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How far do you go in encouraging a young child's "passion"?


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#1 a27mom

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:25 AM

My 4 y/o is definitely on the gifted spectrum. She started talking in paragraphs very young. She is reading and doing math at a first grade level, by choice without much intentional intervention from me. (I do realize this is not ridiculously off the charts).

But she really has a strong interest in natural science; rocks, bugs, dinosaurs. I initially kind of passed this off as quite normal for a 2,3,4 year old. And overall she is a fairly well rounded kid. But I have started to realize that this she is actually beyond the norm, especially when it comes to rocks. She has hundreds of rocks, she wants rocks for her coming 5th birthday. She will sit and watch YouTube videos of a college professor showing/listing properties rocks/minerals for his class for an identification exam. We took a field trip to a gem and mineral museum and her eyes lit up like a kid at Disneyworld.

So I guess my questions are, for those with kids with passions: When did they start to show up? How do you balance providing a lot of opportunities to learn about an interest, without overdoing it and pushing the interest on her?
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#2 dmmetler

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:09 AM

I'm not a good example-we have two pet snakes and regularly drive an hour or more so she can participate in field biology work. Most of our vacations have a herpetology component. We drove over 400 miles and hiked over 20 miles last weekend to observe amphibians. In a few weeks, she will be leading an amphibian conservation event for about 30 homeschooled kids. It's not us doing any sort of pushing-she's doing all the pushing (with some help from other adults in her life, like the fact that the entire homeschool community in our area seems to know that if their teenager leaves them with a snake when they go to college, DD will HAPPILY adopt it and I'm a soft touch and her mentor, who suggested that she apply for an SSAR scholarship to attend a conference this summer and, if we're traveling anywhere, is happy to make contacts for DD with researchers she knows so DD can go on tours of research facilities, zoos, exotic vet clinics and so on).

 

As far as when, I'm tempted to say from birth. She's been crazy about things with scales as long as I can remember. As an infant, her lovey that she latched on to was a sea serpent puppet with scales, wings, and fangs (and "Draggy" is still with us). As a preschooler, it was divided between live reptiles and dinosaurs. By about age 6, she'd realized that she couldn't have a pet dinosaur, and it became very snake focused. By age 7, she'd talked us into getting a pet snake (actually, wrote us into them-my writing phobic child wrote a research proposal to get a snake). By age 8, she'd talked a college professor at a local herp society meeting into letting her sit in on his classes. By age 8 1/2, that had led to her working with a field biologist and herpetologist on actual field and lab research with college and graduate students. At age 9, her mentor suggested that she apply for a scholarship from the SSAR to attend their annual meeting as a "pre-baccalaureate" student. She ended up being selected (the other pre-bac fellow this year is 17 and will be starting college in the fall). Her best birthday present was a piece of king cobra shed skin that she got at the Kentucky Reptile Zoo after she'd noticed that they were cleaning the tank and the snake had shed recently.

 

Believe me, it's not pushing the interest on her. More the other way around. I'm now pretty well informed about snakes and am gradually becoming more and more passionate about them, too. But I'd still prefer to see her choose a path that didn't involve being the Jane Goodall of Venomous snakes, and I'm well aware that the PhD herpetologist who set up the amphibian non-profit she works with regularly has an annual reported salary of about $30K/yr, which makes the idea of paying for college and grad school more than a little ouch-worthy.  Not to mention that most of those field studies she keeps finding and saying she wants to do only pay for food and housing (IE-we provide tents) while you're there-you're responsible to get yourself to, say, the Amazon basin to mark and track anacondas (that was the one that she saw this morning). Field biology seems to be kind of like missionary work in that regard.

 

 

I'm kind of hoping she finds a different passion as she gets older-perhaps something in a nice, safe lab that actually has a regular salary and doesn't require extra vaccinations and carrying antivenin. But for now, we're going with it.

 

 

As far as other stuff, she also competes on a regional-level cheer team and takes tumbling classes, plays piano, I host/lead Mythology and Latin clubs, and am trying to organize a math team locally because those are also topics of interest to her, and she usually enters about 10-12 competitions a year in various areas. We do a "fun" multi-age co-op that is mostly non-academic. She has a handful of friends, although she only has one other kid who truly "gets" her (her herpetology mentor has a 9 yr old GT DD as well, and if there's one person who gets a passion for snakes and field biology, it's a kid who has been on field trips since she was in a snugli-and her friend is one of the few people I know who DD will actually prefer to spend time with over a snake :) ). She does a lot of webinars, seminars, and various things about a lot of topics, whenever she has a chance. She's not a normal kid as far as interests go-but it's not all reptiles all the time, either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#3 FairProspects

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:17 AM

Following. I'm trying to decide whether to get my plane obsessed kid flying lessons right now. I don't even know if anyone will let a 9 year old in a cockpit anyway, no matter how much flight science, code, and instrument knowledge he already has.

 

Plus, what do you do when their passions change? We spent all this time and energy on robotics and electronics 2 years ago and then like the wind he was on to something else.



#4 SKL

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:36 AM

For a 4-5yo, I'd buy a few books, get a museum membership if practical, maybe find an internet site or two, and just listen to him chatter about his passion.  Thankfully rocks are a low-cost commodity in most places.  ;)

 

He may or may not remain interested.  My kid at 4 was very interested in World War II, especially the Nazis.  That has not remained true over the years.  (Good thing, I don't deeply enjoy discussing war, racism, cruelty, genocide ....)



#5 quark

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:43 AM

Following. I'm trying to decide whether to get my plane obsessed kid flying lessons right now. I don't even know if anyone will let a 9 year old in a cockpit anyway, no matter how much flight science, code, and instrument knowledge he already has.

 

Plus, what do you do when their passions change? We spent all this time and energy on robotics and electronics 2 years ago and then like the wind he was on to something else.

 

You could look into the Young Eagles youth program, if you haven't already. The one kiddo went to briefly (interest changed lol, and we found out he is color blind so maybe a good thing that interest changed!) accepted kids back again and again for the free flights. There was also a course you could take online if I'm not mistaken but the student won't get the license until he's a certain age.

