5 Days of Teaching Creatively: Day 1: Delightful

Delight-directed learning.  
What image comes to mind when hearing that phrase?  

I see weekly library trips and laundry baskets full of books to take home on every subject.  I see mom-created lesson plans and unit studies that cover a new topic each week, tying all the subjects into one common interest.  I see impressive art and history projects and explosive science experiments.  I see weekly field trips and nature hikes.  I see a change of plans daily as new questions and interests come up.

What does all that mean to me?  It means tons and tons of work.  What I really see is total mommy-burn out.  I see stress too.  I would worry that we’re missing something-like essential skills in phonics, spelling, and math.  Delight-directed learning scares me honestly!  It cannot possibly be for me!

I want structure, organization, linear-thinking, lesson plans, and consistency.  No way can I go hopping down endless bunny trails of new ideas, scrapping my previous plans and going with the flow of child-led learning.

As I reflected on our homeschool life, I realized that we really do have delight-directed learning in our own little way.  It might look completely different from another homeschool family’s definition of delight-directed learning though, but that’s ok.  I’m free to define the term on my own terms.

I love choosing curriculum and I choose curriculum that I love to teach.  I use things that I’m passionate about and I look forward to our daily lessons.  I let my interests dictate what we use and I delight in using them with my children.

What I use with the kids takes their interests, learning styles, and personalities into account.  I choose books, topics, and curricula based on them.  I know my kids and I know what inspires them and I try to teach to that even if we’re following a curriculum through the year.

My kids love art.  I plan so much of what we use around art.  We have weeks of lots of art projects and we tie art into many of our subjects.  My kids love cutting, pasting, crafting, painting, and drawing.  We use a blend of art curricula and online art ideas.  So, we do have an delight-directed learning bent when it comes to art.

It all comes down to how we define delight-directed learning.  So, how do we define delight-directed learning?  Flexibility

We follow our curricula but we have so much added time for extras…….
Do we need an entire day to play outside, an impromptu field trip, an afternoon of lego building, a planned out play to perform for dad when he gets home, a puppet show, an afternoon of board games, computer time, a movie day, puzzle time, a dance contest, a dress up fashion show?
Well, then, we can certainly make time for that!

Delight-directed learning influences our play time.  I still have plans.  I still have the peace of mind that the basics are covered.  I can check off our lessons and see progress.  I don’t have to create lessons from scratch.  I can just sit back and watch my kids’ creativity at work by allowing them hours and hours of free play to create, imagine, and problem-solve.

We believe in delight-directed play here!  And I have the flexibility to fill every spare minute with things my kids enjoy without sacrificing the curriculum I love and making sure we cover the basics. 

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