My plans were written out for the week. I had planned to start Unit 11 in Passport to Adventures which meant we would be learning about the African Safari. But that Sunday night Emily asked if she could look at Outschool to see what classes they had available (we had just taken our first class and she was excited to see what else they had). The class that caught her eye was a class about becoming a veterinarian. It happened to be the next day and was only a one-time class, so I signed her up. After completing the class, she was enthralled with all thing veterinarian. She pulled out her doctor kit and started giving our two cats checkups.
As I sat there watching her it I knew I had two choices. I could force my plans for the week and have an okay homeschool week or I could throw my plans out the window and follow her lead and have an amazing homeschool week. Throwing the plans out is not easy for me but I know that it is always worth it when I do it, so out the plans went.
I immediately raided my book shelves and homeschool closet. I found the Vet Academy book, a Real-World Math: Zookeeper book, and the Kid Wonder Animal Hospital subscription box that I had been hoarding for months. I knew that I had the basis for a great interest based deep dive.
After she went to bed that night I jumped on my laptop and headed to YouTube, Amazon Prime, and Netflix to make playlists. I also found a dramatic play vet set on Teacher Pay Teacher that I printed out and spent the evening setting up for her to find in the morning. All of this “work” took me a total of just over an hour but led to SO much learning.
We spent the week pretend playing vet and practiced so many skills while doing this. We completed the Vet Academy book, read about a day in the life of a veterinarian, completed the Real-World Math Zookeeper book, and the Kid Wonder Animal Hospital box. We played the Professor Noggin Trivia games about pets, farm animals, and zoo animals as well, because veterinarians need to know all about animals. And we watched an entire season of The Bionic Vet on Netflix (it was the family favorite).
After seeing how passionate she was about this subject I decided to try to get her a tour at a veterinarian office. This was not the easiest thing to accomplish because most of the offices were not thrilled about having a six-year-old tour the facility. I did finally find one that was okay with it thankfully.
She must have thanked me a hundred times by the end of the week. She was not only thrilled to be learning something she was passionate about, but she was touched that she was “heard” and that I followed her lead instead of forcing her to follow mine. I want to encourage you to try to do the same, following an interest your child has can result in so much more meaningful learning than any lesson you can planned.
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