 

I understand what you mean. I put in a lot of effort when he was crazy about chemistry. It's important not to get too invested in their passions. Encourage and support them as much as you can but be flexible about moving on when they want to. These are the ages to explore as many interests as they can imho...be willing to roll with it and sometimes you'll be very happy you did e.g. I'm personally relieved that he moved on to math after the diseases/ neuroscience and chemistry passions because the earlier ones were starting to get much harder for me to challenge with his younger age and scarcity of resources. E.g. various places I called refused to consider a 7+yo in their lab and I understand why too although said 7+yo was devouring the theory for fun...we now have a very good lab set up in our garage complete with glassware and chemicals and a sink he put up himself with a little help from DH. But no one's using it now for about 11 months of the year lol. When he changed to math I quietly rejoiced not so much because I really wanted him to change paths; it was just more convenient to throw books about math at him than explosive reactions or more case studies about mental illness.

 

Good luck!


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#6 sunnyday

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:56 AM

Here's a related topic from a short while ago: http://forums.welltr...you-prioritize/

 

I'm fortunate that at 5 and 7 my kids don't have specific interests. They're just broadly fascinated in the world at large. At this point I hope to continue encouraging breadth. When they do hit a topic of particular interest, especially my DS, what he wants most of all is someone to listen to his "chit-chat". But I don't really throw myself behind any particular interest, I just let him have the basic resources and do what he will.

 

He's kind of like me in that way -- interests peak and ebb and you can tell the true passions by how often and how deeply they repeat. :) Chess is one of my son's topics, he has been interested and practicing since he was 5. Sometimes he gets on a roll and studies hard and plays against people on Chess.com or Chesskid.com and checks out books from the library and pulls out his board daily for me to set up tactics puzzles. Sometimes he ignores it for weeks. My momma ego says that if I encouraged him to play regularly and got him a coach and found a regular club meetup, he could do well in tournaments. But my momma laziness doesn't want to invest that kind of time! So we move on to bug collecting, studying electronics and logic circuits for Minecraft purposes, and mathematical or logic puzzles...before looping back later.



#7 Donna

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 10:58 AM

Not a great example here, either. Dd's passion is her music. She said she wanted to play violin when she was 2.5yo, started lessons as soon as I found someone to take her at 3yo, then fell in love with Irish music after seeing a concert when she was 4.5yo.

 

I have….

-paid for lessons, workshops, and camps

-drive an hour twice a week for lessons and 3 hours (one way) twice a month for other lessons

-bought a car that gets good gas mileage specifically because I do all that driving

-summer vacations center around music camps and trips overseas for competitions

-spend almost every weekend driving to gigs or sessions or workshops or lessons

-bought DVDs, CDs, books, help her look up youtube videos and research things she is interested in

-take her to concerts and performances (not just hers but other people's)

-make an effort to have her spend time with kids/adults who have similar interests

-bought the best equipment we can afford for her (instruments, sound equipment, etc…)

 

Following her passion was not a huge deal in the beginning but as her interest and involvement grew, what we were willing to do for her grew. She works hard to practice and improve and remains enthusiastic and motivated so I believe in providing her the opportunities and materials she needs. Letting dd lead the way has been the best way to make sure I am not pushing this on her. She and I have lots of girl talks where we discuss her goals and what she feels she needs to achieve them. Lucky for us her middle brother is also interested in music so she has him to play with and he goes with us a lot.

 


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#8 Winter Wonderland

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 01:19 PM

We do what our finances allow us to do without creating a stressful schedule.  I'm honest with the kids about what our limitations are.  I also think, regardless of how engrossing their passions are, they need to help out a bit around the house.  Only one child has shown interest in something that could really cost us so far but they are still little.  


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#9 musicianmom

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 01:39 PM

We do what our finances allow us to do without creating a stressful schedule. I'm honest with the kids about what our limitations are. I also think, regardless of how engrossing their passions are, they need to help out a bit around the house. Only one child has shown interest in something that could really cost us so far but they are still little.


Same here. In addition, I will say that the amount of expense and inconvenience I'm willing to endure is proportional to the amount of work I see the child doing. Dd8 thinks she's passionate about musical theater, but a class at the local small-town studio and bartered voice lessons are all I'm willing to spring for as long as she has to be continually reminded to practice her lines and songs.
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#10 brownie

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 01:46 PM

My oldest clearly developed a passion for science at 4 years old when a chemist came to his preschool.  For his bedtime story, he wanted to hear about molecular motion!  He is still interested in science, though leaning more toward computer science these days.  I never would have thought to expose a 4 year old to science, but once I realized he was interested, we continue to expose him to his interests and show enthusiasm for his passion.  He continues to have somewhat quirky interests in all things history and science and reads non-fiction regularly.

 

Our 2nd son never really showed a passion for anything at that age except reading fiction.  Now he clearly also has an interest in many things, but nothing obsessive...he really can't make up his mind which of his activities is most important to him.  My 3rd would develop short-lived interest in particular science topics and definitely has an engineering bent, but is my most stereotypical little guy - he would prefer to run around, play in the sandbox, wrestle, cuddle :)  He says he will be a scientist, and he definitely would make a good one, but no particular academic passion yet.

 

If they have a passion, I think you encourage them.  I don't mean spending thousands of dollars.  But whether long or short-lived, they will learn a ton following their passion and it is an avenue to strengthening them in other ways academically as well and learning how to learn.  If they read about it, write about it, watch shows about it instead of junky programming, etc...it is good for them whether or not it lasts.



#11 jar7709

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 02:17 PM

I was a rock-intense child.  I'm a geologist now.  :D  I was encouraged by my mineral-collector grandmother and my field-trip loving parents.  I took detours along the way with intense interests in other sciences and disciplines...especially when  formal options for learning about earth sciences evaporated (they were ignored in my public school system) and such things became 'uncool' in adolescence and high school.  Heck,  interest in rocks and earth sciences isn't usually considered "cool" among adults, either, but I care less now.   ;)

 

At young ages, I say let them lead to the extent that is practical for your family and situation.  I have one child that wants nothing more than to create giant mechanical wearable weaponized robots (not gonna happen) and another that hoards bones and animal parts (negotiable).  I don't know if and when their intense interests will shift, but I think it likely that whatever they learn now will be useful to them in some way in the future, and help inform who and what they will become. 


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#12 SierraNevada

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 07:11 PM

Geologist here too. I was a rock obsessed kid as well.
Encourage by helping collect rocks, not complaining when their room
appears like a small mountain and you have to rock hop to get to their bed. At this young age I think you enable but don't encourage or lead. Once you start encouraging obsessions it takes a turn from fun, child led interest to the parent has something invested in their ego to see their kid so engrossed in some subject. Provide books as causally as you would about any subject.
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#13 FairProspects

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 07:17 PM

You could look into the Young Eagles youth program, if you haven't already. The one kiddo went to briefly (interest changed lol, and we found out he is color blind so maybe a good thing that interest changed!) accepted kids back again and again for the free flights. There was also a course you could take online if I'm not mistaken but the student won't get the license until he's a certain age.

