Ds9's primary passion is game playing (any type of game, but preferrably strategic) and creative play. He loves math and I just noticed today that he's already surpassed my mathematical abilities. Unfortunately he attends public school as of last year when we moved to homeschool hostile Sweden, but his first 7 years were completely unschooling, and at home, of course we still follow that philosophy.
At school they don't seem to care much about his love for and ease with math. They let him take a national test for 3rd grade (he's in 2nd) and he passed. Yet, his teacher still has him on beginning multiplication books. Because he's very competitive (for fun), what keeps him motivated despite the lack of challenge, is the idea of getting to the 'next' book. I remember that from my school days too, wanting to get to the next level. What's the point of that?
Anyhow, he's also an extremly positive child, full of energy and loves all kinds of people and is very kind. He'll run around all day and though he's not involved in any sport activities, when I took him to the doctor's last time (for a persistent harsh cough) he said his heart is like that of an athlete.
He has a strong interest in the natural world, particularly animals and rocks. This summer, his dad and I are both enrolled in a univeristy geology class (online) and he seems quite intrigued with our material so far.
He loves storytelling and will often engage in it with his dad, who also loves spinning tales. He does not enjoy having books read to him, only storytelling will do.
Ds3 is like his older brother full of imagination and energy. But whereas the older is quite care-free and a dreamer, the little one is particular and very attentive to details. He loves to help clean and fixing things.
Ever since the day he was born I noticed how good he was with his hands. He's proving to be a great little drawer, he holds his pen very well and can draw with precise movements, with small details.
He loves water and has since the day he was born (unassisted water birth). He loves bugs, especially spiders. Once he was following a spider move around on our blanket while hanging out at a park, and when it disappeared into the grass he started crying quite forcefully. At first I tried to find it for him, but of course it was in vain, and so I told him the spider had to go to his spider home and sleep in his spider bed. He was quite excited about that vision and stopped crying.
They're both very good at climbing boulders (there are lots of them in the woods behind our house).
It's true that many unschooling parents focus on what their kids are not good at or failing to grasp. While I tend to be a bit of worrier on many things in life, I tend to focus more on what my kids are great at. My oldest hated reading for the longest time, and both of my kids are very slow to talk (my almost 4-year-old still is working on it, however, he's got a good grasp on his bilingualism, often saying key words in swedish after english), but I felt quite at ease about it. I noticed they were putting their energy elsewhere.