Interest Led

Our homeschool style is *Interest Led*.

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I really don’t like labels, so when people would ask what *type* of homeschool we did, I never knew what to say.  The term *un-schooling* seemed to fit us the closest, but I really didn’t like the term – and it really wasn’t who we were.

When I first started homeschool with Sophie I purchased a box curriculum that had everything planned out.  I thought it would be perfect for us, since I am a Type A planner and Sophie always likes to know what is coming next.  After 3 weeks of using the curriculum, I was ready to give up.   Sophie was not interested in the little printouts, or the finger play, or the cute songs.  She wanted to paint the letter Z when the book said we should be doing L, and she had no interest in acting out skits.

I was at a loss.  This was my first attempt and I wanted it to work – but I didn’t know how. What I did know was that the box curriculum wasn’t working and I needed to figure something out.

Sophie was very much into trains {and still is}.  I decided to make up my own curriculum around trains and see what happened.  We did numbers, colors, letters, matching, patterns and more using our wooden trains and track that we owned. We read train themed books, took field trips to see Thomas the Thank Engine and studied bridges.

She learned more in a week than she had the previous month, because she was INTERESTED in it.  Even better, since she loved the subject matter, doing school was fun for her, which made it seriously fun for me.

Every few months I ask Sophie what she wants to study and then I pull together a unit study on her interests.  So far we have studied Tesla coils {remember, she is only 5!}, electricity, water, trucks, roads and bridges.  The library has been a fantastic resource for us to grab books and DVDs to fill in the gaps.  I also use printables that I find on the web since I can’t figure out how to make my own.

In the fall of 2013 we will be joining Classical Conversations to see if it is a good fit for us.  Stay tuned……