate outfits for today’s event and setting up the location and then playing through the scenario. We have recently given most of them a hair treatment to revive their tangles locks and have begun designing and sewing their clothes.
These aren’t the only things that my children are engaged with at the moment but an example of how we facilitate each of their interests. The way they engage with each of their passions and the direction that they continue to take will be entirely their own and we will continue to be responsive to each of them and the support and inspiration that they need.
Partner your child in supporting their interests
Supporting their interests
The flow of learning
Following the flow
Partnering your child