One aspect I adore about homeschooling my kids is the ability to share my hobbies and passions with them. Or to pursue new hobbies as a family! So when Wendy Speake asked to interview me for the Homeschool Solutions podcast about how we homeschool our hobbies, I was all in! Here’s how to homeschool your hobby, plus five ideas to get you started. And I created a FREE planner page you can download at the end of this post!
Why homeschool your hobby?
Passion. Think about your favorite teachers growing up. I bet they all had at least one thing in common – passion for their subject. When a teacher is passionate about their topic, it shines through everything they do. I recall starting to tutor the writing component at our local Classical Conversations community this year. After the first class, a mom said to me, “You look like you’ve just been waiting for your kids to be old enough for you to tutor this! I can tell you’re passionate about writing and grammar!” It’s true! I love the art and craft of writing and grammar, and I was thrilled people can tell that from my teaching!
Parents, when you teach your kids your hobbies, whether it’s woodworking, painting, or tying knots, you’re bringing all your personal passion to the subject. And that can’t help but make you a great teacher of that topic.
Group Learning. When you homeschool your hobby, the whole family can be involved. There are very few hobbies (maybe the ones with sharp tools) that preclude learners of all ages.
Integrated Study. Teaching your own hobby requires you to relearn your hobby so you can share it. You’ll notice you and your children have to walk through all the foundational steps together. Along the way, you’ll find places to integrate core subjects as you learn vocabulary terms, history, measurements, processes, and other skills. Subjects like reading, writing, history, math, and science become integrated into your hobby time!
Application. Learning cannot stay in a book. True learning expresses itself in application. Once you’ve shared your skill set with your children, you move on to applying that learning! Often happens simultaneously or quickly after showing a skill. Learning a hobby is incredibly engaging to children, because they become immediately immersed in the activity, and find their own ways to grow and apply their learning! You may find quite soon, your kids teach YOU something new.
And that’s when you know they’ve truly learned something valuable for life!
What hobbies can you homeschool?
Goodness, really the sky is the limit. And you might find some hobby activities are better for short, one-off lessons, more like a field trip. Others might need several weeks and could become a Unit Study. Some hobbies are seasonal. Others may offer a full semester or year-long deep dive study! You can decide as you design your homeschool plan (and use my planner page to help you!).
Here are several hobbies we’ve included in our homeschool lessons:
Hymn Study – I’ve always enjoyed listening to hymns. I don’t know if I’d call that a true “hobby,” but it’s certainly a delightful past time of mine. So when I discovered Happy Hymnody created beautiful hymn printables and a YouTube playlist each month, I added this to our coursework. Now we memorize and sing a new hymn each month. We study the history behind the hymn. We copy the lyrics for handwriting. Sometimes we do artwork reflecting the message of the song. The rich language of hymns also give us plenty to talk about regarding poetic language, rhyme, meter, and vocabulary words.
Bird Watching – This was another “new” hobby that I wanted to take on myself, so I figured it would be great for our family to learn together. Through bird study, we’ve learned some zoology with bird names, features, attributes and habitats. We’ve practiced math skills to chart and graph differences and similarities. The boy have sketched many, many birds they see outside our window or on nature walks. We’ve studied maps and tracked migration patterns. We’ve identified bird songs. And to integrate another subject, we’ve listened to musical compositions that reflect various bird songs. Along the way, we’ve acquired tools and gear for bird watching, and learned a lot of new vocabulary.
Poetry Study – I love poetry and writing poetry. Poetry study is a much gentler part of our homeschool curriculum. We read a lot, memorize some, and occasional talk more deeply into a select few poems. My children are young, and this practice will grow with us! Meanwhile, kids of any age can enjoy the gentle rhythms of Poetry Tea Time in their homeschooling!
If you’re looking for some poetry activities, check out 7 Ways Children Learn from Poetry and read through my poetry learning series!
Gardening – Gardening offers so many rich learning applications. Math skills help us plan out our plots and buy seeds. We also have done activities where we measure plant growth. We study weather and growing patterns, plant types, and proper plant watering techniques. Plus, we teach the kids how to grow their own food, share plants with our neighbors (social-emotional learning!), and get to enjoy beauty in our backyard (and inside through the winter!).
Truly, there are many other more fascinating hobbies than ours out there! I’m always wishing I knew MORE things to teach my kids! Like calligraphy, or fishing, basket-weaving, cake-decorating, or stop-motion video. Whatever your hobby, turn it into a homeschool moment, lesson, or unit study. You will all get to have fun learning together, and your kids will definitely pick up on your enthusiasm!
Plan to Homeschool Your Hobby!
Use this free downloadable planning worksheet to map out how you’ll homeschool your hobby. One page is has examples filled in, and the second page is blank for you to create your own plan!
I know many homeschoolers have to file detailed lessons and plans. So this planner might help you think through how to create a rich learning environment that includes topics you’re passionate about too!
Please share in the comments how you have included your own hobbies in your homeschool. I am sure parents will love to read more about how other homeschoolers do it!