At about 9:30 p.m. last night, The Princess emerged from her chambers and asked me if I could find her a dictionary. The last time I checked, the dictionary was in her room, but there's no telling what black hole it fell into (there are many in her abode; that's the only explanation for the many, many missing items over the years). I found a "Student" dictionary, and handed it to her. I followed her to her room and said, "What do you need a dictionary for?"
Are you sitting down?
My daughter - the one with the headache, the one who is unnaturally preoccupied with eye shadow and lip gloss these days, the one who changes clothes ten times before leaving the house, the one who can dance like an angel - is reading "The Federalist Papers." Not because she has to. Not because I told her to. No. She is reading "The Federalist Papers" because she is interested in early American history, and how the country's parties were formed.
She did the same thing with the Narnia books a few years ago. She read them all. Then read them again. Then, I started looking for other Narnia resources. There's an entire homeschool curriculum based on the Narnia books called "Further Up and Further In." She did that for awhile. I found books that used the Narnia series as a basis for other study, and she ate those up, too.
That led to a love of all things "The Inklings." If you don't know, C.S. Lewis was one of "The Inklings," a club of sorts consisting of writers who got together on a regular basis to discuss their writings. J.R.R. Tolkien was one of them, as was Edith Nesbitt. So, The Princess started reading Edith Nesbitt. She hasn't dug into J.R.R. Tolkien yet, but I think she will eventually.
So, I guess I ought to stop worrying that we don't do enough here for school. The Princess especially has a growing love of learning, and that's my ultimate goal. That, and a love of God.