When I was younger being a geek was a bad thing. In fact, it was the quickest way to get you picked on in school. Fast forward a bit and suddenly being a geek is trendy. For some parents this is a welcome trend because they are geeks themselves. For others, this has been extremely overwhelming because there isn’t a geek bone in their body. Today I want to share some tips and tricks for homeschooling a geek. Whether you wave your geek flag high, or shake your head because your child does, you can do this and I am happy to help.
Homeschooling a Geek
Before I move forward there is an important disclaimer I need to put here. Not all geeks are created equal. When I refer to geeks I am referring to this definition:
Based on that definition your child could be a geek about just about anything. I know in our house we have a Harry Potter geek, a Star Wars geek, a Doctor Who Geek(I am super guilty of this one!), a dystopian novel geek(me again), and a Disney Geek (My husband!)
Geekdom can be a really fun thing. It means that your child is extremely passionate and interested in something. Here are a few things to consider if you are homeschooling a geek.
Embrace their geekdom. – Your child is a geek. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If they are being geeky about something you feel is appropriate for them run with it. You could do more damage by trying to change them than by just embracing it. I wish I would have felt safe enough to be geeky about the things I loved when I was younger. It would have spared me years of trying to fit in.
Learn about their fandom. – I don’t mean that you have to go all out but it will make your child happy that you know about what they enjoy most. Whether that means playing a game of minecraft, learning The Doctor’s catchphrase, or learning why the memes about storm troopers are funny, it will mean a lot to your child. If you have a hard time understanding it, ask them. If they get frustrated head to Pinterest. There are tons of intros for each fandom to help you seem like you know what you are talking about.
Find projects you can connect over. – If you child is a Star Wars fan, could you make a light saber with them? What about building something in Minecraft with them? Could you help them design their cosplay? Show you care and you may be able to connect better with that child. Sometimes it’s the simple things like doing a Doctor Who inspired Science project or building your own My Little Pony diorama. It doesn’t matter as much what you do, as it does that you make the effort to try.
Head to Pinterest. – When in doubt, head to Pinterest. There are TONS of great printables, curriculum ideas, and projects that would go with almost any fandom. It can be incredibly easy to include your child’s fandom in homeschooling. I find that my kids will work on a Math sheet with a bit more vigor if it’s based on their fandom. My son loves our Doctor Who inspired math Flashcards. You can find tons of great Doctor Who inspired printables from me and there are printables for almost every fandom on Pinterest.
Accept their quirks. – We geeks have our quirks. Not all of them are bad things though. Some of the best things about your child may come from the freedom to be a bit quirky. Homeschooling offers you the unique ability to help your child define their normal.
Don’t belittle their fandom. – Do you have a Trekkie living in a Star Wars house? Don’t belittle your child for that. Maybe your son is a bronie when you wanted him to be a football fan. Don’t make him feel small for that. There are countless reasons a child identifies with a certain fandom. Find out what those reasons are and celebrate them with your child. You don’t have to agree with your child to respect them.
Have fun! – Raising a geek is a blast. They are passionate and excited about something. Find ways to enjoy it together with things like conventions and parties. My daughter just did a huge research project on owls because she loves Harry Potter. If you give your child the freedom to be a geek you might be surprised how much fun you have together.
How do you handle homeschooling a geek? Leave me a comment or find me on social media and let me know.
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