This is so exciting for me especially because this is one of my success stories. So often times over the years I have wondered if we were really accomplishing anything. Since my oldest was my "guinea pig" with the whole homeschooling experiment, I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting into for that matter. I had never planned to homeschool. It just happened to be the best fit for our child. So many people have asked me, especially lately, how we got involved with robotics and how we made it to where we are.
Well, it all started with a small boy who loved to watch a program called "Robot Wars". We used to sit and watch it together. He would talk about how cool it would be to build robots and he would tell me how he would design them, etc., etc. He could go on for hours talking about robots and all things mechanical! Like most boys he loved Legos and building things. Early on in my homeschooling I tried seeking out organizations and activities that were more "boy" related. At the time most of my close friends had girls and I was having a terrible time finding good "boy" activities that fit.
Then we found 4H. If you've never looked into 4H, you really should. Most folks think they are just about animals, but they offer curriculum and programs for EVERYTHING under the sun!! The beauty of it is, it's an extremely low cost per child membership fee and they provide all the curriculum for FREE!! It's a great deal!! We started with 4H Gardening, which was fun for the whole family. My oldest was and IS obsessed with carnivorous plants. Most folks are familiar with Venus Fly Traps, but there are HUNDREDS of species and many of them live at my house! He began with his plants in first grade and now as a Sophomore in high school he has quite a collection and can speak with authority on many varieties.
This plant in the wild eats small mice...
He has also participated in Archery through 4H and now is a member of a JOAD team and last but not least, he found robotics through 4H. It began with the Lego League using Mindstorms Robots and now he's moved on to FIRST. 4H is a wonderful resource, so if you haven't looked into it now is a great time to do your research. Their school year begins in October. Finding your child's passion could be just around the corner and who knows where they can go!