Jeff just finished reading The Story of the World Volume One to Madison this evening. Volume One is Ancient Times. Next, they will move on to Volume Two, which is the Middle Ages.
I try my best to keep up with the Homeschool Facebook pages because they have such great suggestions on homeschool curriculum. I saw The Story of the World mentioned several times, so I went out and bought it. We already have a Social Studies curriculum through Moving Beyond the Page, so I thought this would be an added bonus as a supplement. Jeff started reading it to Madison as a bedtime story and she LOVED it. She chose it over any other choice of books every evening.
So I got excited and went out and bought the activity guide and test companion books. And as soon as I tried to start using them, Madison didn’t want to hear The Story of the World any more. Go figure, so I immediately put the companion books away. She gets so excited about what she has learned with Story of The World as a bedtime story, she can’t wait to tell me all about it the next day…… And so I have learned the joy of learning is driven by her and doesn’t include activities and testing and it doesn’t have to because she shares what she has learned every morning. She wants to learn because she enjoys it and it interests her. And that is such a beautiful thing. A concept I am fully learning to embrace for her.
And from the recommendation of other homeschoolers, I checked out Liberty’s Kids videos from the library. It is a fun cartoon about American History. And Madison loves them. She begs to watch them over anything else. No quizzes, no additional activities, just the enjoyment of learning without any strings attached. And the best part? The kid is a total history buff and not because of anything I’ve taught her, but because she is interested and is learning in her own way that is fun for her. She leads and I provide the tools for her to learn. That’s how it works. And amazingly enough, it is working!!!! I may still be somewhat ‘stuck’ in the brick and mortar ‘school mode’ of thought and caught up on exceeding objectives by a couple of grade levels, but I have come to realize that Madison will on her own terms in her own way and then some, if it interests her and she enjoys it. So my new goal is to be a whole lot less concerned with ‘objectives’ and more focused on how to help Madison learn in her own way. One that truly intrigues her. Because I have realized what she retains long term is from what she has enjoyed learning. From Science to Social Studies, English and Math. That is the one common denominator of retention for her, by loving and enjoying learning. And I am up to the challenge to find a way for her to enjoy each and every moment of it so she retains it for life. And btw, that is a lot of trial and error and it is challenging sometimes, but well worth it! 🙂