Many years ago we were able to go to many homeschooling seminars including the Christian Homeschooling Workshop by Greg Harris. I mentioned before on this blog that we came home from his seminars (basic and advanced) ready to tackle one thing at a time out of that amazing binder of material.
One of the things that he taught us were the amazing benefits of using delight directed studies. He said that if we would focus some of our studies on things that our children love, things they were delighted in, things they were interested in, they would learn so much more easily and learning would be more fun.
I was all about waiting for readiness in my children so that they would love school. I was all about building a love for learning in our children. And delight directed studies lined up beautifully with those goals.
We came home and began looking for opportunities for our children to study things that they were delighted in. Immediately, this meant learning math through baseball, football, and basketball cards with our little seven-year-old. It meant a lot of time in the kitchen with our four-year-old. And it meant reading for hours and hours every day – at least a little bit each day about government and the presidents for our seven-year-old future history major and teacher.
From there, our delight directed studies have been vast:
1. Getting a barnful of chickens and gathering eggs
2. Unsuccessful dog training
3. Learning angles and degrees on the basketball court drive-way
4. Learning shapes from Legos and “large red bricks” (cardboard)
5. Math games out of playing cards
6. Dice games
7. Statistics with sports cards
8. Milking a goat
9. Community learning through a lengthy, weekly citizens academy program
10. Creating track events with measurements and make-shift equipment
11. Making up new sports games for PE continually
12. Going to government and creation seminars
13. Investing in more highlighters and large poster boards than any one family should ever need for our young mapmaker
14. World War II videos, games, and miniatures
15. Angles taught/learned through quilting
16. Math in baking and cooking
17. Dad and daughter sign language classes
18. American Girls dolls, books, and do-it-yourself accessories
19. Overnight at the zoo, science museum, and fort
20. More pioneer villages and re-enactments than any one parent should attend
Delight-directed studies are everywhere–they are where ever our children are. Whatever they love to learn is their delight–and our opportunity for more learning, more love for learning, and more fun in our homeschools!