Podcast Episode 25:
Optimizing Your Child’s Education Through Getting to Know Your Kid: Interests

When we are interested in something, we do SO much better on it than when we aren’t.


What interests your child?


This week, don’t just notice and reflect, ask your child.  

“What interests you?”

“What makes you curious?”

“What have you been wondering about lately?”


I always start my school year off with asking kids some of these questions.  I want to see what topics I should use to drive my instruction.


Following their interests always creates an atmosphere of intrigue and learning.


I can’t wait to hear what this has sparked in you!!

Audio version: www.DecodingLearningDifferences.com


Welcome to Decoding Learning Differences with Kimberlynn Lavelle. This episode is part of our series, optimizing your child's learning through getting to know your kid interests. So in this episode, we are talking about how knowing what your child is interested in and helping them to gain new interests can optimize your child's learning. So just like in discovering strengths, the first step for interest is discovering.

You have to discover what is your child interested in now, the easiest way to discover it is to have a conversation with them. What are you really interested in? What do you just love to do? What lights you up? What would you learn about if you could learn about anything, what would you want to learn about what would you want to do?

If we could do anything, if we could go anywhere, what would you, where would you want to go? What would you want to learn? How would you want to spend your time? Now? The one that people have a hard time with, and I totally understand and relate to is when your child is really interested in video games. And that's the only thing that they want to do.

The only thing they want to learn about the only way they want to spend their time. Great, except it, whatever it is, if that's all that they have right now, sit alongside them, let them tell you all about everything that they know and ask them what else they want to know. So you're discovering their interests. You can then also gain their interest or pique their interest to help promote maybe a new interest.

If you feel like, if they're like, I'm not interested in anything. Okay. And we need to gain some interest. And even if they're not yet interested in something, sometimes it's because they just haven't been exposed to it. We need to give our child different children, different experiences so that they can gain new interests, taking them places, going on,

field trips, going hiking, going to a museum, talking with someone who is from a different culture or who had a really interesting career, or, you know, there's infinite number of things. And talking with people that are in some way different than us, is really helpful in gaining interest Like, wow, really? You did that as a job,

you went There, you lived there. What was that like? Right. So just those conversations can peak a lot of interest and make them want to learn more about that topic. Watching a movie can make them interested in something that they didn't know anything about before. So the more experiences that you can provide your child, not against their will, but just as a way to get them to maybe be interested in something else.

Now I'm not saying they have to be interested or that they'll definitely become interested. When you provide these experiences, they may never be interested in fish, no matter how many aquariums or struggling trips you take them on, they might just never care about fish, their loss. I love fish, but they might not ever be interested. And that's that's okay.

We just accept it and move on. Okay. But This is also really powerful for getting them interested in like what you really feel is important for them to learn math, putting it out in a way that's like intriguing or asking a question that's intriguing. Can get them like, well, what's going on here? Or how do I figure that out? Or maybe it's bringing someone in because they're not you.

And that relationship with that new person is based around. They're going to tutor them in math. And they're going to learn math that way. You want them to read a variety of books. So you set a book out or you read a couple pages of it out loud, not necessarily next to your child, cuddled up with them, but just out loud where they can hear it.

And then you set it down and walk away. No, maybe there'll be annoyed that you're reading, or maybe they'll be interested in what you were reading and go grab the book and keep reading or ask you to read some more similar. You could do something similar with an audio book, play a little audio clip and turn it off, walk away and just see what happens.

Maybe nothing will happen, but it's a strategy that we can try to use to gain, to gain interest and see if kids are going to follow that. Now they might not like I'm saying, there's no guarantees with any of this. These are just strategies to try to help gain interest in something and just see if it, if it does. And if it does great,

we can go with it. If it doesn't try something else and maybe come back to that later, maybe in three years, they're going to want to read that book. Or maybe they're going to start hearing about fish. Like whatever it is, they might, they might still gain that interest later. But if they don't know about it, they're not going to be interested in it.

You know, the kid doesn't wake up and say, I want to read blah blah blah. If they've never heard of the book, they need to know that the book exists and why it might be interesting before they're going to be interested in it. So, and this is one of the things that I've worried about a little bit with initially with some of the unschoolers is like,

well, if my child decides, it's like, how do they know? How do they know what exists? And I know most unschoolers have a lot of experiences with their children, so their children know because they're, they're out, they're engaged, they're seeing things, right. And that's, that's all that I need to know is that like, as long as people are getting involved,

getting engaged and knowing what exists that is interesting is fascinating. They're going to do really well. All right. My friends. What is your kid most interested in? What are you going to try to get them to be interested in? What has worked for you to gain your child's interest? I want to hear all of it. Email me Kimberlynn@DecodingLearningDifferences.com.

I can't wait to hear from you.



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Decoding Learning Differences