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Is following a child's lead so strange?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Awhile back I mentioned to a friend how we sometimes to the library and ask the librarian for books on specific topics that DD is interested in at the time. My friend was really shocked that I did that (and this is a mom who is very AP friendly).

So it is really that strange to follow your child's interests? Sure, DD is young (1.5) but she definitely has a lot of interests and we don't mind picking up books or the occasional toys (if we have the $$ at the time) that is something that she's interested in. For instance, her current obsession is trains and we found a really cool one with opening and closing doors and lots of little movable parts that she loved. I guess, I just figured pretty much everybody else did the same at least at this age. Or am I completely off by assuming this?
post #2 of 15
We have always done projects, read books, etc based on whatever DD was "into" at the time, starting as soon as she could express a preference. I'm under the impression that doing this is common in all kinds of parenting traditions, not just AP.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynsage View Post
We have always done projects, read books, etc based on whatever DD was "into" at the time, starting as soon as she could express a preference. I'm under the impression that doing this is common in all kinds of parenting traditions, not just AP.
That's what I thought too. I really never thought I was doing anything strange, you know?
post #4 of 15
Maybe doing it at your DD's age is the bigger issue with her response. At that age, neither of mine were into anything deeply enough to want to explore it further than we could with resources more easily at hand.
post #5 of 15
Not strange at all. At that age, my oldest was *really* into certain things, my second was kind of into certain things, and my third shows zero interest in any specific thing.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynsage View Post
We have always done projects, read books, etc based on whatever DD was "into" at the time, starting as soon as she could express a preference.
Ditto
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyalynn View Post
Maybe doing it at your DD's age is the bigger issue with her response. At that age, neither of mine were into anything deeply enough to want to explore it further than we could with resources more easily at hand.
That's what I thought too. Maybe her DC were more easy going toddlers? At that age DD was was verbally requesting particular library books and telling the librarian "I'm 20 months old" DS is 14 months & at the library he just wants to climb the shelves and bang on the doors lol. He doesn't mind what we borrow.
post #8 of 15
We did this with both dd1 & dd2... Ds is only 7 months, but if he shows interest, we will explore it.

I think it's pretty common to just say, "oh, when i read him this farm book he especially like the sheep" and to just leave it alone.

We would notice things like that and then go to the library and find sheep things, go to a local farm and view sheep. Whatever.

Not for strictly educational purposes, maybe even for selfish ones.

There is nothing like the joy that spreads from ear to ear when one of their likes if validated and explored.

I love creating a world of wonder for the littles. It continues too. With my 5 year old, if we are open and willing to follow her lead even in a more subtle way sometimes, her experiences seem much more rich.
post #9 of 15
I'm guessing the person's surprise was because of your child's age. I suppose some people might find it hard to believe that an 18 month old could have an interest that the library could support.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hmm...maybe you guys are right and it's an age thing? I never really thought about it much before but it just always seemed obvious to me that if DD had an interest that we should try and explore. But I can see what you guys are saying.
post #11 of 15
I think it is an age and child personality thing.
My oldest was very much like that - very clear interests. We did/do exactly how you describe.
My youngest just doesn't have the same interests. He has always been more into fiction. Now at age 4 we are seeing more interest in non-fiction, but not at the same level of passion as my oldest.
post #12 of 15
Agree with the age and personality thing. My oldest had very clear interests by the time she was one. My second is only a month younger than yours and has never really shown a particular interest in anything. He also isn't really into books (which breaks my book loving heart, though I know how irrational that is... he's 17 months for goodness sake!). When we go to the library, we pick out books on whatever subject DD wants, and then I just get him a few board books that I think look nice. He's kinda similarly disinterested in all of them!

It's interesting how everyone on this thread is saying their oldest had clear preferences while their younger children went along with anything. I think that (for better or worse) younger siblings learn at a young age to go with the flow while oldest siblings are used to the world revolving around them
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
It's interesting how everyone on this thread is saying their oldest had clear preferences while their younger children went along with anything. I think that (for better or worse) younger siblings learn at a young age to go with the flow while oldest siblings are used to the world revolving around them
Yes, very interesting! I'm seen that in my own life too. I'm the oldest and have always been very driven to my interests (and pretty demanding about them too!) whereas my sister has certainly been much more laid back. Also, thinking many of my friend's families are the same way.

Actually the personality thing make a lot of sense. My friend's child is pretty laid back so that might be a big part of it. Thanks everyone for helping me put things into perspective!
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by physmom View Post
Hmm...maybe you guys are right and it's an age thing? I never really thought about it much before but it just always seemed obvious to me that if DD had an interest that we should try and explore. But I can see what you guys are saying.
I bet it is age related. I had a very curious dd1 and she LOVED the school bus. I called up the school bus office and asked if we could tour the school bus--I took her down to the lot and the bus driver gave us a tiny ride and a model school bus. She was about 22 mos at the time. They thought it was hysterical.
post #15 of 15
I don't think it is odd but haven't you ever been somewhere where the parents are being over bearing, dictating the play?

Letting go of the control and letting the children lead is seen as more normal in young children but in older children, how can they learn anything if we don't tell them what to learn?
(read with some sarcasm)
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