Often, well-intentioned adults bombard our kids with advice like “Find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life”. But, how does a student actually find their passion? Most adults haven’t even figured this out! In a traditional school, most students aren’t really given the freedom to work on this, given the strict schedule, set pace and content, and other restrictions placed on them. Luckily, homeschooling is different.
Here’s how homeschooling can give your student the freedom to explore their passions.
Does “Passion” Matter?
First, let’s determine if these sayings about happiness and work are even true. In short, yes. To illustrate this truth, did you know most heart attacks happen on Monday mornings? Adam Grant in the book “Originals” found that employees who know their work has a meaningful, positive impact on others were not only happier, but they’re also more productive. Additionally, as psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi found, the more time an employee spent in the state of “flow”, or the experience when someone is so engulfed in an activity that they barely notice the passage of time, the more the employee enjoyed their lives. Who wouldn’t want that for their children?
The Advantage of Homeschooling
Fortunately, homeschool students are at an inherent advantage in the search for their passions and interests. The first reason is silly but important: students don’t have to commute to school. The average high school student takes 31 minutes to get to school. That means their round trip takes over an hour every day! As a homeschooler, this extra “free” time allows you to have more time in the day to be productive.
Since learning in homeschooling usually happens in a one-on-one environment, families have the opportunity to customize their curriculum and teaching methods to improve their student’s exposure to different careers. The best way to do this is through project-based learning. In fact, project-based learning not only creates a more engaging learning environment because it’s based on active, hands-on learning, but it also teaches the interdisciplinary skills needed for career success in the 21st century.
For example, at Sora Schools, we often run simulation exercises to expand student’s exposure to future careers. We’ve had students meet with real estate investors to create a strategy, including profit projections, for buying real, local property. We’ve also had students meet with public health experts and propose campaigns to address problems like preventable blindness in the United States. In the process, they learned subjects like math and English through their application in these projects. Afterward, our students tell us that they’d like to learn more about that particular career option. This exposure to a potential passion never would have happened with traditional teaching and curriculum like a math workbook.
Try It Out!
Another great opportunity in homeschooling for exposure to new fields and passions is through internships and work opportunities. Internships can help students get a taste for what a job is like, or what working in a certain industry is like before committing to them as their career in the future. All too often, we hear stories of people who hate their job but feel trapped because they picked the wrong field of study when they were much younger. Normally, a regular school’s schedule is too rigid to be able to accommodate things like internships during the day. Often they don’t even offer resources like internships with local organizations and businesses because they’re stretched too thin. But, as a homeschooler, a student can apply and work as an intern during the day! The flexibility of homeschooling allows them to balance both school work and external work.
How It Works at Sora
At Sora Schools, we’ve built these techniques into our DNA. Not only do we use project-based learning for all of our subjects, but we also place each of our students in multiple internships. By the time a student leaves Sora, they excel in traditional academic subjects and have experienced ten to fifteen different types of jobs. That, as our families have expressed, is invaluable. We believe the time to figure out you hate a job is when you’re thirteen, not forty.
These are just a few ways that homeschooling can help your student discover their passion. It’s an important element of their education that should not be ignored.
If you’re interested in learning more about Sora and how we approach learning, check out our website and set up a time to chat with our team!