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How to Include Delight-Directed Learning in your Homeschool

One of the greatest advantages of homeschooling is finding which type of learning style or method works best for your family and doing that. Each child can be encouraged to learn on their own terms, in their own way, which helps them to take ownership of their education. This helps to create a lifelong love of learning, which is where delight directed learning comes in.

Delight-Directed Learning

Including Delight-Directed Learning in your Homeschool

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We have chosen a path of delight-directed learning because it works best for our family. Delight-directed learning simply defined means following the interests of your children and including those things in your homeschool lessons.

It’s also known as eclectic homeschooling, child-led, or interest-led. It’s a natural way of learning or unschooling.

Through our years of homeschooling, I’ve talked with other moms who would like to implement this style of learning, but they just aren’t sure where to start.

They’re afraid of going off the beaten path and stepping away from the textbooks or boxed curriculum. They lack the confidence to trust the learning process due to their fear of learning gaps in their child’s education. There’s nothing wrong with having some concerns about this. In fact, it shows that you are deeply invested in your child’s education, which is a great asset to have!

In order to reassure you if you’re having these kinds of thoughts, I’d like to encourage you to take baby steps toward a more relaxed way of learning. If you’re used to following a strict schedule or lesson plan, dropping it completely might be too drastic for you.

I recommend including delight-directed learning gradually so you can see how well it works before taking the plunge and throwing out all your lesson plans.

Delight-Directed Learning

Two Simple Ways to Include Delight-Directed Learning in your Homeschool

  • Unit studies: Unit studies are a fun way to explore interests while covering many (or all) of the subjects in your curriculum. Allow your child to choose an interesting topic and then center your history, art, math, language arts, science, and any other subjects around that specific topic. Your child will have the benefit of thoroughly exploring a favorite topic while using real life applications to learn. For instance, if they’re interested in penguins, choose a read-aloud or chapter book about penguins, study penguin habitats for science and geography, draw/paint pictures of penguins, and include some kind of penguin manipulative in your math time. These are just examples and the complexity also depends on the age of your child, but you get the idea.
  • Lapbooks: Make a lapbook to go along with the unit study or as a stand-alone creative project. Allow your child to choose a subject and make a visual display of what they’ve learned with a lapbook. Not sure how to make one? You can read about how to make your own lapbook for ideas.

You don’t have to design your own unit studies and lapbooks if you’re pressed for time or need something that’s low to no prep. There are homeschool curriculum companies that provide pre-made lapbooks and unit studies so all you have to do is download and print them. There are even online unit studies that you can start right away.

If you’d like a relaxed, natural way to learn that allows your children to explore their interests, consider giving these two tools a try to include delight-directed learning in your homeschool today. 

This post was written by Sara Jordan Panning of Heart and Soul Homeschooling, a site dedicated to encouraging curiosity, creativity, character, and connection through delight-directed learning.

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