Did you know earthworms are hermaphrodites and possess both the male and female sex organs? And that even though they can produce both egg and sperm, they still need a mate to reproduce?
What a Wonderful World
We all live in an endlessly interesting world. Every day there is something new to learn or experience, and it doesn’t require selling everything and living out of a backpack, though that sounds very nice at times.
All it takes is openness, curiosity, and a certain amount of optimism.
Those who are negative, pessimistic, and hateful will find it difficult to even want to unschool. Those who are cynical and critical can unschool but their progress will be slow, until they learn to see the sunshine and clouds and trees instead of the dirty cracks in the stupid sidewalk.
Those who are negative, pessimistic, and hateful will find homeschooling, parenting, and even living difficult. We all know these people, and they aren’t terribly interesting. How then do we help pique curiosity in our children?
Homeschooling Curiosity and Being Interested
As a homeschool parent, one of your best answers to any question is, “I don’t know, let’s look it up.” Another great phrase to use is, ” Hey, come look at this; it’s really cool!” These two sentences will put you well on your way to being an interesting and interested homeschooling parent.
In our homeschool, we’ve been reading Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark. Early on there is a mention of ychu grass. Curious to see ychu grass, we looked it up and found the most fantastic information about the native Uru people of Peru. They construct islands from ychu grass that they float and live upon on Lake Titicaca. This led to YouTube videos and listening to Peruvian music, which then led to my 11-year-old creating her own “cultures” playlist with music from Peru, to India and China, all from being curious about grass.
Another day, we were reading about Van Gogh in 13 Paintings Children Should Know, and it mentions the song “Vincent” by Don McLean, of course, I had to play this for my kids! Art History and pop culture all in one.
Always Something Interesting
We often refer to these as rabbit trails, but ours aren’t quite that deliberate. We’re more like a startled rabbit making a dash for cover. This is probably due to my personality and my dislike for belaboring things. Our interest is piqued, we look it up, and we move on.
All of this leads to living a life filled with curiosity.
Here are a few other ideas for embracing curiosity:
- Let them deconstruct a broken appliance (we’ve opened up an alarm clock and a cheap blue tooth speaker)
- Go to an International Market
- Visit an antique store
- Check out cookbooks with recipes from around the world
- Keep a microscope around (we finally fixed ours)
- Just wander past the library shelves looking for anything interesting
- Have a look at Explore.org; it’s one daughter’s favorite site
Anything can lead to questions, which leads to interesting answers.
What Makes you Interesting?
This one is a little tougher and takes some thought. What makes you interesting? What do you have to share? We all have experiences and stories that others would find fascinating.
If you believe you aren’t interesting, why? What can you do to change that?
The curiosity to learn new things is VITAL in my opinion, to helping our children be life-long learners and seekers.
What are you interested in and willing to learn? It can be anything and will show your children that it’s never too late to learn something new.
Out of curiosity, I asked two of my girls what they thought was interesting about me. Their answers: I have a banjo, a blog, our inside jokes, and being silly. Ask, you might be surprised.
Life is Interesting
Remember, to young children everything is new and fascinating. The world is opening up before them and full of things they’ve never seen before. Cultivate the wonder.
Don’t hurry along the little boy picking up leaves while lamenting how he’ll get dirty.
Let the little girl feed the ducks without rushing her off to more important activities.
These little things have a lasting impact. If they never embrace their curiosity because they are always being told what they’re “supposed’ to be doing and learning, they will forever be waiting for direction on what to do rather than deciding for themselves.
We should also trust that people are naturally interested in the world and want to know how it operates. Their desire decreases when we start assigning chapters and giving pop quizzes on things they’re not interested in right now.
This doesn’t mean they won’t be interested next year, but then again they may never want to know about the reproduction of earthworms.
Being interesting is part of my homeschool mindset, you can read more about that here.
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