Life Schooling - Following Your Child's Interests to Find Their Gifts

Summary:  Homeschooling allows us to follow our child or teens interests, and help them to find their gifts.  Life schooling, that is what it is all about.  #homeschoolinghighschool #lifeschooling #homeschool #childledlearning

We believe in life schooling.  Have you heard that term before?

It is all about interest lead learning.  Through natural homeschooling activities, our daughter followed her interests and through that found her gifts.

Today, I'd like to share and look back on how our daughter grew and discovered her gifts, starting with her early explorations in life schooling.

It all started with making things using lots of cardboard and tape!

Our daughter loved to make things and that started early on.  We were always running out of cardboard and tape.

One of our biggest reasons for homeschooling, was to help our daughter discover her God given gifts.  

We could follow her interests and help her to explore them and grow them, one day at a time.  

And, at the same time give her a quality solid education, academically and most importantly, in character development.  Isn't that what life schooling is all about?

Using everyday activities to teach our children character development and to help them find their gifts....That's what life schooling is, don't you think?  


First my daughter was all about art.  And lots of tape.  And cardboard.

There were tons of art projects to be made.  Painting, fingerpainting with pudding and coloring were her go to favorites.

Then, as a preschooler she asked if she could learn ballet.  She had seen a story about ballet in a book from the library. 

We found a ballet class for little ones nearby. We were able to work that into our week, so she began soon.  She loved going to her class. 

None of the kids really knew the routine, but their efforts were glorious and that was all that mattered.

We often went to the park afterwards, or with our homeschooling friends on park day.  

What better way for a preschooler to learn and develop than through life schooling?  


Amid many art projects at home, we soon found a wonderful contest, called Creative Kids.  

Many other states have these contests, too at their state fairs, or through 4H.  Ours was sponsored by our annual Spring Fair, which included competitions in animal care, cooking, art, writing, photography, and even knitting.  

My daughter entered it starting in 3rd grade, and ended up continuing all the way through high school.  

She started with an entry in art.  It gave her chance to get feedback on her projects and to meet other adults in our community.  

She continued with this fun life schooling based children's contest through middle school.


Our middle schooler went on to enter many projects in the Creative Kids contest and then one year she to entered their knitting contest. 

They all competed as to how fast they could knit! To do this, she was up in front of an audience.

Our previously shy daughter found that she liked that, being in front of an audience.

Later she entered a poem, and when they asked the kids to share their poetry aloud, she decided to participate. 

This was her first experience in public speaking.  Little did I know that she would come to want more. Then she got interested in science...

My daughter loved watching her Science DVD's. And elementary science projects were very popular at our house ....

She wanted to learn about marine science so we spent a lot of time at our small marine science museum.   Then she became interested in aviation. 

We enjoyed trips to the Museum of Flight, which became a long standing favorite.  

At home  most of her essays that year were geared toward aviation, the history of it.  And many of her reports were written on  the different types of airplanes.  

Then in high school we got involved in volunteering as a family.


There are so many places that would love to have a homeschool volunteer. 

We just geared our volunteering to my daughter's interests.  Sometimes a whole family can do it together at a food bank, humane society, by making Christmas boxes, etc.
Then in 9th grade, my daughter had a chance to help out in an elementary science class at co-op.  

She jumped at the chance to help out as it was science.  She loved setting up the science labs and got to lead a lesson once a semester.  

After a few years of assisting she had gained so much in confidence. She discovered that she wanted to become a leader!  But she didn't know how.

In high school we heard about the Youth and Government program.  It is a speech and debate program that focuses on our government.

Most states also have a Youth and Government program, through their YMCA.  My daughter loved this activity, then ran for office the next year. 

This gave her a lot of chances to develop leadership skills.

Discovering Leadership

She found her gifts were in the leadership area, realizing that she liked leading groups of her peers.  She enjoyed learning how to serve on committees and then running for office in this teen program.  

All the teens from around our state met for a Youth Mock Legislature that spring.  And our Governor was there, too.

Life schooling gave our daughter a wonderful way to find her God given gifts.  

And finding those gifts really started with projects at home using tons of cardboard and tape....

Are you homeschooling high school and wondering about transcripts, assigning high school credit, and all those other important details?

After helping my teen get into each of the colleges she applied to, I wrote this book - and it guides you through planning high school at home and helping with college application.

Below is the book and the table of contents.

For more information:Homeschooling High School with College in Mind. 

You are also invited to join my encouraging group for high school moms, called at Homeschooling through High School.  

Lots of moms just like you there, sharing triumphs and challenges.  Get your questions answered there, too.  

Lots of moms just like you there, sharing triumphs and challenges.  Get your questions answered there, too. 

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,

Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition,   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

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  1. Wow, I did not know about the YMCAs youth government program. I'll have to see if they have one in our town. I am so happy to see that you are still posting on Finshing Strong. Blessings, Kyle

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kyle! I love the Finishing Strong blog hop, and I look forward to reading it each week, too, for all the great ideas there. I hope that you find a Youth and Government group in your town. Have a great day!

  2. Thank you for linking up with the Hearts for Home Blog Hop. I chose your post as one of my favorites, and I'm featuring it this week. Feel free to stop by and grab the "I Was Featured" button if you'd like! Hope to see you again :)

    1. Thanks, Anne Campbell, for featuring me on your great blog hop, Hearts for Home, which has the most updated ideas each week, and lots of encouragement, too!

  3. I love how you said kids need a soft place to fall... Isn't that the truth! I absolutely love being a homeschool family that is able to revise that place for our boys as well. There is nothing more rewarding than watching your children blossom in the security of home and thrive in the world around them!

    1. Thanks for for stopping by, Bekki Sayler! Your comment will be an encouragement to other homeschooling families, as they nurture their children's learning and explorations!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This is such an encouraging post :) It sure is fun to see the kids grow and learn over the years, isn't it?

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Leslie Kleppe, and for your encouraging comment!

  6. Wow Betsy.

    I can see how exposure was important to your child's development to college. I think it's so important to expose them to as many different things as possible. Just because you put them in dance, doesn't mean they will be a prima ballerina, does it?

    Look at her now at the dance competition!

    You should definitely be proud of her and proud of you.

    You are so right, homeschooling prepares them to be out in the world. That message is so lost in all the muck of our society, isn't it?

    Thanks so much for this great post!

    1. Yes, Lisa Nelson, of Squishable Baby, I agree. Society misses the fact that homeschooling can prepare our kids so well, to deal with and thrive in the world as adults! And thanks for pointing out that taking dance doesn't have to be for a career, but instead might become a stepping stone to something else. It has been a joy, and still is, to watch my daughter explore, try new things, and begin to find her way, then and now. But my favorite thing to watch, for sure, was her very first tap/ballet recital....The sweet kids remembered about 40% of their steps.....but were the stars of the show, lol!

  7. What a great story! It's awesome to see how your daughter has grown through the years. I hope that I too someday will develop strong leaders! Thanks for sharing at the Homeschool Nook this week!


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