I wondered how or if this would come about. It seemed out-of-reach, especially since my boys were younger at the time I first heard about this wonderful "phenomenon". Recently, though, I have seen this come to fruition in our home. Both of my boys--completely on their own--have become both passionate and experts in their "field of study". What a joy it is when your child knows more than you do about a subject (other than Star Wars!).
Here is my youngest (a Lego engineer) filling out a notecard for a Lego-building contest. He has done this totally on his own; reading the directions and following instructions.
This is one view of his original creation for the contest. I cannot even beging to imagine thinking up something like this (or having the patience to complete it)! We plan on sending off the picture(s) today.
This is my oldest (a passionate ornithologist). He took up "birding" about a year 1/2 ago. He's got quite the "life list" now...over 80 bird species I think. My dad, who is a wildlife biologist is amazed at his knowledge. Sometimes he is up before the rest of us, to get a chance at seeing the birds.
This is a book I bought several years ago as a reference book for home education/college purposes. My oldest (the ornithologist) is also very passionate about being a writer. Again--completely on his own--he has been doing research for months. He is re-reading books he thinks are especially good; he then takes note of what he thinks makes them exceptional. He has also been studying the book pictured above.
There is a bit of overlap in my boys' interests. They both like and are interested in what the other is. I've just highlighted what stands out to me as their passions/expertise.
It sure is exciting for me as a homeschool mom to see education "sneak in". I'm not even sure exactly what I did to create the environment for this to happen. It may just be the very nature of home education and the flexibility it affords. (I know "homework" would cut out a lot of Lego building time and rushing out the door in the morning would really put a damper on primetime birdwatching!) :)
For tradtionally schooled children, summer can be an especially great time to pursue interests and passions as well. I believe a determined child, no matter the method of their education, will be unstoppable at pursuing their own "field of study".
I'd love to hear from your family and how education "sneaks" into your home!