Good morning! I've got one of my favorite mugs in hand, filled with hot coffee. It's a mug with a picture of a yellow Labrador retriever on it. This mug reminds me that a couple of puppies launched us on the path of discovering our children's interests, and changed our lives.
While we were busy studying the ocean, space, pioneers, and other interesting topics, our two older children had been saving up for a puppy. They wanted a puppy, talked about puppies nonstop, and kept chattering about what they would name the puppy. Time passed and they kept saving, doing all kinds of odd jobs for friends and family, and they save a LOT of money! They saved enough for TWO puppies! Before they bought puppies, they needed to learn about them - the care required, the costs, the training, etc. It was time for a unit study on dogs.
Our oldest dove right in, and couldn't learn enough about dogs. She absolutely lit up once we began that unit study, eventually getting a volunteer position with the local veterinarian. She has never stopped loving animals - she's a veterinarian today, and loves it!
Our middle child was struggling to read when we started the Dogs study. When we went into the library to pick out books for our dogs study, he insisted on going to the adult section of the library–he wanted the "real" dog books. He chose several AKC books on dogs, and we headed home with all kinds of dog books. He started reading the AKC books on his own and was fascinated. Once he had the motivation and interest, everything fell into place, and he became an avid reader.
When we finished the 4-week study, they bought two yellow lab puppies, and our lives were changed and blessed in so many ways. I learned to listen more carefully. They learned that their ideas and interests were very important. The interests of children are clues to their gifts and talents. They may not be able to name their interests just yet. Be patient. God's got a plan!