The "problem" with this method of learning is that it's so enjoyable and painless (and even unplanned at times), that we sometimes fail to see it for what it is. This is true education: self-motivated learning with a purpose. If you can inspire curiosity in your children and perhaps point them in the right direction or make available the appropriate tools, you'll be amazed at what can be accomplished.

Chart reading wasn't on my list of math topics to cover last week, and a lesson in garment construction was not on my friend's to-do list. However, by making relatively small efforts to assist our children, they were able to learn new skills and practice old ones. And, as I glance through the Scope and Sequence for my son's grade level, I will note, "Oh, yes, he knows how to do that" and check it off. No lesson plan, no curriculum, but it's covered and covered well.

*This article first published September 15, 2009.



Dena Wood is wife of John, mother of five, co-owner of, and Director of Operations for The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC. She works from her home in eastern Washington State, where she enjoys homeschooling and spending time with her three youngest children, who are still in the nest. Email Dena at

Copyright 2009. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Summer 2009. Used with permission. Visit them at