I follow their lead, yes! To a great extent they have pursued interests I would never have imagined: Jor Man's soda making, Sher Bear's love of Egypt and Campster's butterflies come to mind.
At the same time, I am always, well, scheming and planning. There are things I would like for them to learn. And there are, frankly, things I would like to, finally, learn.
One of the ways in which we find new areas of interest is through literature. I LOVE audio books. We listen to books in the car, both running errands and on longer trips. We have also listened to books at night while snuggled in bed, and on a stormy day, while coloring, instead of TV. Check the following resources for audio books:
Finding new books to read is easy! There are so many good reading lists out there. Here are a few:
Once you have found some books you want to read, check your library. Be sure and ask your librarian if there are any you cannot locate. Many libraries participate in interlibrary loans, which means that even if your library doesn't carry that book, they might be able to get it for you from another library.
Part of the beauty of not following a formal curriculum is that you don't need to go in any certain order. Where we live, there aren't many other homeschoolers. But I know that other libraries may be more "overrun" with homeschoolers (what a wonderful dilemna!), and people going through the same curriculum at the same time of year won't find the books available at the library. No worries. Go out of "order. Start in the middle, and you will find the books you need. Or just get the ones that are available each time you go. Just because you have a list does not mean you have to read ALL the books on that list. It's just for ideas! Don't let the philosophies or the magnitude of the lists overwhelm you. This is all about doing what is fun, engaging and meaningful for your family - not following someone else's methodology.
If you have kids of many ages, don't worry about getting something for each age group. I have found that Sher Bear, while maybe not thrilled with my choice of books, and pretending to be thoroughly bored, gets a lot out of it. She does follow the stories and make connections. On the flip-side, Jor Man does quite well with Winnie-The-Pooh. Good literature is good literature, no matter what the age.
Ask your friends what books they've enjoyed in their homeschool. Homeschoolers blogs often list what they are currently reading. We are reading Swallows and Amazons because a friend mentioned how much her son loved it.
Lastly, share the books that you love. Especially those you loved as a kid. I don't care if they are not on anyone's list. They are your heart - pass them on. We recently listened to "From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" because it was my favorite when read to me in 5th grade. The kids loved it, too.
Wish you were here!