With my older kids it usually happens via discussion. Discussing the eerie resemblance of the names of characters in a book to a TV show happened during math this afternoon. Those kind of moments come and I need to make sure that I let those times fully develop. These moments aren’t just moments of engaged learning, but they are fun and enjoyable for all involved.
With my younger child, tangents are more along the lines of letting her be while she is following her interests. This morning while I was working with my 10 year old on reading some Arabic on his Arabian Sinbad cards, my 6 year old came by and started picking up the cards that he wasn’t using. I asked her if she could find any alifs on the cards (an Arabic letter that she knows well). She immediately started looking through the cards and found some with alifs. That led to her attempting to read the Arabic transliterations. When I was done with her brother, I asked her if she wanted to play the Arabian Sinbad game (game that teaches Arabic vocabulary) on the computer and she eagerly agreed and stayed on there for about an hour.
Arabic wasn’t on today’s plan for my 6 year old. This is one reason why I love a loop schedule. The things she was “supposed to do” are ready and waiting for the next day without any adjustments or thinking that we need to play catch up.