I heard the term “delight directed studies” years ago from Sonja Harris and it stuck with me. For you who already teach this way, please feel free to comment about ideas or topics you have done that have worked for your family. You may teach using all textbooks, which is fantastic! But, I am giving you permission to also add some topics that are not planned. Topics your son/daughter has shown interest in.
This might look like a study of __________ (dinosaurs, the planets and stars, cooking or baking). You can study whatever your daughter/ son has shown an interest in. Things you could do to capture that interest would be to order books online from the library, purchase a science kit, watch a video about the topic, go to a museum, do a unit study, (Homeschool Share) etc. My granddaughter loves cake pops and I am going to go over to her house to make them. We will measure, mix, pour, bake, and decorate cake pops. You see, there is math, science, and art all covered in this one special activity. I think I am just as excited as I know she will be in making them. Look for things that are fun for your child and if you like it, that’s a bonus too!
Step out, don’t be afraid to try. It might be scary to deviate from the curriculum, but trust me, it will be fine. In fact, you might like it so much you find it hard to return to your textbooks. 🙂 One , two, even three units is fine to add to your school year if you have curriculum you are using. I found that by adding something that my boys wanted to learn they were more willing to do the rest of their work to pursue what they were interested in learning.
There can be failure, but don’t give up! Yes, you might prepare all of these great resources and activities and your daughter turns up her nose or your son lets you know he just mentioned it, he didn’t want to study more about it. Go through with the topic of study because s/he might just come back and say they liked it. Yes, I got excited about a topic and thought the boys would like it too, only to discover their interest had fizzled out. Well, you can either finish the study or drop it. It’s up to you. But, I wouldn’t set a precedent that if they complain you stop. (Pick your battles. 🙂 )
Have a great week! ~Lisa~