 

I understand what you mean. I put in a lot of effort when he was crazy about chemistry. It's important not to get too invested in their passions. Encourage and support them as much as you can but be flexible about moving on when they want to. These are the ages to explore as many interests as they can imho...be willing to roll with it and sometimes you'll be very happy you did e.g. I'm personally relieved that he moved on to math after the diseases/ neuroscience and chemistry passions because the earlier ones were starting to get much harder for me to challenge with his younger age and scarcity of resources. E.g. various places I called refused to consider a 7+yo in their lab and I understand why too although said 7+yo was devouring the theory for fun...we now have a very good lab set up in our garage complete with glassware and chemicals and a sink he put up himself with a little help from DH. But no one's using it now for about 11 months of the year lol. When he changed to math I quietly rejoiced not so much because I really wanted him to change paths; it was just more convenient to throw books about math at him than explosive reactions or more case studies about mental illness.

 

Good luck!

 

Thanks! We do have Young Eagles near us and we will definitely attend this year.

 

I agree about the shifting passions - it was so much easier when he was into WWII and flags. We can easily have hours of discussion about the causes of WWII and I can throw books at him, but after the 100th model of an Airbus A380 my eyes glaze over. Chemistry is another simmering passion and I'm also terrified the house will blow up. Fortunately I'm outsourcing that one to a physicist. :D
 


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#14 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:24 PM

My 4 y/o is definitely on the gifted spectrum. She started talking in paragraphs very young. She is reading and doing math at a first grade level, by choice without much intentional intervention from me. (I do realize this is not ridiculously off the charts).

But she really has a strong interest in natural science; rocks, bugs, dinosaurs. I initially kind of passed this off as quite normal for a 2,3,4 year old. And overall she is a fairly well rounded kid. But I have started to realize that this she is actually beyond the norm, especially when it comes to rocks. She has hundreds of rocks, she wants rocks for her coming 5th birthday. She will sit and watch YouTube videos of a college professor showing/listing properties rocks/minerals for his class for an identification exam. We took a field trip to a gem and mineral museum and her eyes lit up like a kid at Disneyworld.

So I guess my questions are, for those with kids with passions: When did they start to show up? How do you balance providing a lot of opportunities to learn about an interest, without overdoing it and pushing the interest on her?

 

 Yes, it might be a phase, but it might not be! :)

 

Over the years we grew a little better at not going all out at the first sign of interest. Yikes! The money and time we spent at first!

 

For my daughter the earliest interests have stood the test of time, at least so far. Many others have come and gone, but the earliest have held on the tightest. I am taking the same sorts of pictures of her I was taking when she was only a few years old. . . (Only now there are much higher odds that there will also be a scientist in the picture, as opposed to a doll or stuffed animal. . . ;) )

 

By coincidence, we were looking through pictures a couple days ago. It was a little emotional to look back at the tiny little girl exploring the outdoors.  Some of the pictures are so similar-- save for how much she's grown. The look of wonder in her eyes is the same.

 

Remembering those long ago times, I sometimes ask myself....What if we hadn't made those moments a priority? What experiences would she have missed? Where would she be now? It's one of those (rare!) times I think, WOW, by some strange twist of the universe, I actually did something right!

 

 


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#15 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:31 PM


 

 

I'm kind of hoping she finds a different passion as she gets older-perhaps something in a nice, safe lab that actually has a regular salary and doesn't require extra vaccinations and carrying antivenin. But for now, we're going with it.

 

 

I feel terrible admitting this, but when we've driven to a site early in the morning and I am tired, cranky, walking through wet grass, etc. . . I think, well at least I'm not dmmetler! At least we're not looking for snakes!

 

:lol:

 


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#16 EndOfOrdinary

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:31 PM

My son decided at four he wanted to stop Climate Change. He heard about it on NPR in our car when the UN did their State of the World first acknowledging Climate Change as a major issue. We placated him for quite awhile. He began sending us movies through NetFlix to watch after dinner when he was 5. When that didn't work he went on a hunger strike. He was six and learned about it from Googling Martin Luther King and Ghandi. I thought he would last only a couple hours, but Dad and I cracked after four days. We began pulling our urban house off the grid. Then we moved into a small, one room cabin in the National Forest to remove ourselves from the regulations of Portland.

At 7, he began actively fighting for clean energy and against coal, natural gas, and oil exports. For an entire year we traveled all over our state and neighboring states to testify at Federal hearings. He started speaking to legislators and at rallies last year, at 8. Now, at 9, he has written and won grants to begin his own non profit. He organized and MCed his first rally a month or two ago. Last week he began negotiations with a national organization to let him partner with them to sponsor a youth climate council to mobilize kids against climate change.



His grant writing mentor and videographer are both 1.5 hours away in Portland, OR. His community organizing mentor is 3 hours away in Seattle. To pitch to the national organization we would be flying to San Francisco.

It is honestly overwhelming, but I cannot stop him. This is who he is. My job is to keep him safely pursuing that passion. I sign releases, organize emails, prep him for speeches, explain what his accountant said, usher him through crowds and network media. I also help him with time management because he loves MineCraft, backpacking, mountaineering, reading, classical languages, Legos, candy, and dancing. He is in many ways a nine year old. Only on weekends he does speeches and organizes stuff like this:

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#17 dmmetler

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 08:32 AM

Ok, EoO-I think you win!

 

Seriously, my DD would give anything to move into a National forest-although I think she'd prefer the Great Smokies (lots of herps there that are  endemic to the park)-and your son is doing a GREAT job!

 

If he does educational programs for kids, this might be a useful resource.  I just ordered a set of copies for DD's event of this exact issue because there's an article specifically on climate change and amphibians. You can order up to 150 copies at a time free of charge for educational purposes, or simply make the link available digitally. (There are a bunch of other issues as well that may be of help).

 

http://www.naturalin...tion)-i-41.html

 

 


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#18 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:03 AM

It's a great question.  My oldest has had some passions that have lasted, and some passions that have fizzled - I guess in hindsight they were more interests than passions.  And that's ok.  She learned a lot about those topics while she was interested in them.

