Chatting about Passions and Other Stuff

Don’t you love watching kids involved with their passions?

Sophie has a new passion. She has just created her own Youtube channel. She wants to be a vlogger. We’ve been trying out different video cameras together. Sophie downloaded some new video editing software to try out. And now she has made and uploaded her first public video.

After Sophie had uploaded her video to Youtube,  she had a big grin on her face. “You did very well,” I said. Then I added, “Isn’t it satisfying learning a new skill?” Sophie was so excited. I know how she felt. I’ve made a few videos too recently. The best bit is doing something I didn’t think I had the courage to do. A few weeks ago, I didn’t think I was brave enough to appear in one of my own videos. But I was.That feels good.

I’ve been thinking about how passions can change. At one time Charlotte’s passion was chemistry. I bought a lot of living chemistry books for her, and she watched every video on the Periodic Videos website two or three times. (They’re all about the elements of the periodic table.) It looked like she was heading towards a career in chemistry.

The other day Sophie discovered those chemistry books on her Kindle and announced she was going to read them. I remembered Charlotte had a couple of paperback chemistry books too, and a periodic table jigsaw. She was happy to pass them onto her younger sister. She’s finished with them. Yes, Charlotte’s chemistry passion is over.

Callum and Imogen were passionate about medicine at one time. They were both St John Ambulance volunteers. Callum actually completed a year or more of a Bachelor of Nursing degree, and Imogen was talking about applying to do medicine at uni. But they both changed their minds. Callum’s passions at the moment involve cars and mechanics and welding. Imogen is doing a Bachelor of Arts degree: Professional Writing and Publishing.

And what about Charlotte? She moved from chemistry to art. She loves graphic art and has been using the graphics pad and Gimp. When I think about Charlotte, I think about art school. I imagine her illustrating books. But who knows? She may change her mind too.

I don’t think changing passions is necessarily a bad thing. I guess a parent might even be relieved when certain passions come to an end: “You could never have made a career out of that interest!” Except she might have done. I have learnt not to crush dreams however unrealistic they seem (to me). We all need to be allowed to follow our passions. They will lead somewhere, probably somewhere totally unexpected and maybe very exciting.

Perhaps there are times when we don’t need to be passionate about anything. Charlotte is having a quiet time at the moment. This was worrying me. “What are you interested in, Charlotte? What makes you feel excited?” She shrugged her shoulders and didn’t seem excited about anything in particular. “But what about your art? How’s that going? Remember how you used to love chemistry? Perhaps you need to explore new areas?” Oh the pressure we can put on our kids! I have decided to be sensible and back off. Perhaps we all need these quiet times. No doubt new inspiration will hit when least expected. At least that’s what happens to me.

Oh yes, I am very much involved with a new passion at the moment: video making. I’ve even become passionate about homeschool record keeping which seems rather miraculous. I’d never have predicted that one. Recently, so many of my thoughts have been occupied with Evernote. Actually, I had another Evernote idea last night. It appeared out of the blue while we were watching a movie. I had to turn on my computer again and try it out. Then, of course, I got to bed later than I planned because I wanted to work on this idea. And when I did get to bed, I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about it… Passions do that to a person.

Anyway, what’s this fabulous idea of mine? It’s an idea for ‘planning’ unschooling. The words unschooling and planning don’t really belong in the same sentence. Unfortunately, educational authorities don’t seem to understand how unschooling works, and they ask us for our educational plans when registration time rolls around. How can we give them what they want without putting together plans we will never use? Yes, I have an idea that might satisfy us and the authorities.

After I’d mulled my idea over for a while I thought, “I must make another Evernote video about this idea!” My second thought was, “But everyone must be sick of Evernote videos. I’ve already made 4 of them.

“Write a blog post instead, about something other than Evernote,” I told myself. So I’m writing a blog post. (I guess I managed to sneak Evernote into it.) But what I really want to do is make the video. I don’t suppose it matters whether anyone wants to share it. That’s the way it is with passions. We want to do them just for their own sake.

