We’ve recognized that traditional curriculum isn’t a good style for us and more interest based learning is a much better fit. I’ve spent countless hours online researching and have checked out books from the library on letting kids take the reins, but putting it into practice has been extremely difficult.
Logically, it makes perfect sense. Kids want to explore and learn. They are driven to understand more things. Children tend to retain things when they are interested in what they are learning. So, when you follow their interests in schooling, they’re going to really learn.
Even since letting Ellie choose our subjects to study, we’ve switched from My Little Pony to the Solar System. She asks for math sheets, chooses activities to study the planets, flips through library books on space and the Solar System, asks questions and acts out space exploration while she plays… I am watching this method work.
Why, then, do I have to keep reminding myself of that?
I feel like it’s been so ingrained into me that children need to be sitting at a desk, 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for 13 years in order to learn; that watching my daughter playing, relaxing, exploring and actually enjoying her “school days” feels wrong. I know she’s learning. I know she is happy. I know she is going to get an education that is all her own based on what was important and interesting to her.
But letting go is hard. Not stepping in to tell her what to study is hard.
But I think it is so worth it.