 

When my kids express a strong interest-looks-like-maybe-becoming-a-passion, my first response is the library - are there books, magazines, classes locally etc. that they can use to explore their interest.  How much I do after that depends on them.  My oldest has been passionate about theater since she did her first summer camp the year after 2nd grade.  This is a passion that she completely takes responsibility for herself - she learns all her lines, she is totally focused on her roles, she is clearly one of the kids who is there to tell the story, not just socialize.  This has been easy for me to support, because we have a local children's theater company that is excellent and close by.  But now this interest is starting to burgeon and I don't know quite how to respond - she recently had the chance to be in a PSA for water conservation, and she fell in love with the process and now wants to "do" movies . . . She's now obsessively watching all the "behind the scenes" and "making the movie" clips she can find, along with screen tests, etc.  She wants a "more grown up" theater company - ok, that I can try and do, but we ain't moving to holywood and getting you an agent, kiddo!

 

She's obsessed with horses and horseback riding.  All I can afford is a weekly lesson, but through her own dedication and efforts she's growing the relationship with her riding instructor and is now doing work-trades for lessons, and helping out with some of the younger kid's classes, so again here is something she has taken responsibility for and is pushing forward through her own efforts.

 

These are passions - otoh, the interests have been things like entomology and astronomy, where she expresses and interest, and I provide more opportunity to learn about the topic, and she seems satisfied, or saturates, or something - after a little while I notice that the interest has subsided.  So I've learned to just let it go, she's learned a lot about an interesting topic, and can always come back to it if she chooses in the future.  

 

I guess it boils down to the fact that for something to qualify as a passion, my kid has to put independent effort into it, not just passively receive what I offer.  I realize the expectation is far different with a 4 year old than with a 9, 10, or 11 year old, but I think the idea holds - let them follow their passion as long as they are the ones in the lead, be careful not to get out in front of them too far, or you might find you are dragging them along a path they'd just as soon step off of to explore something else.

 

I sure have learned a lot about Astronomy this year, though!  ;)


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#19 MinivanMom

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:23 AM

*snip*

 

I guess it boils down to the fact that for something to qualify as a passion, my kid has to put independent effort into it, not just passively receive what I offer.  I realize the expectation is far different with a 4 year old than with a 9, 10, or 11 year old, but I think the idea holds - let them follow their passion as long as they are the ones in the lead, be careful not to get out in front of them too far, or you might find you are dragging them along a path they'd just as soon step off of to explore something else.

 

I sure have learned a lot about Astronomy this year, though!  ;)

 

Yes. I try to encourage and support, but I also try to stay in the background.


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#20 dmmetler

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:40 AM

Another question is "How far WON'T you go?"

 

For me, the line is anything involving venomous snakes, anything that requires live rodents, anything involving major travel unless it coincides with another trip (and for anything regular, within a few hours is my limit), and anything that would give us offspring to be responsible for. We also aren't moving for the purposes of following DD's interests at this point in time (but if we do move for other reasons, we'd take that into account).

 

Luckily, there's a lot available within those limits.


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#21 Donna

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 04:54 PM

 

I guess it boils down to the fact that for something to qualify as a passion, my kid has to put independent effort into it, not just passively receive what I offer.  I realize the expectation is far different with a 4 year old than with a 9, 10, or 11 year old, but I think the idea holds - let them follow their passion as long as they are the ones in the lead, be careful not to get out in front of them too far, or you might find you are dragging them along a path they'd just as soon step off of to explore something else.

 

I really like the way you phrased this. I feel this way as well.

 

My dd puts in effort by practicing on her own, noodling with her music and writing her own tunes, researching music she wants to learn, writing about her music, studying music theory and history, making crafts for her instruments, suggesting we go see performances or attend sessions, etc… If music became a chore for her or something I felt like I was pushing rather than something she led, I wouldn't put in as much effort/time/money.

 

As far as what I wouldn't do…well, that has changed as years progressed.  When she was 3yo, her first teacher suggested I take her to a teacher who lived 3 hours away and I thought that was a ridiculous idea. Who drives a child that far away for a lesson? …..Ha! Before she turned 7, we were heading in the opposite direction 3 hours away for fiddle lessons. If someone had told me when she first started what we'd be paying in lesson fees, camps, and travel, I would have called them crazy. We did decide on our current home, downsizing to lower our mortgage and property taxes a few years ago to make paying for things easier. We could have gotten a larger house but it would have made some things difficult to impossible. I would also never have thought we'd be flying to Ireland every summer for fiddle competitions. 

 

Circumstances change and what I once might have seen as impossible or ridiculous suddenly or gradually becomes reality. As long as my dd is doing her part and our family is happy, I will keep working to make other opportunities possible for her. 


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#22 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 06:09 PM

We even moved! :leaving:

 

Apparently we have trouble setting limits... :ph34r:


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#23 a27mom

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:26 PM

Thanks for all your replies! This has been so helpful to gain some perspective. I like the concept of encouraging her as she pursues her interests based on the ownership she takes. And I am glad so far she is mostly interested in rocks, relatively inexpensive, local, and non-venomous ;).
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#24 IsabelC

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 11:04 PM

Encourage her as much as you like, as long as it does not interfere with a balanced life for her or the rest of the family. Wanting rocks for her birthday is fine. Being unable to eat, sleep or learn anything else due to rock obsession is a problem. As, obviously, is spending so much on geology that you can't pay the bills.

 

My other caution would be this: take care that she doesn't get "talent typecast". Sometimes a kid has a talent or special interest and the parents get so into it that when the child is ready to move on, he feels as though he'd be letting everyone down because the family is now invested in him pursuing that thing. You don't want her identity so bound up in being the family geologist that she feels she can't change up to geocaching, ballet or astronomy later.

 

Oh, and definitely keep away from those venomous rocks  :lol:


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#25 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 01:31 AM

 

 

Oh, and definitely keep away from those venomous rocks  :lol:

 

As if snakes, ticks, bears, mountain lions, etc weren't enough to worry about while walking through the woods or tall grasses. . . :svengo:



#26 Mom2Two

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Posted 09 April 2014 - 07:28 PM

A real quick answer for you:  as much as the budget allows for, also you have to think about your time.  I tried to do all I could when my kids were that young, but if it was over our budget and took up too much of our time-it was out-I had to find an alternative or we just didn't do it.



#27 katilac

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:14 AM

 

My other caution would be this: take care that she doesn't get "talent typecast". Sometimes a kid has a talent or special interest and the parents get so into it that when the child is ready to move on, he feels as though he'd be letting everyone down because the family is now invested in him pursuing that thing. You don't want her identity so bound up in being the family geologist that she feels she can't change up to geocaching, ballet or astronomy later.

 

Like x1000. 


