SummaryJennifer Elia shows how the flexibility of homeschooling can be enhanced into five proven methods to not only help you teach your children their curriculum but find their passion and ignite a spark to create the future God intended for them.
Homeschooling is growing across the country and around the world.
It not only affords students a chance at a better education but also provides families with flexibility and the opportunity to grow and learn together.
Homeschooling offers another amazing opportunity that can sometimes be overlooked. It is easy to get so focused on getting through the lesson plans that a chance to give your children the world can go unnoticed.
What if you didn’t just teach your children their curriculum but ignited a spark to create the future God intended for each of your children?
1. How to Help Your Child Find His Passion
Ever fill out one of the “get to know you” questionnaires? What’s your favorite color? What is your favorite breakfast food? If you were a fruit, what would you be? These have always been difficult for me. I like such a wide range of things; it is nearly impossible to come up with a “favorite.”
Even if I can’t tell you what my favorite flavor of tea is, there are two things that have always made my heart happy—two aspirations that go back as far as I can remember—being a mom and writing! I am blessed that, at this point in my life, I get to do both.
Helping our children find their passion may seem like an overwhelming task. There is always so much to do. Modern life is busy and noisy.
There are academics to complete, tests to pass, extracurricular activities, practice, games, family obligations—does the list ever end? Somewhere in there, your kids need some space to find the still, small voice calling to their hearts.
While school and activities can lead to discovered passions, there is a tried and true way that is free—boredom! By letting your children get bored, they will explore what will make them excited and what just doesn’t work. It’s in the boredom and the need to find something wonderful to fill that void that children learn who they really are.
2. Finding Ways to Incorporate a Child’s Passion into Your Homeschool
Now that a child has found a passion, he probably cannot think of anything else. Passions may change over time or remain constant. My oldest daughter has loved horses since she was 16 months old; at 13 years old, that passion has not waned. However, this is not the norm for most children. The only way to discover if a child’s newest interest is the one is to experience and experiment with it.
Homeschool days are already packed; adding more is difficult. However, children with an ignited interest want extra time to explore it. Any pursuit can easily be integrated into a normal day.
Here are some ideas how:
- A special research project and presentation
- A book report on books related to the interest
- A special “elective” course that can be completed after other work is done
- A related chore at home–baking, cooking, teaching a younger sibling
- Creative activities such as coloring books on the subject (Dover Publications has some amazing ones, covering topics from anatomy to zoology and everything in between.)
3. Getting into the Community to Work
Finding work, whether paid or volunteer, has so many advantages. One of the biggest is trying out your passion. This is especially helpful for students still discovering what the world of work can hold.
My horse-loving daughter has been volunteering at a barn for over a year. During her time there, she has participated in various activities, including event planning, and is beginning to learn how to give lessons in the hopes of one day being a hippotherapy instructor.
Not sure where to begin in finding “work” for your child? Here are some suggestions to try:
- Do a shadow day at a local business
- Volunteer for a charity or event
- Get involved in a local project (Think historical society or other non-profit!)
- Request a visit to a religious community
- Start a micro-business
4. Endless Possibilities of the Internet for Practicing
Not every passion is going to have a local opportunity. My son has a hobby designing board games for family and friends, and wondered how he could turn his ideas into video games. So, he is using tutorials online to learn coding and then programming his Kano computer.
The Internet brings the world to you. Online tutorials, YouTube channels, and virtual field trips can expand your child’s horizons and let him try his passion. The Internet places a big responsibility on the parent, however, to monitor and guide to ensure a safe environment, but there are valuable lessons, too.
A simple Internet search can provide a long list of resources that can be used in our child’s passion pursuit. The web also opens up new opportunities for micro-businesses to sell a product or service online. From Etsy and eBay to a personal website (that can be built free on WordPress), there are many avenues available to build a passion-based business that could turn into a lifelong career.
5. All For God’s Glory
In the end, our greatest passion is to spend an eternity in Heaven. God gave each of us a special set of gifts to serve His Kingdom well. Living that out is our greatest potential for a fulfilling life.
Prayer and time for silence must always be central to building a lifelong passion and career. St Catherine of Siena said, “Be who you were meant to be, and you will set the world on fire!”
What could be a better accomplishment as a homeschool parent than to have a child set the world afire for God’s glory?