One of my blogging friends is passionate about technology and how we can use it in our homeschools. I can feel Pam‘s excitement every time I read one of her posts or watch her videos. I’m sure she loves learning new things just like I do. Yesterday Pam and fellow blogger Mystie had a Google Hangout on Air together. They talked about Digital Homeschool Portfolios. They mentioned one of my Evernote posts: A Perfect Method for Keeping Unschooling Records. Wasn’t that kind of them? I was thrilled when I heard my name on air.

Now I’m wondering about Google Hangouts on Air. Could I learn to make one of those? Who would I interview or chat with?

“Imogen, would you like to chat with me via a Hangout on Air?” I ask.

“Okay. What would we talk about?”

Talk about? I have no idea but, no doubt, one will appear if I think long enough. So I’m going to learn a new skill. Another one. I’m feeling excited. Again.

“Do you know where I got the idea to become a vlogger from, Mum?” asks Sophie. “It was you. I saw you doing it and thought I might be able to do that as well.”

It seems it’s important for parents to have passions.

So what are you passionate about at the moment? What are you learning? Please stop by and share!

Image: That’s a smile on Gemma-Rose’s face, not a grimace. She’s happy. She’s excited!

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  1. Reply

    I love this post! One of the reasons I wanted to home educate our children was to give them the freedom to follow their passions in a way that isn't possible in a school setting. I love seeing their passions develop and change, I just think it's so wonderful, and while I feel disappointed when one of their passions subsides I too have learned to back off. When I consider the wide range of passions I have personally followed or indulged in it is only fair that the kids are offered the same opportunity.
    So, current passions? I won't go through the kids or I'll be here all day! For me – I've just started learning to spin wool, I'm still dyeing wool of course, then there is weaving and knitting. I try to fit in some daily reading time as well – at the moment I'm reading "Les Miserables" (quite and undertaking!), the bible, and "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss. There really aren't enough hours in one day though.

    1. Reply


      I was thinking about you when I wrote this post! You are always learning new things, developing your skills… and passing them onto your children. I've been enjoying your son's photos and looking at your daughter's sewing projects. It's exciting being involved with a passion. It's even better sharing it with someone, isn't it?

      Les Mis? My girls challenged me to read that a long time ago, but I haven't yet opened the book. Charlotte read it a year or more ago. She said it was hard going in places but she persevered because she is stubborn. Actually she did enjoy the story. She just didn't like how the story kept getting interrupted by long descriptions of history. Your reading list is varied. I must look up "Stepping Heavenward" That sounds interesting!

    2. Reply


      I felt the same way about 'War and Peace'. I was engrossed in the story but the descriptions of the war kept slowing down the action. I just might read 'Les Miserables' too!

    3. Reply

      I understand what Charlotte means, her description is spot on, but I too want to persevere because I love the story 🙂

  2. Reply


    I want to let you know I love this blog. I have 3 small boys (7,3 and 1) and find this blog so inspirational (and real) for unschooling. I also wanted to say keep those Evernote posts and videos coming! I downloaded Evernote onto my smartphone several months ago with the intention of downloading onto my computer as well and using it as a type of journal and tracking for homeschooling. I did notes for a couple days and then stopped :(. After I read your posts about Evernote, I was inspired and downloaded onto the computer and started playing with it again. If you decide to do more, I'll be reading and watching!

    1. Reply


      Thank you! I've been trying to juggle my blogs and other writings and family and a million other things… and trying to decide what is important and what I should stop doing. It's good to hear you've found some of what I've written helpful. It encourages me to continue posting. I love sharing ideas!

      I actually made another Evernote video this afternoon. It's uploading to Youtube right at this moment… slowly! I might have to stop the upload and start again in the morning. Anyway, the video should be posted very soon. Thank you so much for wanting to watch it. And thank you for stopping by with your very kind words!

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