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#28 kiwik

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 06:13 AM

My kids don't really have passions. In fact the last people in my family to have passions were my grand parents on one side and great grandparents on the other side. I would not put our financial future at risk (no no quitting my job and moving cities as I have a mortgage on the cheapest place I could get). We need to be able to eat and pay the bills and I need to put my dental needs high on the list (I am going to lose 2 teeth due to financial pressures over the last few years but I would like to keep the rest). Basically I prepared to go without clothes, furniture, and all luxuries but not teeth, food and somewhere warm and dry to live.

#29 Greenmama2

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:30 PM

I love reading all the stories in this thread. I'm waiting to pick up DD 7 from the first day of an Easter ballet workshop in a major city 2 hours from us. She has come to a Summer intensive here twice now but this is the first year she's added something in the other holidays too. Of the ten weekdays of this holiday (all ballet studios follow school terms so by default so does our home school) she has five days of "extra" ballet, three here and two closer to home. I have no doubt that as she ages we will be adding more workshops and travelling further. I'm considering putting my younger (K age this year) who is much more ummm pliant into public school so that I can work more in order to facilitate ballet. We shall see what happens...
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#30 Joshin

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 12:19 AM

We put as much into the passion as he does. My 9 year old has been obsessed with space since birth, it seems. He goes through phases -- sometimes it's the history of space travel, sometimes astronomy, sometimes the engineering. They all circle back and forth to the forefront of his consciousness. At first we watched free documentaries, went stargazing with binoculars, that sort of thing. Then, we joined our local astronomy club even though it's aimed more at adults. When he flourished there, we realized he had found his tribe, even though he's the only kid. He began taking notes at astronomy lectures and doing public astronomy outreach at 6, so we bought him a telescope and signed him up for a few classes. Alternative energy sources then grabbed his interest, mainly as a means for powering spaceflight and colonies on other planets. When he set up his own "field trip" to a local solar panel manufacturer by talking to the guy at a garden show, we decided to invest in some solar science kits. He meddled in solar power all last summer, but that interest waned in winter. It's picked up again slightly as the weather has warmed.

 

His latest craze on the space theme is radio astronomy. At first we just let him have free rein of Google to research. Then we let him talk about it nonstop to anyone and everyone. He then built his own radio telescope with a cast-off satellite dish and a trip to Radioshack. He decided to give a talk about it to his astronomy club and help some of the older gentlemen put their own telescopes together. This was the point where we decided he had put enough of his own time and energy into it that it was truly something he was interested in, so we decided we'd invest a few more dollars to help him get it wired up to his computer so he can actually track the data accurately. We're planning on taking him to a radio observatory this summer. He has big goals, and as long as he is actively pursuing them we will follow in his wake and help him where we can, but we won't do it for him or jump the gun and decide where the next aspect of his passion should lead.

 

Most importantly, don't show disappointment if a passion seems to wane. One passion is often a stepping stone to the next. My boy's passion started off with dreams of being an astronaut. I was a little heartbroken when he declared he no longer wanted to be an astronaut, but he would rather be an astronautics engineer. But this isn't my passion or my life. I don't bat an eye or feel a twinge of despair anymore when he changes his mind. This week he is going to be an astrophysicist, next week he may be designing fighter jets. I am pretty sure though that where ever he ends up, that his passion as a kid will have served him well and helped prepare him.


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#31 lewelma

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 07:29 PM

My other caution would be this: take care that she doesn't get "talent typecast". Sometimes a kid has a talent or special interest and the parents get so into it that when the child is ready to move on, he feels as though he'd be letting everyone down because the family is now invested in him pursuing that thing.

 

This is exactly what happened to my older ds with his violin.  Once we realized that his true passion was maths, it was a huge effort to extract him from the music path and have him successfully enter the math path. 

 

This is an x-post from last year concerning just this problem

 

I hear you, but sometimes things just get set in motion and you go with the flow. DYKWIM? His violin teacher is so helpful and encouraging and my ds wants to please him. We found out his plans were for ds to work towards the NZ youth orchestra. 3 of his other students are already in it (so in the whole country he has 3 of the 20 violinist). DS had rehearsals, recitals, concerts, basically something additional a few times every week. It was exciting but exhausting, and honestly it left less time for math, he was just too tired.

So if he had continued on the violin path, he still could definitely be a math major, definitely. But his chances of getting into the IMO camp, and perhaps even one day going to the IMO would be seriously reduced if he did not focus either this year or next year. The competition is just too fierce and he has an advantage with his young age.

So who really cares about a math camp or a competition? Well, it is really about meeting people in your field of interest. Before we started down this path, he did not know anyone who was a mathematician, he did not have any friends anywhere close to his level. He loved math, but could not see where it was heading. In contrast, hanging out with musicians meant that he got free tickets to the symphony, to special visiting musicians at the university, etc. He has now worked directly with 5 of the symphony members. It is just so much more real than a math career. He needs the camp for the human aspect. He needs to know kids like him. When he plays the violin for people they are so positive and wonderful; when he talks about a math problem that took him 19 hours, people just throw up their hands and tell him they don't have a clue what he is talking about, and honestly they don't even want to listen. :crying: This affects a child's sense of self. How could it not? He *needs* to know and interact with others with his passion for math.

So although I do understand what you are saying, I also think that kids like ours start seeing the world in a certain way from a young age. And without this major change in focus, perhaps he would have been a musician just because the path was clearer. Funny how life is like that.
 


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#32 Donna

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:45 AM

 

My other caution would be this: take care that she doesn't get "talent typecast". Sometimes a kid has a talent or special interest and the parents get so into it that when the child is ready to move on, he feels as though he'd be letting everyone down because the family is now invested in him pursuing that thing. You don't want her identity so bound up in being the family geologist that she feels she can't change up to geocaching, ballet or astronomy later.

 

We are having a similar experience, lewelma. Not in different fields but within music. Dd had been playing classical violin and fiddle for years. Except for some rare instances, one has not really interfered with the other but as she is getting older and going more and more in the direction of fiddling, we are needing to streamline and she is having to make decisions on where her priorities lie because she can't be in two places at once. I have tried to put off heading down one path more than another for a long time because I didn't want to burn any bridges and pigeonhole before she was old enough to weigh options and think about how current decision affect her future options.

