Wednesday, 13 July 2016
The homeschool files : Passionate about Ponies
As I've said before, one of the principles of our approach is following the children's interests. Home educated children have a lot of time to explore their passions if we let them. Both at home and out in the world, all the time they are not spending in school can be used to pursue their interests. In the case of our oldest Maya this means a lot of time is spent on horses and horse riding.
Watching Maya's passion grow has been a joy. From her first tentative steps at age 4, she has grown to be very disciplined about this activity. She's also so enthusiastic it sometimes verges on being annoying, like when she asks you for the fiftieth time in how many minutes you'll be leaving for pony club! This is really her world, as none of the rest of us have any experience with our equine friends. Of course we've all learnt a lot from reading books and watching films and documentaries about horses but she is still our resident expert.
When your homeschool child finds something they love and pursues it outside of the home, as for parents who send their kids to school, it can sometimes be complicated to know how involved you should be. Maya's pony club is her world and as she's grown up a lot this last year she's needed us in it less and less. And although it's delighted us to see her have the confidence and responsibility to do this all by herself (well except for lifts - agh), it was sometimes hard not to know much about what was going on.
So, it was with great curiosity and delight that we attended her club's annual party and barbecue last weekend and were admitted, if only for a day into her world. The opportunity to meet and speak with her teachers was great and we were happy to hear that she's a useful and much appreciated member of their community as well as a good rider. We were also able to put names to the faces of all her friends who share her passion for riding.
As our children get older I expect we will be less and less involved with their learning process, but I hope and believe they'll always be these windows into their lives which let us share with them the progress they're making and the joy their finding in pursuing their passions.