Enthusiasm (More Thoughts from the Homeschool Convention)

Dear Reader,

It’s hard to believe I only went to this year’s convention for one day but this is my third post on it. This one is about one of the ideas I heard. Most of the ones that struck me were just little ideas, mentioned in passing by the speakers.

For instance, in a talk I heard on auditory processing disorder, the speaker said that 50% of a teacher’s enthusiasm is transmitted to the students. Now how one actually measures this I have no idea. It sounds a little made up to me, at least when it comes to the specific statistics. But the idea I think is good. Her point was that you need to be really, really enthusiastic to pull your students in. I hear not infrequently from other homeschool parents that their kids just aren’t interested in schoolwork. This is probably more common for kids who have bene in school, but it is not unique to them. Sometimes the problem is a lack of interest in anything; sometimes it is not being interested in one or a few specific areas. So I guess the question I would ask is: are you as the parent interested in it? If you were never into classical music but you think your kids should study it to be well-rounded, maybe the problem isn’t inherently in your children. I can’t think though that manufacturing false enthusiasm is the answer. Kids will pick up on that, and you won’t be able to sustain it. How about teaching them about what you are enthusiastic about instead? Or finding someone who is enthusiastic about it to teach that subject to your kids. And if the problem is a lack of interest in anything, maybe they need the time and space to find an enthusiasm.

Nebby

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