 

Violin teacher sees dd as having a bright future in classical music if she wants to put her efforts in that direction and has made suggestions to promote development of that area...but dd's passion is her fiddling. I feel dd is old enough to begin making decisions with us helping her weigh the pros and cons of her options. She is currently trying to decide whether to continue in her current orchestra program moving up to the next level. It is not an easy decision for her. She has friends in orchestra who will be moving up, likes the repertoire, and she is currently concertmaster, so could in a year or two be in the next level but the higher orchestra is more strict with attendance, requires more repertoire/practicing, and has more concerts during the year. She already has fiddle gigs on her schedule for next year in conflict with the different rehearsal day. So, we are considering other orchestra options, there aren't many, or taking a year off and re-evaluating her options next year. She is worried that taking a year off, if she decides to go back to the current program, will affect her seating.

 

She is approaching the end of productive time with her current classical teacher (who is a violist, not a violinist) and we don't have a clear idea of what's next. Dd has decided she is happy (right now) with the current teacher so we are staying for the time being. She's made it clear she has pieces she'd like to learn in classical music but she does not have future plans in that genre right now and doesn't want any more involvement than she already has.

 

She and I are having very frequent heart to heart discussions during this time of change. She has a lot going on musically and emotionally. It is very difficult to close doors when the path is not completely clear.


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#33 MeAndTheBoys

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 08:14 AM

Following--

I have a 9 year old boy obsessed with animals.  He quickly worked through all the "kid" books at the library and now comes away with a stack of coffee-table type books and field guides and just studies them intensely.

 

Sometimes it is a huge problem doing things that he NEEDS to do (practice instrument, schoolwork, chores) because he is always reading animal books or making up his own animal reference pages--

 

I feel like we need to nurture it more (other than the zillions of books we have bought for birthdays and ones I've picked up at thrift stores--he has hundreds of heavy animal reference books!) but don't really know what to do.

 

I have encouraged him to branch out more.  He really likes mammals and reptiles, but we went to a marine biology field trip a few months ago (Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama) and he got interested in fish and sea life--  I am trying to get him to read up on birds, insects, and plants as well.

 

But as he heads into the preteen years, I want to make sure to find hands-on experiences and things that might direct him into a future career--clueless on that.

 

Betsy



#34 dmmetler

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 09:22 AM

Following--

I have a 9 year old boy obsessed with animals.  He quickly worked through all the "kid" books at the library and now comes away with a stack of coffee-table type books and field guides and just studies them intensely.

 

Sometimes it is a huge problem doing things that he NEEDS to do (practice instrument, schoolwork, chores) because he is always reading animal books or making up his own animal reference pages--

 

I feel like we need to nurture it more (other than the zillions of books we have bought for birthdays and ones I've picked up at thrift stores--he has hundreds of heavy animal reference books!) but don't really know what to do.

 

I have encouraged him to branch out more.  He really likes mammals and reptiles, but we went to a marine biology field trip a few months ago (Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama) and he got interested in fish and sea life--  I am trying to get him to read up on birds, insects, and plants as well.

 

But as he heads into the preteen years, I want to make sure to find hands-on experiences and things that might direct him into a future career--clueless on that.

 

Betsy

 

Here are my suggestions:

 

1) He's probably ready to move from amateur materials to more professional ones with more detail. There are open-access journals available in biology and zoology subtopics that you can find via googling "Open access X". University Academic Presses have good books, and if you're near a university, you can sometimes find these at a used bookstore fairly inexpensively (they're pretty pricey new).

 

At a lower level, but free and fun http://www.naturalinquirer.org/-you can read online or send for a set of one of each back issue. These are very, very well done.

 

If he really gets into a specific subarea, it's worth it to get a student membership to the professional association to provide access to journals. My DD's SSAR membership gets her more than 50 years of back issues available online. That's a lot of research to read and digest. You may also be able to get journal access by getting a college library card, but I've found that to be more useful for general journals than the specific ones DD wants/needs.

 

As far as hands on, at his age, you're going to have to be there with him. This is a good time of year to find projects to participate in. Normally local groups will run workshops for things like Project FrogWatch, The Center for Snake Conservation Spring Snake Count, Backyard Bird count, etc, and usually they've had no trouble with DD being with me when I go. Those have been a good way to get connected with the groups, and once we are, DD quickly finds her niche with the folks there. Through those connections, she's worked her way up to being included in college field studies and has found mentors, both her active research mentor, and people remotely who have invited her to participate in webinars and online classes they were offering, answered questions, sent websites and links to me, etc.

 

It's been a wild ride, especially when I realize that it's come from reading library books and hanging out at the zoo a lot to participating in international conferences in the field in under 3 years (and DD has set a goal to present at the conference for next year.)

 

What I wouldn't suggest, unless your son just plain enjoys them, are things set up specifically for kids. Those zoo classes/camps/wildlife camps, etc simply were at too low of a level for her and didn't meet her need to do real stuff. The other thing I noticed is that stuff set up for adults usually has a minimal or no charge at all-stuff set up for kids often is pretty pricey. 

 

Good luck!


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#35 MeAndTheBoys

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 09:26 AM

THIS IS SO HELPFUL!! Thank you!! I'm printing it out, saving the links, going to chew on it for a while.

 

I gave up on "classes" a long time ago--he's not one to complain, but he said they were babyish and he would like to teach his own class :)  (which might be in his future--but he's painfully shy right now).

 

Thanks for giving me some great ideas--DH and I had already decided that we were going to really brainstorm this summer and try to take it to the next level---

 

Betsy

 

Here are my suggestions:

 

1) He's probably ready to move from amateur materials to more professional ones with more detail. There are open-access journals available in biology and zoology subtopics that you can find via googling "Open access X". University Academic Presses have good books, and if you're near a university, you can sometimes find these at a used bookstore fairly inexpensively (they're pretty pricey new).

 

At a lower level, but free and fun http://www.naturalinquirer.org/-you can read online or send for a set of one of each back issue. These are very, very well done.

 

If he really gets into a specific subarea, it's worth it to get a student membership to the professional association to provide access to journals. My DD's SSAR membership gets her more than 50 years of back issues available online. That's a lot of research to read and digest. You may also be able to get journal access by getting a college library card, but I've found that to be more useful for general journals than the specific ones DD wants/needs.

 

As far as hands on, at his age, you're going to have to be there with him. This is a good time of year to find projects to participate in. Normally local groups will run workshops for things like Project FrogWatch, The Center for Snake Conservation Spring Snake Count, Backyard Bird count, etc, and usually they've had no trouble with DD being with me when I go. Those have been a good way to get connected with the groups, and once we are, DD quickly finds her niche with the folks there. Through those connections, she's worked her way up to being included in college field studies and has found mentors, both her active research mentor, and people remotely who have invited her to participate in webinars and online classes they were offering, answered questions, sent websites and links to me, etc.

