Unschooling with boys: Finding passion outside the box

This post about Supporting passions (no matter what!) from Unbounded Oceans was such a great encouragement and reminder to me today.

She talks about exploring her son's passions with him in their unschooling, even though his interests are far from what interests her.

Her efforts to delve into his world yielded many exciting developments in his learning and his own initiative.  And she reflects on this post about how one dad came to see the value in letting kids follow their hearts.

She tells and adorable story about her son's passionate learning experiences that made me smile and laugh out loud. It's worth a read.

Art is everywhere!
In my heart I know that many young boys don't do well in traditional elementary schools because the environments are so feminized. 

Classrooms are neat, tidy, and sedentary. Books are without references to bloody battles. Recess is short.

I know our home learning environment is girl-centric too.

My daughter's art supplies have taken over the house.

Experiments with fire and magic
The trouble is, I'm not sure what it should be filled with to support my son's passions, other than the computer.
He's doing alot of tech stuff and learning about programming from videos and dad. 

He's passionate about stuff that blows up, catches fire or otherwise changes chemical states. 

If he could work side by side with Steve Spangler all day I'm sure he would be thrilled and engagaged.

But I'm no Steve Spangler. I'm a social scientist, not a chemist. Chemistry gave me an ulcer.  What can I learn and do to support his interests?

I subscribe to the Steve Spangler newsletter, but I notice that many of his experiments are things my son has already done on his own watching the youtube videos.

I'm curious to know how other unschoolers and home educators have found resources to support their kids passions when you need a mentor but can't be the mentor.

I guess I'll be reading the book she suggested from Dayna Martin for more inspiration and ideas.


Miss Amanda said...

I just stumbled across your blog and very much appreciate this post. My house too, is filled with "girl things" like art supplies and fabric. Yet I'm raising two boys :) Thank you for directing me more into the world of following their passions - though they are only 3 and 2 we are certainly headed into boy territory!

Quon_mom said...

@Miss Amanda I appreciate your comment Miss Amanda and am glad to have another mama along on the journey :-) Good luck to you in finding ways to follow your boys' passions. Be sure to share any tips you have!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Quon Mom! Thanks for reading and linking to my blog, and i'm glad you enjoyed that post! Could you get your son some cheap chemistry sets? We have a couple of the Ein-O one's, which are fun, and some of the little sets from science/learning stores? Kai also sets up his own experiments in the kitchen with bicarb, food colouring and vinegar(amongst other stuff...including some moth wings once - yikes!). His Dad also bought him a cheap mortar and pestle to 'mix' his own potions and crush stuff, which he loves....just ideas - i'm no Steve Spangler either! Good luck! Jo

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