All of your most common questions answered about how I am teaching myself through daily lessons.
When I shared my "day in the life" on Instagram stories a few months ago, I never anticipated that the lessons would obtain the most interest. To be honest, I had never shown or talked about them before because I thought I was the only one who would think it was fun! My oh my, was I wrong. I absolutely love how many of you message me about these now. Whether it is a question or letting me know you got one of the books, it brings me so much JOY. I hope that this Q&A can help each of you as you think about starting your own version of lessons!
Why did you start this?
I started daily lessons for many reasons!
- It makes me so stinking happy to have a plan to work through.
- Some of my favorite human beings and fictional characters are extremely well read and have the quickest wits. A quick wit is a quality that I have always admired and something I think can only come with knowledge!
- There are many things that my younger self could never appreciate that I do now and I want to find the subjects that interest me the most.
- Only a boring person gets bored and I do not want to be a boring person.
- We have future travel plans and what better way to prepare!
What is your current schedule?
The schedule that is working for me right now is:
Monday - Literature
Tuesday - Art
Wednesday - World History
Thursday - American History
Friday - History of Britain
Weekends and before bed each night I try to read off of my classic books list. You can find it here!
Also, attempting to learn French in my spare time through the Babbel app, but my progress has felt pretty slow. So... Let's not talk about that one today!
How do you find the time to fit these in?
The most popular question! I'm a big believer that you will find the time to do something if it is important enough to you. That is 100% the case here. If I didn't get up early to make it happen these lessons would probably never get done, so I wake up early to make the time.
How did you know what topics to pick?
Choosing topics was actually the easiest part! I just sat down one day and thought about what topics interest me the most. I started with about ten strong contenders and narrowed it down from there based on my Monday-Friday schedule, choosing to start with the broadest topics first. Some that aren't currently in rotation are ballet, photography, classical music, and tennis. The plan is to rotate those in the lineup when a book gets finished. For example, photography logically would fall after art or classical music after literature.
What books do you use and how did you pick them?
I am currently using the six books below:
Literature - Writers: Their Lives & Their Works
World History - History: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Present Day
American History - American History
History of Britain - History of Britain & Ireland
When choosing what books to use I started with a google search. I literally just googled "art history books" and then did a deep dive into previews and reviews. I knew I wanted to start each subject pretty broad, so I looked for books that covered as much time as possible.
How do you study? Do you take notes?
Whether it is a line from my devotional or a song lyric that I liked, I am an avid note taker! I keep a notebook with me at all times and end up jotting down countless (sometimes random) things throughout the day. When I am reading through these books I use the same notebook. I don't take extensive notes like I did in college, but I do jot down anything that I find interesting and want to remember. It is mostly one liners like, "William Shakespeare's wife's name was Anne Hathaway" or a short list of an artists well known works. If I have some down time during my work day I'll pull out my notebook and read through my notes. It's actually a great way to quiz myself and help it stick!
Also, I keep an ongoing list of topics that peak my interest the most while I'm reading. This helps me get a good idea of what I'd like to take a deeper look at later - Whether it's another book, audio book, podcast, or documentary.
How much time is spent on each lesson?
Like most of us, a majority of my time is spent at my day job so I have worked these lessons into my morning schedule. We wake up at 5 am to run, followed by my quiet time, and then I'll jump into the lesson for that day. It varies, but usually I can spend at least one full hour reading before I have to start getting ready for work. It has been so rewarding to see how that one hour a day builds up week after week!
Thanks for reading, friend!