 

It's been a wild ride, especially when I realize that it's come from reading library books and hanging out at the zoo a lot to participating in international conferences in the field in under 3 years (and DD has set a goal to present at the conference for next year.)

 

What I wouldn't suggest, unless your son just plain enjoys them, are things set up specifically for kids. Those zoo classes/camps/wildlife camps, etc simply were at too low of a level for her and didn't meet her need to do real stuff. The other thing I noticed is that stuff set up for adults usually has a minimal or no charge at all-stuff set up for kids often is pretty pricey. 

 

Good luck!

 



#36 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:01 AM

Ok, at least you guys all have kids who are obsessed with *real* stuff.  My kid is obsessed with Harry Potter.  She has discovered Hogwarts is Here and is now taking classes, reading textbooks, writing essays . . . in Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts.  :glare:   How far do you go in encouraging *that* kind of passion?


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#37 Runningmom80

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:12 AM

Ok, at least you guys all have kids who are obsessed with *real* stuff.  My kid is obsessed with Harry Potter.  She has discovered Hogwarts is Here and is now taking classes, reading textbooks, writing essays . . . in Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts.  :glare:   How far do you go in encouraging *that* kind of passion?

 

I don't know the answer, but this makes me smile.  To be a kid again...


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#38 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:32 AM

Ok, at least you guys all have kids who are obsessed with *real* stuff.  My kid is obsessed with Harry Potter.  She has discovered Hogwarts is Here and is now taking classes, reading textbooks, writing essays . . . in Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts.  :glare:   How far do you go in encouraging *that* kind of passion?

 

Gently...I think much of it depends on how good your own sorcery skills are. No judgement, just that sometimes we're not good at discerning the level of our children's skills, so we are apt to overestimate how much they can hold out against the Dark Arts. IMHO, some things are just better left to the professionals.


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#39 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 10:33 AM

:001_tt2:


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#40 dmmetler

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:25 AM

well, we had a. Hogwarts-themed co-op this past semester and Mythgard has an HP class this summer, so I'd say go for it :).
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#41 deerforest

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 11:47 AM

LOL.. the Hogwart's obsession encouraged me to post about DD. Her obsession is circus arts. It started innocently enough. She has always been a climber so when I saw a class for aerial silks (ala Cirque du Soleil) 2.5 years ago, I signed her up. I had no idea what I was starting!

 

She does aerial silks, trapeze, lyra, acro, stilting, unicycling, juggling, contact juggling, hooping, poi, spinning plates, flowsticks, etc. She wears face paint several times a week at home and has gotten quite good at designing and applying it. She learned how to sew, bought her own sewing machine, and is designing a pattern for a stilt costume with her sewing teacher.

 

She's taken classes with some amazing folks, including the aerialist from Quidam.

 

She does a mix of group, semi private, and private lessons. She mostly participates in the adult classes as she and 2 other local friends are beyond the level of the other kids their age. We have considered relocating to get her closer to some top circus schools. Next summer our main vacation will be focused on her attending circus camp. She has grown out of all the local ones.

 

Her dream is to be in Cirque du Soleil. It's funny because so many of the local circus folks we know are scientists who do the circus stuff as their side work. I could see her doing something like that because she loves teaching others.

 

She has blossomed into this amazingly confident and strong person. She tells me that these are her "people." She's a kid who has a lot of anxieties and worries, and they all disappear in her circus community. Her performances are so professional, and I get such amazing feedback from her instructors.

 

But, it also means we often do school with her doing handstands, splits, swinging from trapeze, etc. Many of her writing assignments focus on circus arts.


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#42 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 12:04 PM

Ok, at least you guys all have kids who are obsessed with *real* stuff.  My kid is obsessed with Harry Potter.  She has discovered Hogwarts is Here and is now taking classes, reading textbooks, writing essays . . . in Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts.  :glare:   How far do you go in encouraging *that* kind of passion?

 

What exactly is this? Is it an online game? I tried to figure it out (stealthily, so Lily wouldn't become enthralled with it! ;) ) , but couldn't get a good feel for it.



#43 raptor_dad

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:43 PM

Ok, at least you guys all have kids who are obsessed with *real* stuff.  My kid is obsessed with Harry Potter.  She has discovered Hogwarts is Here and is now taking classes, reading textbooks, writing essays . . . in Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts.  :glare:   How far do you go in encouraging *that* kind of passion?

 

It depends... are we talking about dd7 or dd11... for dd7 it is entirely developmentally appropriate. My DS7 has spent over 6 months living in each Oz and Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" universes. At the same time he has read lots of other myths and stuff. But, if he wants to be Captain Nancy, or explore some kingdom of Glinda's... I think allowing that nonconformist cultural freedom(especially given its non gender normative aspects) is one of the gifts of homeschooling. For dd11, I think you need to be more circumspect. Fantasy and online gaming can be much more escapist for tweens and teens. There is a line between encouraging the imagination of younger kids and allowing escapist fantasies for older kids. It is a subtle line but in practice it should be relatively clear.

 

 Either way, these passions are not likely to be long standing. To be a true passion, I would expect to see it persist for well over a year with very little parental encouragement. Likewise, I would expect it to evolve over that period(so just playing minecraft wouldn't cut it). With my DS , we have lots of transient 1-4 month passions but far fewer that persist and recur over time. Those that reappear year after year, I feel more obliged to try to develop.

 

I think the freedom to indulge your kid's passion is a gift on homeschooling. Don't judge too early if this passion is a viable career. Follow your kid's lead. Some passions will be discarded after a few months. But, other improbable passions will be sustained over years. Is being a ballet dancer or a circus performer or musician or a table top gamer or an environmental activist a sustainable career... well that is more of a question for you family values. Certainly they are not financially rewarding but should that be the only metric?

 

Either way a sensitivity to your kid's interests can't lead you astray.


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#44 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:44 PM

It's truly like a MOOC - like going to Hogwarts, but online.  You sign up for classes, you read textbooks, you write essays, you take tests.  Once you pass all the first-year classes, you can become a 2nd year, all the way on up through 7 years of magical material.  It's literally like schoolwork.  Shannon has downloaded the textbooks, read them and taken notes, and written an essay and submitted it.  All on her own, all outside of school time! I am, at the same time, awestruck, impressed, and annoyed . . .  ;)   she is practicing skills we've been working on all year, which is awesome.  She's writing, she's reading and notetaking.  Awesome.  She's learning a ton . . . BUT IT'S NOT REAL!!!!!!!!!  and part of me just keeps getting stuck on that - so much time and energy, learning all this stuff when there are so many interesting - and REAL - things to learn!!!!!  

