I re-read a bit more of Guerrilla Learning by Grace Llewellyn this morning. She writes about what she considers to be the five "keys" Guerilla Learning. The first one is opportunity and this is what she says.

"Read. Write. Talk. Play music. See dance and theater and paintings. Read poetry, write poetry, get poetry refridgerator magnets. Spend time in nature. Build things. Go to meseums-and not as a "class trip", but for the love of things you find there. If you're not already doing these things, it's only because you've arranged your life so you don't have time and you've begun to believe that learning is something that happens not in life, but in school."

Using my 7 year old daughter as an example again....
We create lots of opportunities for her to explore her interest in space and the universe. She borrows videos and books from the library. I find interesting web sites for her. I buy space books (I buy both, good quality and up to date books and older ones at thrift stores) that she reads over and over again. She & Billy made a planet mobile for her room. We're planning a day trip to the
Kennedy Space Center. She watches space related shows on TV.

I think that the other side of this is creating opportunites even when a specific interest is not there. Like when I buy computer software and books on a very wide variey of topics and put them on the shelves (books) or in a basket (software) and let the kids know it's there. One that I bought was software on the Civil War. Cimion really enjoys it and it's led him to be interested in finding out more about that time period.

Later on in that chapter, Grace Llewellyn goes on to say,
"We want our kids to learn not what to think, but how to think. One way to increase your childrens chances of developing this skill is to give them real projects, (not academic exercises) where an outcome in the real world is intended and where the result, (not the assessment of an authority) is the ultimate judge of the projects success."

And then towards the end of the chapter,
"At the heart of Opportunity is Engagement. Stay passionate, involved and interested in life and in learning. Your enthusiasm will transfer to your kids."