Does your homeschool need refreshment?
Do you feel burned out as a homeschool mama?
Are you tired of spending your days trying to make your kids check the boxes to show that they’re learning?
Delight directed learning is like a breath of fresh air into a stale room. It brings life into the homeschool. It puts you and your children onto a path of learning that you can enjoy together as they move toward adulthood and a future as a lifelong learner.
What is Delight Directed Learning?
Delight Directed Learning is allowing your child’s interests to provide direction as you are guiding them through the learning years. It is a common misconception that delight directed learning is the same thing as unschooling, but the two approaches have many differences. While unschooling is more commonly an informal learning experience that is completely led by the child, delight directed learning is child-led learning combined with structure and direction provided by the parent. The core subjects are still covered and expectations are clearly set, all while considering the child’s interests and learning style. Parent and child work together as a team, looking forward to the child’s future and working out the details to create an educational plan that best supports that.
This may sound very formal, but the day to day working it out is a creative and enjoyable pursuit of learning. In our home, this looks like a short list of daily core subject requriements plus a large chunk of free time (and resources!) to allow our kids the space to pursue their interests.
Does this really work for a real life family?
When I first considered the idea of delight directed learning I felt that it was unrealistic for a large family. After all, how could one mom cater to the ever changing interests of multiple children? What I didn’t understand at the time was that the goal is to create an environment of learning…and to support my children as they pursue their interests. Not only does this lift the burden off of mom, it also fosters independence and excitement within the child as they realize that they are responsible for their own learning; no one else is going to do the learning for them.
I must pause here and say that I have found it typically isn’t until the teen years that I begin noticing my children’s interests becoming more narrow and serious, naturally leading into self directed goals and plans for their adult lives. Before those years delight directed learning often resembles playtime and moving about from one interest to the next as curious minds absorb the many exciting things there are to learn about.
How do I begin incorporating Delight Directed Learning into our homeschool?
I recommend starting small. Pay attention to the things your child gravitates toward and see if you can provide the resources/time for them to take that interest further. Don’t over analyze the process at first. It takes time for our children to turn empty hours into productive results, but eventually they will settle in and you will see the fruit of this gift you are giving them.