Originally Published: March 16, 2010 8:59 p.m.
Sometimes kids are the same type of people as their parents, sometimes they are not. For example, not every kid of geeky parents turns out to be a geek. But fortunately for us, both of our kids did. I think they would have found their geekiness all on their own even without our help, but we also do a lot to help them embrace and cultivate their geekiness.
Now, some of you may think that being a geek isn't a good thing. But then I wonder why you're reading this blog in the first place. In any case, being a geek is a broad term. It involves the drive to learn, a very deep interest in at least one subject, and usually a decent amount of intelligence.
While our two kids are very different from each other, they are both very intelligent in their own ways, and love to do things, learn things, and explore the world. My daughter is very creative with drawing and writing, and she adores history, science, spelling, and most math. My son taught himself to read at a very early age, just naturally understanding the construction of words. He just gets math, and finds and creates patterns everywhere. He is very good at figuring out how something works, so that he knows every possible aspect of it. Most of the time, when you teach either one of my kids something once, they have it for good.
All of this is certainly helpful with homeschooling! When kids are interested in just about everything, the whole world is their classroom. I find that they work details learned in lessons into their imaginative play. Instead of playing house, they play microbiologist. Or they might pretend to live in a certain time in history.
Science fiction and fantasy are but two things that we love that the kids have latched on to. "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" are of great interest to them. Their favorite kid shows on television are things such as "The Magic Schoolbus" and "Word Girl," both very educational (and fun) shows. Even watching modern grown-up shows, such as "The Big Bang Theory," are family events.
Your own little geeklings need not be into science fiction, or even science for that matter, to be geeky about following their passions. Geeks come in all forms. Whatever subjects your kids are really interested in, cultivate that interest, give them as many opportunities as possible to explore that interest, and they will thank you for it. They may not stick with it forever, but that's part of life and growing up. You have to try out many things to decide what you like. In the end, we're a culmination of all our knowledge. Your kids will remember how you supported them in their interests. As long as they're not constantly changing their mind, of course!
Knowledge truly is power, but knowledge for knowledge sake is a very good thing, too. Just ask the nearest geek.