I gave my girls a speech about exploring our passions the other day. I was tired of the daily whining over school work.
“Learning doesn’t have to be painful,” I told them. You girls have a great life, I thought.
Okay, it was more of a lecture. It was one of the few lectures that was met with enthusiasm and not groans. They have freedom. They have the time to learn and pursue their interests. Why the cranky faces all the time?
They loved the idea. They said they would love it even more if they could let the subjects they despise slide away, forgotten forever.
I didn’t agree to that. Honestly, I considered the possibility. I have the hardest time answering the “Why do I need to know this?” question while I’m showing the Adventurer how to divide fractions or find the circumference of a circle. How can I honestly justify it? I use a calculator when I need to know the circumference of a circle, which is never. I always come up with some reason why she needs to know it, but I’m not sharing. I don’t want to pass that on too.
Math is still a part of their life, along with visits to the dentist. We all have our burdens. If I have to submit myself to paps and mams, they can do math.
And the repressed unschooler hidden deep within me cringes at my own unfair, just passing it on statement.
Let’s get back to their passions, before I wander any further from my point.
The Adventurer (age 12) wants to sing, act and dance more. She is already a part of a dance company and will perform with them three times in the next six months. She wants more opportunities to perform and learn about acting. She needs a stage to sing on and an audience to adore her and it seems the coffee table and me clapping isn’t going to cut it.
I had to bite my tongue.
I know that dream. I let that dream go long ago and I’m cool with my decision. Part of me, (around 95%) doesn’t want her to go down this path. It isn’t because I don’t think she’s talented. Clearly, she is. I don’t want her to deal with the inevitable rejection.
When my tongue stopped bleeding, I set out to find her opportunities. Good opportunities. I think. I hope.
- First, I found a program for her at The New Britian Youth Theatre that will include all facets of theater from acting and voice to set design and production. It’s designed for homeschooled students, so it meets on a week day morning. Yay. It’s only a 45 minute drive once a week during the New England winter. I can handle that.
- Second, I found an audition opportunity for her that she’s completely excited about. It’s motivating her to learn how to perform a monologue and practice her singing. I have my eyes wide open ( and Google alerts set) for more community theater auditions in the area, hopefully a little closer to home.
- Next, I bought an acting / theater study designed for homeschooled students ages 11 and up. I bought the wrong one. Sort of. It’s not the one I wanted. I wanted to cover the history of theater as well as the life of an actor, but this one will help her explore performing a monologue, understanding stage directions, character and scene studies and other useful topics.
- For the history of theater, I found this site which I just had to share. Kidswork helps your child explore different professions. It’s free and fairly comprehensive. I wanted her to understand the Greek influence on theater as we know it (they covered it) and she needed to know that when someone calls her a thespian, it isn’t an insult. Now she knows.
So guess what? Now her little sister (The Butterfly) wants to audition too. And maybe take the class.
Here we go.
I love when they get obsessed with an interest. I’ll just sit back now and do the driving. Lots of driving. As if that’s all I’ll do…
Here’s a quick video on the history of the theater, in case you are interested. 🙂