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A new interest -managing time?

A new interest -managing time?

My 5th grader is soooo into piano right now. He is teaching himself, and is constantly looking up new songs to try, watching youtube videos, practicing at his keyboard, etc.

I love the excitement and joy it gives him. I want to foster his natural desire to learn, and let him pursue it freely while the interest is high, without meddling too much, and making it scheduled and mundane.

But, it is a struggle to get him to do his school work. He does get it done eventually...we have done lessons late at night, and on weekends....but I don't know how to keep his focus on lessons without loosing that natural desire he has with music right now.

On one hand, I keep thinking maybe this is what it means to really allow interest-led learning; unschooling. On the other hand, I think maybe I am just being too relaxed and I need to make him prioritize.

He is a very creative, hands on, likes to keep moving, kind of boy. I love that. But, I'm not sure if, and how, I'm supposed to manage it.

re: A new interest -managing time?

I'd require him to do at least math and English first thing in the morning, before getting started on piano. (And maybe allow him to cover science and history by "just reading" right now, depending on your state's laws.)

That's wonderful that he is so interested in music! Even if you ask him to work a few hours first thing on his academic subjects, that still leaves a LOT of hours in the day for piano.

re: A new interest -managing time?

Thanks for the advice. :)

Math and English are his toughest subjects, so it would be a good thing to have them done first.

re: A new interest -managing time?

Oh my....you must have a twin to my ds who is going into 5th grade! I've struggled in the same way with him!
I have to do what Sharon said and do those classes first or they likely will be avoided So his interests take the priority and I get distracted with other things and responsibilities.

We just moved though...at our old place, piano and outdoor activities were his love. Here we have no piano teacher. :(
Maybe I should try YouTube like you have.

So he is taking on making real wooden models, carvings. And many other farm related things.

I'm having to slow down in math...he is actually ahead of his age level. I'm thinking of going with something mastery for him. Spiraling evokes a terrible reaction of frustration in him.
He is like that with piano too; he likes to focus on just one song and master it before moving on.

re: A new interest -managing time?

My dd is the opposite- she works on 6 or 8 piano pieces at a time. She loves the variety, and cycles through each a few times during each practice session, so she's making great progress. (We don't have a "real" piano teacher either; I'm teaching them. But really, my oldest 2 teach themselves. We use Alfred's Premier Piano Course.)

My other dc typically only work on 1 song at a time though. I think once they have more skills that might change.

re: A new interest -managing time?

Thank you both :)

I love reading how you manage things with your kids, and their piano interests! It's amazing how much they can learn from youtube videos.

Have either of you heard of Hoffman Academy? I found it not too long ago. It's an online course, and they have free lessons. My son started on these, and they are really good. It starts with the very basics, and then you move through the lessons at your own pace. Your kids might be passed what he teaches; I haven't looked too far ahead. But, here is the link to the website.

https://www.hoffmanacademy.com/

re: A new interest -managing time?

From experience, I would give him as much freedom to play as he wants. My husband shut my son down on playing his banjo so much and now he doesn't play at all.

re: A new interest -managing time?

Thanks for sharing, farmschool.

Maybe your son will still pick it back up in the future! That's why playing an instrument is nice. It's something to be enjoyed throughout life.

I wish I had learned an instrument, but I never did. My dh loves the banjo! He doesn't play, but thinks it would be really neat to learn.

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