We’re big fans of interest-led learning! It’s a powerful way to keep your child engaged and excited about learning. Plus, it’s great for encouraging curiosity and increasing retention.
Interest-led unit studies are the backbone of our homeschool curriculum here at the Waldock Way. However, there are some potential drawbacks you’ll have to think about when you choose to follow an interest-led learning method. For example, how do I know if I’m covering enough material in our interest-led homeschool?
I’m excited to answer the question “Am I doing enough?” once and for all. Plus, I’ll share why we love interest-led learning so much and some of our favorite resources so you can get started on your own interest-led learning journey this year.
The Power Of Interest-Led Learning
The power of interest-led learning is real! We learn best when we’re interested and engaged with the material. Here at the Waldock Way, we have learned all kinds of unexpected and amazing things by following Emily’s lead.
When we choose a field trip, pick out new resources for morning baskets, and make plans about what we are going to study, she’s involved. Taking an interest-led approach to homeschool means we get to work on our bond and build a strong connection while showing Emily that learning is a lifelong adventure.
When Emily is engaged and excited about the lesson, she’s filled with questions and ready to explore. That means she’s likely to retain all sorts of useful information and fall in love with learning along the way.
The Drawbacks Of Interest-Led Learning In Your Homeschool
We’re big fans of this approach, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t drawbacks to the interest-led learning approach. One drawback that can be really concerning for homeschool parents is not knowing how kids are progressing.
If you take an interest-led approach to homeschooling instead of following a more formal approach, it might be difficult to know how your child is doing sometimes. When there aren’t boxes to check, tests to give, or grades at the end, you might find yourself wondering how they’re really doing.
Another concern you might have with interest-led learning is that topics might get ignored or fall through the cracks. If you’re following your child’s interests, what happens if they aren’t interested in math? Fortunately, there are no all-or-nothing rules about interest-led learning.
We definitely study topics and concepts that Emily probably wouldn’t choose on her own like math, spelling, and grammar. However, there are still ways I can teach these subjects in ways that will be more interesting and engaging for Emily. Check out my guide to gameschooling to see how I use games we love to encourage extra practice in math, reading, science, and more.
How Do I Know If I Am Covering Enough In Our Homeschool?
So how do you know when you’re covering enough material in your homeschool? It’s easy to start worrying and questioning your approach when you aren’t taking a typical path to education. The truth is that there isn’t a magic way to know when you’re doing enough, but there are some questions you can ask yourself to discover if you’re doing enough.
Initially, I always like to ask myself where the question is coming from in the first place. Sometimes we start comparing ourselves to other homeschoolers and questioning our own methods and progress. It’s important to remember that we’re all on different journeys with very different kids.
The next thing to consider is your goal. What’s your homeschool goal for the year? Do you have a mission statement?
Every year we pick “one thing” to focus on in addition to our goals. By choosing goals for the year and one specific area to focus on, I can make sure we’re staying on track throughout the homeschool year. If we’re meeting our goals, we’re probably doing enough.
Another important way you can answer the question about whether or not you’re doing enough is by getting feedback from your child. Talk with your homeschooler and get honest feedback. You might be surprised to learn that they really are retaining way more information than you initially thought!
Additional Resources For Interest-Led Learning
Interest-led learning definitely isn’t the traditional approach to education, but we have found it works best for us. There are so many amazing benefits for our whole family! This approach has helped us to build a strong connection and a culture of learning that we value. If you’re looking for more tips and resources to support an interest-led learning approach, check out some of these helpful articles:
- Why Games Are An Essential Part of Interest-Led Learning
- Interest-Led and Hands-On Science for Your Homeschool
- Interest-Led Learning When Your Child Is “Behind”
- Homeschool Space Unit Study Ideal for Interest-Led Learning
- The Incredible Power of Following Your Child’s Interests in Homeschool
Do you follow an interest-led learning approach with your homeschooler? What are some of the tips and tricks you use to determine if you’re covering enough material in your homeschool? Share your favorite resources and advice in the comments to help everyone out this year.