Following their Interests

Note from Sandra:

The quote referred to early on here is from Laura Grace Weldon's book Free Range Learning:
When they can think for themselves, make connections between disparate bits of information, observe with interest, ask their own questions, and unashamedly follow an interest in any direction, they are in league with some of the greatest scientists in history.
—Laura Grace Weldon
Free Range Learning

Jen Keefe wrote:

I shared a quote from Capturing Credit a few days ago and one particular line has been swirling in my head ever since: "unashamedly following their interests". It was in the context of our kids- that when our kids are able to unashamedly follow their interests it puts them in the company of the greatest scientific minds ever.

It got me thinking about something I was lucky enough to learn relatively early on from Sandra regarding being cynical about stuff my kids like.

Maybe things like Sponge Bob or nowadays Baby Shark or whoever that other new guy is... is it Bluey? I learned early on that being excited with my kids about whatever they are excited about opens pathways and connections that are magical—not just for their learning but for our relationship and their relationship with the world.

Maybe for some kids it's Star Wars or RC Vehicles or make-up or fidget toys. Maybe it's some other thing that would be really easy to label "stupid" or "dumb" or "ridiculous" or a "waste of money".

But man.

Getting to know my kids and subsequently all the amazingly cool "nerdy" things I never would have learned about otherwise has expanded my world. Cynicism always shrunk it.

What's great is that now that my kids are older I have never heard them say that something somebody else loves is stupid. Or dumb. Or ridiculous. Or a waste of time. Or money.

Typically, they like to talk with people about their unique hobbies and passions. They think it's so cool when someone loves something.

I wish I'd been that way at their age instead of being so high and mighty and stuck to what was "cool". I missed out on a LOT of awesome stuff and my world was small and uninteresting.

Ditching my cynicism was an awesome lesson. It has let me meet the actual coolest people, try things I used to think were really dumb, and jump all in looking like a total weirdo to stuff I geek out about—even when other people are watching.

Best of all though- I am no longer discouraging anyone from loving what they love. So in turn, I am not discouraging myself from loving what I love.

There. Now I think that line will leave me alone. 😊

Images below: John Proctor's (of the Salem Witch Trials) sundial and Rebecca Nurse's (also of the Salem Witch Trials) tape loom. Stuff I geek out on.
Jen Keefe

Original on Facebook, November 9, 2023

ALSO by Jen Keefe:

I fought motherhood for a long time. What helped me settle in and fall in love with this life and in practical love with my kids was going all in. I read here frequently. I tried. I watched. What I mean though is I went all in with my kids.
—Jen Keefe
and there's more at "All In"

Focus, Hobbies, Obsessions

Avoiding Cynicism

Being with Kids
not just in the same room,
but in their BEing