 

Ok, sorry, rant over.  I'm mostly bemused, I think.  I just wish there was something in the, er, real world for which she felt a similar passion, motivation, and devotion.


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#45 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:53 PM

It depends... are we talking about dd7 or dd11... for dd7 it is entirely developmentally appropriate. My DS7 has spent over 6 months living in each Oz and Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" universes. At the same time he has read lots of other myths and stuff. But, if he wants to be Captain Nancy, or explore some kingdom of Glinda's... I think allowing that nonconformist cultural freedom(especially given its non gender normative aspects) is one of the gifts of homeschooling. For dd11, I think you need to be more circumspect. Fantasy and online gaming can be much more escapist for tweens and teens. There is a line between encouraging the imagination of younger kids and allowing escapist fantasies for older kids. It is a subtle line but in practice it should be relatively clear.

 

 Either way, these passions are not likely to be long standing. To be a true passion, I would expect to see it persist for well over a year with very little parental encouragement. Likewise, I would expect it to evolve over that period(so just playing minecraft wouldn't cut it). With my DS , we have lots of transient 1-4 month passions but far fewer that persist and recur over time. Those that reappear year after year, I feel more obliged to try to develop.

 

I think the freedom to indulge your kid's passion is a gift on homeschooling. Don't judge too early if this passion is a viable career. Follow your kid's lead. Some passions will be discarded after a few months. But, other improbable passions will be sustained over years. Is being a ballet dancer or a circus performer or musician or a table top gamer or an environmental activist a sustainable career... well that is more of a question for you family values. Certainly they are not financially rewarding but should that be the only metric?

 

Either way a sensitivity to your kid's interests can't lead you astray.

 

 

I agree, particularly with the bolded.  It's the 11 year old, FWIW.  And she doesn't do any online gaming or role playing, btw.  It's really a passion for HP and the HP world.  She loves Hermione and sees her as a role model, she's been Hermione for Halloween 3 or 4 times.  She's read the series 6 or 7 times.  But she has lots of other interests, too, and she doesn't do escapism or have any confusion between reality and this imaginary world.  One of her other interests is acting, so she's fascinated by the actors as people, and how they prepared for their roles, and the fact that they grew up in their roles and stuff like that.  She loves to watch interviews and screen tests with the actors.  

 

So I'm not troubled in the sense of thinking this is an unhealthy level of interest or anything.  


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#46 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:55 PM

Gently...I think much of it depends on how good your own sorcery skills are. No judgement, just that sometimes we're not good at discerning the level of our children's skills, so we are apt to overestimate how much they can hold out against the Dark Arts. IMHO, some things are just better left to the professionals.

 

:lol:  :lol:  :lol:   Maybe I can connect these skills to challenges in the Muggle world. . . defense against cigarette smoking? Underage drinking???


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#47 Runningmom80

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:56 PM

It's truly like a MOOC - like going to Hogwarts, but online.  You sign up for classes, you read textbooks, you write essays, you take tests.  Once you pass all the first-year classes, you can become a 2nd year, all the way on up through 7 years of magical material.  It's literally like schoolwork.  Shannon has downloaded the textbooks, read them and taken notes, and written an essay and submitted it.  All on her own, all outside of school time! I am, at the same time, awestruck, impressed, and annoyed . . .  ;)   she is practicing skills we've been working on all year, which is awesome.  She's writing, she's reading and notetaking.  Awesome.  She's learning a ton . . . BUT IT'S NOT REAL!!!!!!!!!  and part of me just keeps getting stuck on that - so much time and energy, learning all this stuff when there are so many interesting - and REAL - things to learn!!!!!  

 

Ok, sorry, rant over.  I'm mostly bemused, I think.  I just wish there was something in the, er, real world for which she felt a similar passion, motivation, and devotion.

 

I understand what you mean, my DS pretty much has the history of lego memorized, and the hero factory stories, what "wave" certain characters are, what year different villains and heroes were sold, etc.  It's often frustrating that he has all of that stuff memorized but not his times tables. :lol:


Edited by Runningmom80, 21 April 2014 - 03:07 PM.

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#48 Chrysalis Academy

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:06 PM

I understand what you mean, my DS pretty much has the history of lego memorized, and the hero factory stories, "waves" what year different villains and heroes were sold, etc.  It's often frustrating that he has all of that stuff memorized but not his times tables. :lol:

 

Exactly!!!!  :lol:


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#49 Donna

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:54 PM

LOL.. the Hogwart's obsession encouraged me to post about DD. Her obsession is circus arts. It started innocently enough. She has always been a climber so when I saw a class for aerial silks (ala Cirque du Soleil) 2.5 years ago, I signed her up. I had no idea what I was starting!

 

She does aerial silks, trapeze, lyra, acro, stilting, unicycling, juggling, contact juggling, hooping, poi, spinning plates, flowsticks, etc. She wears face paint several times a week at home and has gotten quite good at designing and applying it. She learned how to sew, bought her own sewing machine, and is designing a pattern for a stilt costume with her sewing teacher.

 

That is really cool! Sounds like a lot of fun!



#50 kiwik

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 09:37 PM

k

It's truly like a MOOC - like going to Hogwarts, but online. You sign up for classes, you read textbooks, you write essays, you take tests. Once you pass all the first-year classes, you can become a 2nd year, all the way on up through 7 years of magical material. It's literally like schoolwork. Shannon has downloaded the textbooks, read them and taken notes, and written an essay and submitted it. All on her own, all outside of school time! I am, at the same time, awestruck, impressed, and annoyed . . . ;) she is practicing skills we've been working on all year, which is awesome. She's writing, she's reading and notetaking. Awesome. She's learning a ton . . . BUT IT'S NOT REAL!!!!!!!!! and part of me just keeps getting stuck on that - so much time and energy, learning all this stuff when there are so many interesting - and REAL - things to learn!!!!!

Ok, sorry, rant over. I'm mostly bemused, I think. I just wish there was something in the, er, real world for which she felt a similar passion, motivation, and devotion.


Can you insist the essays meet your standards. It is probably just as good practice as anything else I guess.

But it's not real.

Mind you if there had been a MOOC in the 70's on studying such things as heraldry and hawk training I would have been keen. Maybe the problem in my family isn't so much lack of enthusiasm as lack of encouragement.


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