When you are engaged in Natural Learning, your home school curriculum looks a bit different from traditional curriculum. Your curriculum becomes a living, breathing, changing plan that revolves around the interests and talents of your children. It should be inviting, attractive, exhilarating. It should help your child feel that they are in their element and should be accompanied by eagerness and anticipation. Whereas the success of a traditional curriculum is measured with A’s, B’s and C’s, Natural Learning curriculum is measured with “oohs, aahs and wows!”
As an example: Two of my daughters had a love for horses. It almost drove me crazy! I finally found a friend in our neighborhood who was willing to take them to the farm where she stabled her horses. My girls would clean tack for her in exchange for riding lessons. Brenda had a way with horses and she had a way with children. I was never able to get them to work as hard as they did for her.
Eventually she took us to one of her horse shows, where we all saw first-hand what professional horse riding can look like. It was an amazing opportunity. In this case the curriculum consisted of a willing mentor, her knowledge and resources – including a horse – HALLELUJAH! – My willingness to drive them to the stables each week, and their commitment to clean tack in order to pay for their lessons. They loved this curriculum. They were eager and determined and they worked their little tails off. I didn’t have to say a word.
This curriculum – or Environment as I like to call it – included lessons in math, finances, hard work, history, friendship, equine therapy, time management and much more.
Some of our family’s best Environments have been our four-wheeling trips, raising a milk cow and snow boarding. Our kids have pursued these learning environments with enthusiasm, joy and sometimes…caution – as was the case with our cow! They’ve learned great lessons from each opportunity and continue to do so.
Go ahead – give it a try and start planning a Natural Learning Environment for your children. Be brave! Let it take the place of your traditional curriculum. You’re going to love it!