I try to always support my children’s interests. Whatever they are currently passionate about becomes important to me because it is important to them. It could be a hobby, television show, game, or many other things. Sometimes, it is a challenge for me to really get into it, but I do think it is worthwhile, especially if it feels like something that is going to be a part of their lives for a while.
Hailey is very imaginative and loves pretend play. When she was a toddler, she would get ideas from tv shows. It really meant a lot to her when I would watch the shows with her and learn the names of the characters and their traits. She would love for me to tell her made up stories using the characters and throw in real things they might do. I couldn’t fake it, I had to actually watch and learn. This was no small thing to her though. She went from show to show asking me to play with her in this way for about two years. I tried to find good things about whatever program it was, although some were harder than others. Some I really did not like, so I just played along until it passed.
Unschooling flourishes when interests are supported. Part of unschooling is trying to find ways to explore the interest, sometimes expand on it. When Hailey went through a Phineas and Ferb stage it was a lot of fun for everyone. We all enjoyed the show. Hailey talked about inventions she would make and acted out each character. I bought her a Perry stuffy for Christmas. She was also going through a joke telling phase, so I purchased a small Phineas and Ferb joke book to tie the two interests together. Even small things matter, I found some Phineas and Ferb napkins as a thrift store and brought them home. That was a big deal to her.
Hailey loves to make art. I am the opposite of artistic. I try to always have supplies on hand and I try to always find events she can go to that focus on art. She recently turned her into a local art show and was thrilled to see it on display.
She also loves Pokemon. You can’t really be around her for long without expecting to hear about it. We bought a pokemon handbook with all the details on the pokemon, we have pokemon stuffed animals and figures, pokemon cards are received for presents. It is a big part of our life.
Whether it is Pokemon cards, tv shows, helping Hailey record her videos for YouTube, playing superheroes, finding a book about bugs, or buying art supplies, I truly encourage you to explore and support their interest. Not only do they learn so much that way, but it can truly be fun and they appreciate it so much.