Thursday, January 26, 2012

Discovering and Following Interests: A Balanced Approach - Part Three

I started out on my challenge of following their interests to discover their gifts and talents by making a simple chart of ideas based on things that I could “see” as we homeschooled. Here is an example, not complete by any means:No matter how much you think you know about your child, I can tell you from personal experience that there is just as much that you don't know, and homeschooling helps you and your children discover just what the Lord has placed within them simply by following their interests.

Area of Interest
Possible Life Work
Serving others
Pastor, missionary, service organizations, church service
Protecting others
Police work, military service
Building things
Carpenter, builder, architect
Repairing things
Automotive repair, computer repair, appliance repair
Counting things
Statistician, banker, accountant
Entertaining others
Athlete, actor/actress, singer, musician, racecar driver
Teaching others
Homeschooling parent, teacher, church service, college professor, archeologist
Creating things from ideas
Engineer, computer scientist, sculptor, artist, author, chef
Growing things
Farmer, park ranger, forester, nurseryman, botanist
Helping others
Nurse, doctor, lawyer, orthodontist, coach
Following clues, putting puzzles together
Detective, food scientist, astrophysicist
History fanatic
Ambassador, politician, leader, professor
Working with their hands
Electrician, finish carpenter, orthopedic surgeon
Working with animals
Zookeeper, veterinarian, zoologist
Working with a camera
Photographer, biologist, scientist, satellite designer

These are just a few ideas and connections that can be made with some of the interests that children display. Create a chart for your children, first listing their interests. Make a file on your smartphone or keep a small notebook handy so that you can record the interests that just happen to pop up—a mention of wanting to know how a lawn mower works or wishing she knew how to sew. By keeping track of these, you’ve got some concrete things to pursue with them, and you know what to watch for at the next library sale or garage sale.

A few suggestions for your journey:

·         Nurture your children, both physically and emotionally.
·         Encourage them in their interests and pursuits.
·         Open doors of possibility for them, introducing them to new ideas.
·         Make suggestions that stretch them just a bit out of their area of interest.
·         Make connections by introducing them to people who can help with their interest.
·         Watch for side roads that branch off of an area of interest.

Enjoy this journey and DO follow their passions; these open the gateway to their gifts and talents. God doesn’t place their interests within them to go unused. It is a joy to discover what He has placed within a child, and a welcome surprise comes with the discovery. When your child realizes what he can do and that his interests “fit” with the future that God has created him for, stand back and watch him grow!


Amanda B.

You can read Discovering and Following Interests: A Balanced Approach -  Part One and Part Two.

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