One of the “rules” of our classical unschooling method is that we expect passion. We assume that each of our three children will be passionately interested in something that is meaningful.
But here’s the caveat: it has to be personally meaningful. It has to mean something for them.
As a result, we don’t enroll our children in sports or music lessons unless we see interest.
How to Teach Interest
As it turns out, it’s impossible to teach interest. You can only share it and see if they will take to it.
My husband is an amateur guitar player. He plays only what he likes and is completely self-taught. From the looks of it, he truly enjoys practicing. So he finds a song that is about his level, learns how to play it online and stays with it until he has mastered it. He claims he has no talent. (I would disagree.)
My daughter expressed some desire to learn guitar, so we enrolled her in a class. But she had no interest in it, so we did not push it.
She does however watch me write this blog. And we read a lot together. So what does she develop an interest in but writing fantasy stories!
An intuitive speller and strong reader, she has taken up writing stories as her interest.
It Takes Time
Unfortunately, this is one of those things that can’t be pushed. My almost eight year old son, for instance, has almost no interests that we can discern yet. Okay, he loves playing video games and seems technically inclined. He has strong math skills.
We might introduce him to coding the same way we introduced my daughter to guitar. After all, we do want to help our children find their interests and it helps to introduce them to a wide range of them. I don’t think any parent would disagree with that.
Where we part ways with most is in pushing them to learn something they have no desire in.
The Best Way to Get Kids Interested…
…is to have something in your own life you’re passionately interested in and introduce them to a variety of such things. See what sticks.
It really is as simple (and as difficult) as that.