Ok I'm wondering this on quite a philosophical level right now. I need to say I'm not worried about this, I'm more pondering it. Dp and I have been talking about it a lot of late and I'm trying to get my ideas sorted.
What I'm trying to decide is, to what extent is it ok for kids to have quite, for want of a better word, one-sided interests?
My son, for example. is and has always been extremely geeky. He loves computers, sci fi, fantasy, claymation, electronics, programming. He IS social, he doesn't tend to spend long periods of time on the computer or in front of the tv, he has good outdoors and cooking etc skills, and he IS very physically active indeed, so that's not a concern. He's not massively opposed to learning about other things, and has a decent knowledge of history and Latin, but they are not where his heart lies. So for us, it would be totally doable to give him "balanced" exposure to lots of things, like lots of arts subjects as well as the science. There are ways to do it that he'd find mildly interesting, but just less interesting than the alternatives. The other alternative is to let him completely follow his own interests, to not really even try to engage him with more arty stuff, to even encourage him specifically in the areas he really loves, and let him be pretty one-sided in some ways.
I think, right now, he's happiest when there is a clear science thing going on. What I'm wondering about, (quite idly really, since he's actually away camping this week) is how this pans out. Whether a kid who is encouraged to follow their interests very intensely, to the end, is ultimately happy or whether ultimately they feel they've missed something big.
And for us there's a level on which this is highly philosophical because I have three kids and so intense exposure to one area is not going to be happening anyway...I'm really just trying to get my thoughts in order. Any musings or ideas or comments welcome!
I'm also struggling to articulate this but I don't really mean follow interests in the sense of unschooling vs not. Whatever we did he'd be doing what he wanted at the end of the day. Its more about what we communicate as being important as a family-not least because, tbh, dp and I mostly share his interests, as does his middle sister (and the youngest isn't old enough to care too much) and it would be the easiest thing in the world for us to just do nothing but science and music and camping and cooking. I guess I partly wonder if we should be offering more balanced role models.
Edited by Fillyjonk - 7/18/13 at 1:12pm