You can research curriculum, spend weeks planning out the year, print everything out and then it all gets pushed back to follow those rabbit trails. Rabbit trails happen and the best thing you can do is just go with it. They show interest and are an amazing opportunity for some child-led learning.
This year, we haven't touched some of the books that are on our 3rd Grade reading list and that is just fine. They loved Charlotte's Web so much, we moved onto The Trumpet of the Swan. I also happened upon a Roald Dahl boxed set, which I just had to take home with me of course! My 7 year old daughter couldn't wait to read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My 9 year old son, chose The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me, a perfect choice for my animal and song loving kid.
We ended up dwelling in White and Dahl and loving every moment of it. Reading outside, inside, snuggled on the couch, with some hot tea, hot chocolate or Gobstoppers. We had a chocolate taste testing and studied how chocolate is really made. We invented our own candy and visited a history of chocolate exhibit.
It wasn't planned.
It just happened.
And they are still talking about it.
They have retained it.
They have developed a love of reading and stories.
This was not work.
This was using what they loved and going deeper with it.
They voluntarily started researching swans when reading Trumpet of the Swan.
We are now reading James and the Giant Peach and they immediately dug out the animal encyclopedia to look up information on all of the insects in the book. It's just natural to want to know more, to be curious.
They want to understand the world around them.
Don't be afraid to follow those rabbit trails. You never know where you'll end up.