This year in our homeschool, we tried something new. We tried creating a learning map. I had never done this before, but it was such a fun idea and people keep asking about it, so today I want to share a little bit about how we created this learning map and how we plan to use it.
So with that in mind, I have to start by saying I did not come up with this idea. Actually this happened because we were listening to Sparkle Stories. I have no connection or anything to the people who run Sparkle Stories – they just happen to be something we really, really enjoy. Their stories are excellent and also, the narrator speaks in such a lovely soothing voice. I hope some day we have a subscription, but for now, we just enjoy their free podcast.
But a few weeks ago, we heard a story about this family who created a learning map. And sometimes, after we hear an idea like that, I spontaneously say “Hey, what did you guys think of that? Is that something you want to do?” (Not always, I’m not over here promising Magic School Bus trips, because some things are just not possible.)
And my kids said yes! So a few days later when we had some time, we sat down and created our learning map. While the Sparkle Story we listened to did not have step by step instructions, it did include enough details that we were able to do it on our own easily. Plus, your learning map can look like anything you want! We loosely followed how they did it in the story, but we changed a few things. Yours could be completely different.
Through doing this, I learned a lot about the things my kids want to know and learn. Will we cover all these things in one year? Likely not. It is a lot. But I didn’t want to put limits on their dreams. And seeing everything they’re interested in has allowed me to learn about them in a unique way.
I purposefully do not want any of the things they want to learn to be high pressure because these are things they want to learn. I do not want to kill their joy about these things. So instead of these being things that we add to our regular school schedule, I plan to more make ways of learning these things readily available to them. Books and approved websites and apps and projects. I plan on letting them take ownership of how much and how often they want to learn these things. To be honest, that is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling. While we are a curriculum using family and I’ve always had plans for things that are our core subjects, I’ve also supported the things they want to learn about.
And if you’ll notice, I also included several things I want to learn for myself. I’ve talked about how important self-care for homeschool moms is. I consider learning to be an essential part of self-care, not just for moms, but for all people. No one knows everything. Learning is one of the best ways we grow as people. Also, it sets an example and a model for your kids of what it means and what it looks like to always grow and learn. While I often make smaller goals, I don’t always make big overarching ones like that, so its a new experience for me too.
I taped our big learning map to the wall and we all enjoyed it so much that I think we might make it an annual tradition, either on our first day of school or leading up to the first day of school so that we can have some resources gathered before then.
How do you figure out what your children want to learn? Do you set goals? What do you want to learn this year?
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