Homeschoolers As Private Investigators

Many homeschoolers start out being fairly structured and schoolish in their home education efforts. Usually this is because it's all they really know from experience and they have to start somewhere. But more often than not, after some time goes by, almost all families end up moving toward the less structured side of things. They relax more and let their child's interests guide them.

Some families desperately want to do this, but just don't know how to start. What's the best way to really find out your child's interests?

The most obvious way, by just asking them, isn't necessarily the best way for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the child is already a bit jaded by previous schooling experiences and tends to give answers that they think you want to hear. Sometimes they just can't articulate it or even really understand what you really mean when you ask.

So here's my suggestion. Take some time off from whatever structured learning you may have currently set up, (I recommend at least a week) and just let your child do what he wants to do.

Then get out your binoculars and your deerstalker hat. You can skip the pipe if you want. :)

Now start observing and looking for clues. What does he talk about? What is the activity he did most often? Take notes and at the end of your observation period, look over the notes for any patterns and ideas on what your child is into for the moment.

Now it's time to get creative. Think of ways you could used these natural interests for even more learning. If you need help after you've created your list, let me know and I'll be glad to help.

Most of all, have fun!

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