Interest-Led Learning for Teenagers: An Interview with Lillie

Describe how your school has changed over the past few years?

 I’ve been given more control over what I do.  I’ve been allowed to choose which GCSEs I want to do and I am not being forced to any GCSEs that I don’t enjoy.  I am pleased I am allowed to do this because I feel the academic route isn’t for me and the pressure of exams would be too much.  This means I am able to choose to stay at home to study right through GCSE level and A levels and study for them from home.  Mum and I have worked hard to find courses which will be better suited to my personality, and which do not require me to take an exam at the end.  And I am very happy about those we have chosen.

Has this been a welcome change?


You have individual conferences with your mum each week.  Are these helpful?

Yes.  I find it enjoyable to chat with mum, who is very like-minded and enjoys the things I do.  Mum and I are able to discuss and set goals for the coming week.  I feel this holds me accountable each week and helps keep me focused.

What are your long-term goals for your future?

I would like to become a jewellery designer and jeweler.  Ideally I would like to work from home and run my own business.  I am also interested in many other aspects of art and design, and will happily be following any art route which comes my way.

What is the next step in achieving these goals?

I will continue exploring the different forms of art, and experimenting with them, putting my own twist on them.  I am enjoying the art and design course I am currently studying for and have found new areas which I had not thought were open to me before the course (I had no idea I could draw!) Hopefully this will take me where I want to go.

Academically speaking, how are you ensuring you have what you need to follow your dreams?

I am doing Maths and English IGCSE so I have the absolute minimum I need for further study.  I am also doing a level two qualification in Art and Design (IGCSE equivalent) and in October I will be studying for a Level Three qualification in Photography (A Level equivalent).  Neither of these require me to do exams.  Between now and October I will also be taking a business studies course geared towards starting up a business in jewellery making called The Jewellery Business Bootcamp run by the well known London Jewellery School.

All these will give me automatic acceptance onto the Art and Design Foundation Course, which is the Equivalent to three A levels (and again has no exams) and will be my route into university study, should I decide that is what I want.

Non-academically, what are you doing to help you achieve your dreams?

I spend all my spare time crafting , jewellery making and watching YouTube videos on jewellery making.  My project based learning over the next few years will be primarily looking at jewellery through the ages, in addition to learning one bead making technique each week.  I will also be taking some of the courses offered at the Jewellery School Online such as silver clay jewellery and soldering 101.

As you can see I have lots to keep me busy.

Do you have a back up plan at all?

I am taking the courses in Art and Design and in Photography to keep all the creative options open.  I am confident I will pursue a creative future.

Are you enjoying everything you are studying?

Yes.  I spend my day creating.  How can I not?

How do you motivate yourself to do the work, even when you don’t want to do it?

I never really don’t want to do it.  I do what I love to do all day long, so I have no need to motivate myself.  That said, I did go through a major creative block over Christmas and the new year.  It wasn’t until Mum and Dad gave me my own creative space in my bedroom that the creative juices started to run again.  That, and decreasing the time I spent on my phone.  Screen time really does deplete creativity.

Do you set daily/weekly goals?

Mum and I set weekly goals together during our 1-2-1 time each Friday.

What stops you just sitting around watching tv all day?

I have learnt the hard way that screen time depletes my creativity and being creative is what keeps me happy.  Therefore, for me, screen time equals unhappiness as it steals away my creativity.

Are your parents happy with the choices you have made for your future?

Yes, I think so.

Do you find being a teenager hard?  What specifically makes this age harder than previous ages?

No, not really.  The only thing is hormones but I only have the odd rubbish day.  I have learnt what helps me and that makes being a teenager much easier.

What has helped most in combating the effects of hormones?

Hot baths, a good book, a decent cup of coffee and jewellery making.

Do you regularly set goals and not reach them?


What do you do when you are struggling to complete something?

Pray, go back to the beginning to see if I’ve done something wrong which is making it harder for me and not giving up.

Do you feel more self-motivated because your goals (exams/adult life/jobs etc) seem much closer now and you’re more aware that it will be more down to your hard work as to whether you succeed in your chosen path?

Not really because I enjoy creating so much I enjoy each day as it comes.  I don’t really think too far into the future.  I prefer to live for the day 

Do you look forward to your future with excitement?  If so why or why not?

Spending each day with my family is enough excitement for me!!  But I love them!  (Grins)

I really do just take each day as it comes, and enjoy the excitement each minute holds.  I just trust that God has my future all worked out and each day will be filled with excitement 🙂

Is there anything you would change about your home school journey so far?


Do you have anything you want to add?

I think the key to great teenage years is to always have Faith, always trust both God and your parents, always do what you love and always follow your dreams because that is where happiness is found.

I couldn’t have put it better myself 😀


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