In the Interest of Interests

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The college model is well established: Find a major to focus on while also covering "general ed."

Why is it, then, that people take issue when homeschoolers follow a similar trajectory? I can sympathize with being nervous about a "student directed" model. I get that early education is about covering a wide range of topics and so a "trade school" approach isn't exactly what we think of for grade school. But why such negativity to covering the basics while allowing for focused pursuit of a particular subject or skill?

Lee, The HomeScholar, recently blogged about nutty homeschool parents who allow their children to "follow their interests." Mary Grace also has a blog post about the pressure to do high school the "right" way. Both posts hint at this nagging idea that school shouldn't be about interests. Rather, interests should be aligned with school.

Granted, my education prior to college didn't include much formal training in what specifically interested me. I wrote and filmed and programmed and recorded music on my own time. But homeschooling let me devote hours of the day to my hobbies. I didn't need to take a class on making movies because I was practicing on my own.

I guess this post isn't so much about the kind of schooling environment you are in, but rather the kind of learning environment that is open to you both in and outside of formal education. Do you have time to pursue your interests, either formally or for fun?

You can with homeschooling.

What better way to begin a journey of life-long learning? If you learn something because you want to, you're well on your way to enjoying the benefits of learning at home, at school, at work and wherever else you encounter something that fascinates you.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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