We've always made a concerted effort to honor and free up plenty of space and time for our kids' interests whether we understand them or are interested in them ourselves or not. I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet but my friends over @homeschoolunrefined we're just talking about hobbies and interests on one of their more recent podcast episodes. You should definitely check it out.
One of the current interests in our house right now is video editing and animating. It's been so fun to watch this interest flourish. Taking a back seat and allowing them to look for apps, watch tutorials, and figure things out all on their own has been invaluable. While I'm no expert, I do have some knowledge of video editing but I've not offered or been asked for help and unless they ask for my help with an interest I generally do my best to take a back seat and just be an encourager and provide time and space to allow their interests to grow on their own.
The last few weeks that we've had our pups it's been homeschool lite around here. Puppies take up a lot of time and energy and homeschooling allows us the flexibility to pull back on some things to make time for things like training puppies. But while we might be taking some time off from writing spelling words that doesn't mean that it's “free for all” or that there has been an absence of learning. To the contrary so much learning is happening and if I'm paying attention sometimes I see that even more learning happens when we're on these breaks. Plus If you've been around a while or if you follow me over on my personal instagram then you probably already know that it's all learning all the time for us even though it may not always resemble the typical school experience that most folks are accustomed to.
Even with knowing this intellectually it’s still easy for me to feel like I’m not doing enough or that I’m some how failing my kids by taking "time off" from our normal school stuff. But this morning I received the best reminder that I could have been given. While our pups were napping I could overhear our kid on FaceTime with their bestie. They were walking them through how to use some video editing software on their iPad. They were patiently explaining step by step how to use different features and effects. I'm sure there is some quote about it somewhere but I know there's something to be said for being able to teach someone how to do something. So much learning happens when you’re teaching. Not only were these skills learned on their own they were then able to take those skills and teach someone else how to do something they know how to do all while working on their communication skills, patience, encouragement, and understanding.
We've been homeschooling for about 10 years now and while I definitely don't know everything and while our way isn't the only way or the right way I can say that I have never regretted freeing up time for our kids to explore their interests. And whether You homeschool or not there is so much value in honoring and freeing up time for our kids to explore and learn about the things that interest them the most!