View Full Version : Classical No More - Interest-Led Now!

05-04-2013, 12:39 PM
So just imagine me smearing blue woad on my face and screaming "FREEEEEDOMMM!"

We've been homeschooling from the start, and a combo of classical/Charlotee Mason always resonated with me. So did unschooling, but I couldn't see the merit in it. How would my child learn?

Yet after 5 years of classical, that's it. We're going interest-led. Only 2 weeks of it has convinced me it's the way to go. Why? Because my son seems interested in what he's doing. He's asking questions and showing curiosity for the first time since he was 3 or 4-years-old. Gosh, I wish I'd done this sooner!

I still want him to do his math every day, but other than that, it's all about what he wants to do. He's been working on space/astronomy for 2 weeks now and wants to keep going. I'm excited to see him truly curious about something that isn't a video game. I'm happy to see him not trying to hurry through his work to just "get it over with".

I love classical homeschooling. I think it's wonderful. But my son never thought it was wonderful, unless we were doing things he enjoyed (math and science). Now he is 100% focused on those two subjects, and you know what? I don't feel at all bad that we aren't "doing" history, spelling, French, or anything else we normally did before this month. :D

05-04-2013, 02:05 PM
I am fascinated by this. I really am. I've told myself that I'm going to let the kids choose more and more of their topics and stuff as they get older, and I'm incorporating a few of these weeks next year, but... but... my type A hurts.

05-04-2013, 03:27 PM
I'm fascinated as well. I've tried to get DD interested in picking out what she likes, too. But so far, she either has no interest or doesn't know what she wants. That is some of the reason I spend a little more, looking for.....something (MCT has been a hit). Also, if we went more unstructured, I worry that I would never see her head raise from the Kindle. She writes stories in her many notebooks....so that is a positive. I plan to continue to try more interest-led learning.

05-04-2013, 03:48 PM
See, I find my kids are as interested in anything as anything else. So... until they lose that, I'm just going with it, building up their cups of knowledge. But I hope I have the trust to let go if/when we need to.

05-04-2013, 05:05 PM
That's awesome, Wendy!

We are actually going the other way, from more interest led to a more classical cycle for middle school. It's what he needs now and is asking for...so I guess classical can be interest led too?!

Yay for enthusiasm and sparks! :)

05-04-2013, 08:19 PM
I totally get it. My daughter has always had lots of interests, and it's always been difficult for me to say, "please stop working on that awesome research project and come over here to study this so-so curriculum." She's always done lots of interest-led stuff.

My son, on the other hand, can never think of anything he's interested in, so he often has to do what I say. Whenever he does start a project or get into something of his own, I always make time for it, but mostly, I provide the direction for him. I will be very excited when he finally gets fascinated by something other than Pokemon.

05-05-2013, 03:30 PM
I can very much see myself going to a more interest style learning as my children get older. I do feel like I need to teach / nurture the foundations, aka reading and math. Other than that, I feel like the rest is for the taking. When we have done interest lead learning in the past, I am surprised at how well it works. I think it is a delicate balance between cultivating boredom and activity.

Anyway, looking forward to reading how it goes.

05-06-2013, 01:03 AM
Interesting. When I first was learning about homeschooling and considering it, I said to my one homeschooling friend, "I could NEVER be an unschooler!" Last night I told her, that the longer I am homeschooling, the more reasonable it seems. Or interest-led learning anyway. it seems like when they are interested in something, it is just fun. We've been pretty laid back the last few months, and there is still plenty of learning going on. For now, I am going to continue with an hour or two of "school" leaving plenty of time for that other fun. So we are formally studying life science and Ancient history. But learning Greek Gods and their Roman counterparts prompted her to realize that our planets are named for the Roman Gods, and off she went on a foray into studying the planets. She knows them in order from the sun, and drew some pretty spectacular likenesses (if not to scale). I will follow your experiment closely!

05-06-2013, 03:12 PM
Man that is awesome. I get all stuck on my to do lists and they never seem to end and everyone seems miserable maybe I will try to do this over the summer. If only I could get my dd 8 through Right Start math, she seems to hate math and it used to be our better subject and now she hates it. Maybe we will do it once a week and games the rest. She loves the games and remembers her facts when doing them.
I think if your kids are reading well and just doing math doing child led is awesome. I just would like to get to the reading well part of life, Ugh!!!!!!!!

05-08-2013, 06:49 PM
I was just coming here to ask about project based learning. I'm glad to see there are some others going this route. I hope it continues to work swimmingly for you guys!

05-13-2013, 08:45 AM
*I* want to be more interest-led. I think my kids would thrive. But the year we did interest led, was followed by a painful reentry to public schools. If I can convince my husband to commit to schooling the kids ourselves after I go back to school/work.... <sigh>

05-13-2013, 08:51 AM
I ran across this in my web-travels yesterday. The lady is has something for sale, but there were some good things to read about delight-driven learning...

URtheMom.com.home (http://www.urthemom.com/)

(is it Chrome that is not letting me rename the link?? I don't like that....wah)

06-04-2013, 07:42 PM

Okay, thanks a lot, because I literally just peed my pants laughing. (excuses self to ladies room)