*This post is one in a series on homeschool methods. Scroll to the bottom to see links to the other posts in the series. *
Most people recognize the terms “unschooling” or “child-led learning,” but aren’t quite sure what delight-directed homeschooling means. For us, it means a purposeful, interest-led way of homeschooling. This quote from Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie helps to explain my educational philosophy:
A diligent student, then, takes delight, eagerly and with great zeal, in what he loves.
Delight-directed homeschooling is allowing a child’s natural bent to inform your educational decisions. It means following, in a purposeful way, the gifts and interests that God has placed in your children. It is homeschooling by individual design. It is a lifestyle of learning that encourages exploration, creativity, and a love for gaining wisdom and knowledge as gifts from God.
A Day in the Life of Delight-Directed Homeschooling
How does delight-directed homeschooling play out on a daily basis? Well, first of all we homeschool year-round because we believe that all of life is a learning experience, not something that happens within the confines of Monday through Friday from 8 am to 3 pm. There are times of more formal instruction and times of creative exploration, which varies throughout our days.
I do keep a planner, though I write in pencil so I can easily change things around when necessary. Often times I use my planner as a record book of what we’ve done, rather than what we plan to do ahead of time. Delight-directed homeschooling is flexible and we don’t mind adjusting when the situation calls for it. I keep records for our state requirements so we can clearly show educational progress, but our daily plans aren’t carved in stone.
We have morning time together, usually reading aloud and having Bible time to begin our day. Then we have individual study time, which often means I work on language arts and math with my two younger girls (10 & 8) and my oldest daughter (15) works on her projects and online classes. History and science are generally done through living books and hands-on projects. The afternoons are usually time for arts and crafts and individual free time. My girls are constantly into doing creative projects of all kinds, from sewing to painting to creative writing. They love making lapbooks, which allow for creativity and learning facts about any subject they want to explore.
Our Delight-Directed Homeschooling Curriculum
We primarily use living books, field trips, notebooking, lapbooking, unit studies, and hands-on projects for most of our learning. We even use online learning for things like math so we can meet the state requirements and get those subjects out of the way so we can move on to more interesting topics. Basic skills are met with the standard kinds of things — phonics programs for reading, copywork for handwriting. For language arts we prefer using great books and a program like Learning Language Arts through Literature so our grammar, spelling, and vocabulary lessons relate directly to books that we love to read anyway. Five in a Row is another great way to cover major topics with unit studies as they correspond to great books. I believe that if children simply enjoy reading and absorbing great stories, their learning potential is unlimited!
Obviously, Bible studies and worldview are important in our homeschool. This is the heart of our purpose. I want to raise children who are strong in their faith and confident of their place in God’s world. We use the Apologia What We Believe series and Grapevine Bible Studies. Grapevine uses stick figure drawing to illustrate the Bible, so my girls can draw along as I read from the Bible and we complete the lessons. It really helps them to focus and have creative time!
This is a basic overview of what our delight-directed homeschool looks like. Our days have a lot of variety, but we follow a basic rhythm of daily reading and creative activities to encourage a love of learning and pursuit of purposeful living.
Want to learn more about homeschool methods? Take a look at the other posts in this series.
- A Day in the Life of an Extra-Large Relaxed Homeschooling Family
- Real Life Homeschooling~Our Homeschool Methods
- A Day in the Life of a Charlotte Mason Homeschool
- Creative Learning- A Waldorf-Inspired Day in the Life
- A Day in the Life~A Peek into an Eclectic Homeschool
- A Day in the Life~A Middle Road
- What is Delight Directed Homeschooling?
BIO: Sara is a homeschooling mom to three daughters. She blogs at Embracing Destiny about purposeful living and creative learning. She also blogs at The Homeschool Post about all things homeschooling.