My guess is that many of us would love to pour into a child's passion, but where do you start? The first thing I want to encourage you to do is to identify your child's passion. From there, we can explore ways to invest in that passion. So, how do you know what your child is passionate about? Essentially, it boils down to spending time with your children and being very observant about who they are and how they interact with the world around them.
If your children are older, you likely have a good idea of what they enjoy. That doesn't mean you've identified a clear interest or orientation to one particular thing. If they are old enough, you can always ask!
Younger children may still be developing their passion, but it will show up. Observe your children and see if something stands out. I highly recommend the book, How Am I Smart: A Parent's Guide to Multiple Intelligences by Kathy Koch. Based on the research of Howard Gardener on Multiple Intelligences (takes me back to my days in graduate school), Dr. Kathy breaks the theory down and helps parents see their children in a whole new light. You'll learn about the 8 types of intelligence and how your child behaves based on the various kinds of smart (and you'll see glimpses of yourself as well!). The author really helps parents (and kids) understand who they are. For us as homeschoolers, knowing about the different types of smart is an essential tool in knowing the best way to educate our children- this goes beyond the three familiar learning styles and makes it much easier to see strengths and things to work on. You'll also learn how smarts can be awakened and can go dormant as a result of our experiences.
I'll add here that Dr. Kathy comes from a faith based view and gives parents encouragement on parenting the children we have, not the ones we wish we had! This one statement helps to fuel our own passion in raising our children to be who God ordained them to be! And out of this is born our desire to pour into them based on who they are. I want to help our children to be good stewards of the talents He has given them. So, be an observer of your children and remember that negative behavior (in all of us) is usually the result of an unfocused strength. I'll let you all think about that one!
We have four children ranging from 13 to 6 and they have distinct interests and abilities. I'll be sharing about our children and their passions in this series along with what we've done to fan the flame and really develop a skill and talent.
Some questions to ask yourself as you seek to identify the passion:
- What is your child interested in?
- What is she good at?
- What does your child do in his spare time?
- What would he spend his money on if he had some?
- What does he like to talk about?
- Ask her! (this works well if they are older kids)
Sometimes it won't be you who discovers a hidden talent in your children. While I always knew that my 11 (almost 12) year old daughter is extremely kinesthetic, I did not know how much she would love sewing. Yet, it only took one week at her grandparent's house and a sewing project with Grandma (Hi, Grandma!) to awaken a love for the sewing machine at 8 years old! If you are a new reader, then you are in for a treat on how we pour into our daughter's passion for sewing.
In summary, one of the best things we can do for our kids is to learn what makes their heart sing and to pursue that with our time and resources- rather than every little thing that comes along.
Tomorrow I'll be discussing the issue of outsourcing the resources for filling the passion vs lower cost venues- advantages and disadvantages and how to think creatively about pouring into the passion in a low cost manner.
The 10 Days Series is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. And of course, click the image below to visit all the 10 Days posts from these homeschool moms of the iHomeschool Network.
You'll be blessed with tips on how to handle bad days, cultivating curiosity, teaching with Legos, and much much more!