For many homeschooling parents Delight Directed Homeschooling feels like too much. How could any parent possibly cater to every child’s individual delights, especially when there are several you are schooling?
First of all, I want to share with you how you can create a learning environment that is delightful to your child and
easy easier on you, and then I’ll talk a little bit about how you can take a packaged curriculum and turn it into a delight directed one.
I’ve written before on what we call a lifestyle of learning. This is really delight directed at its best. It would be helpful to read through the entire series of posts to see how we take individual subjects. I also HIGHLY recommend Educating the Wholehearted Child by Sally Clarkson.
With that basis, it’s time to really dig deep into your child’s individuality. Learn who they are and what makes them tick. I’d suggest you grab a pen and piece of paper or start a document on your computer that has each of your school-age children’s names on it and start making a list of their interests.
From there, start brainstorming how you can incorporate those interests into your school day. Start slowly. Find a unit study on a certain topic that your child loves or have them write a paper on the topic they love for Composition or have them research the topic and give a speech on it to the family. Perhaps you have a LEGO lover…have them create a LEGO pyramid for Ancient Egyptian history! Perhaps you have a budding photographer…have them create a photo collage of a science project they are working on.
Don’t get caught up in making their delights part of every single subject right now. Instead, make the delight directed part of the day the icing on the cake! You’ll find you become more and more creative as you go!
You may need to invest in some things that help facilitate delight directed learning, but think of these as homeschooling supplies. (Read this post on not seeing the extras of homeschooling as extras, but rather an investment in your child’s future.)
Now, what about that lovely packaged curriculum you purchased? Is there hope for giving your child something to delight in with a curriculum that is a one-size fits all?
Do not go and throw out everything you bought at last year’s homeschool convention! Many packaged curricula these days offer several options for each assignment they give your child. Take a hard look at these and don’t just randomly assign. If you have a child who likes to plan and strategize (like my oldest), give research-based assignments that don’t include a lot of artsy extras. If you have an artsy child (like my next oldest), give them the more art-related assignments. It is okay if not every child does every assignment.
Now, if you are using a curriculum that does not offer options for assignments, learn to create your own! Just because the curriculum says “Now write a 3 page book report, ” does not mean you have to assign that and only that! Do you have a child who is a real ham? Put them in front of the camera and do the report that way! Do you have a child who loves to draw? Have them draw scenes from the book!
The biggest piece of advice I want you to take away from this post is to KNOW YOUR CHILD. The better you know your child, the easier it will be for you to take what you know about them and give them an education they will delight in!