Thursday, October 14, 2010

Interest-Driven Learning

Being part of the life of an Unschooled child is inspiring to me. It's an honor to witness natural learning. So pure. So joyful. My children learn so much through totally immersing themselves in an interest. Sometimes an interest will last one day, sometimes months, and sometimes it goes back and forth. My kids very often pick something up again after not being interested for a long time - sometimes years!

Devin is interested in Lego's again ~ a passion that has ebbed and flowed naturally for years. It was cool to see his vast collection of Mini Figs make an appearance on the kitchen table after being in his closet for so long. He collected them years ago, when he was around 7 and 8. He's almost 12 now and is playing with them all over again, but in a different way than he did years ago. He's making stop-animation videos with them now, using the collection as a tool for his new interest.

Here are just a few of Devin's other current passions, interests and ideas from this week.

Devin made hangers and shelving for his instruments in his music room.


He had the idea to attach branches to the ceiling to hang special trinkets from.


He made a Zen Garden for our family to enjoy. It is so beautiful!

He began learning an "Elvish" language after being inspired by a girl he met in Australia who spoke it. She was an always unschooled girl who had taught herself this very complex language created by J. R. R. Tolkien.


Devin received a very special instrument in the mail this week. An Ocarina. He learned about it from his interest in a video game called, "Zelda". Much of the music in the game was created with the Ocarina. You can never know what someone else takes from an experience. I'm so glad that I always trusted him in his choices, because by limiting his choices, I would be limiting his learning and making his world so much smaller. I want to give my kids as huge of a world as possible.

Here Devin is playing his new instrument at a river near our home. We walked there today because he said he plays best when he is out in nature with the sound of the water.

7 comments:

jenny miller said...

Awesome! My sons are 10 and 5 and love their Legos and minifigs. We are part of a Lego homeschool group, too. I love this post of your son's creativity. And love the ceiling art! Thanks for posting.

Lola O'Brien said...

I love the zen garden Dayna. It's so inspiring to see what they do, given the freedom to do it. I just can't understand why this way of living isn't more accepted. If they only knew eh?! :)

Whollyraw said...

this is a beautiful post Dayna! it is wonderful to see how naturally nurtured passions and freedom can be part of creating such beautiful human beings. i love you martin family!

Ssejors said...

It's Zelda and the Ocarina of Time Actually but that is FANTASTIC that he has an actual Ocarina to play!

Dayna Martin said...

Thank you Ssejors! Devin corrected me right after you did. I appreciate it!
Whollyraw - Thanks! ((hugs)) Love back at ya!
Lola and Jenny - thank you and be well!

Terri said...

Your blog is always such inspiration! I included one of your quotes and highlighted your blog as a great resource for parents exploring the new paradigm of parenting - http://tiny.cc/parentingparadigm

I hope to nurture my children's unique interest and creativity as much as you are doing.

onelove

The Innovative Educator said...

This is such a great piece. I have been focusing on passion (not data) driven instruction for learning a lot in my blog lately at http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/search/label/passion%20based%20learning . If you're interested there are some fascinating stories and resources. I would love to share your post on my blog as an example of how interest drives learning for unschoolers and cross post back to your blog. Thank you for sharing your stories.