Finding a homeschool method or style that works best for your family can be one of the keys to success in your homeschooling journey. There are many great options when it comes to homeschool methods, so how do you choose?
As a new homeschooler, I wrestled with that question. I felt I had to do school at home or some sort of rigorous academic program. It wasn’t long before I realized that approach was killing the joy of learning. I wanted to encourage my daughter’s natural curiosity and creativity, not stifle it.
Enter delight-directed learning. What is that exactly? Part of it is borrowed from Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of using living books rather than rote textbooks. I also adopted my own homeschooling theory in combination with what I considered to be essential in parenting well — developing character and connection within the family. These principles came together to create a purposeful approach to learning that has served us well for the past 12 years.
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.
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.
Rather than have a set curriculum or detailed lesson plans to follow, we focus on reading living books. We have discussions around those books, which generally lead to deeper research into topics of interest. We’re able to cover the subjects required by the state in this way, even though it’s not a conventional textbook approach.
Another benefit is increasing critical thinking skills. My daughters (now 9, 11, and 17) have learned to ask questions, dig deeper, and thoroughly explore topics. They’re able to focus for longer periods of time and they actually look forward to our hands-on projects because they have a voice in what we do.
I feel that I’m not just an instructor, but a guide. We talk about their individual interests and gifts so that I’ve really gotten to know my daughters well as people. That’s so important to me as a mom!
The Benefits of Delight-Directed Homeschooling
- Children recognize that God has a purpose and a plan for their lives, including their education.
- They love to learn because it’s a delightful experience rather than a chore.
- They learn through quality, living books so they develop an appreciation for great literature.
- Homeschooling becomes a natural extension of parenting, rather than an “extra” added into your life.
- You can experience the freedom of learning year-round rather than being bound to the typical school schedule.
- Delight-directed learning prepares children for their unique future, whether they choose college, career, or wherever God may lead them.
We believe that delight-directed learning is a lifestyle, not just an educational approach. It is a wholehearted way to live and learn together as a family.
I have written a free quick start guide, Spark Joy and Inspire Imagination with Delight-Directed Learning, that you can download and read if you would like to learn more about this homeschooling style.
Sara is a homeschooling mom of three girls. She writes at Heart and Soul Homeschooling, sharing ideas for learning that encourage creativity, curiosity, character, and connection. She is an author, speaker, and homeschool consultant. You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon author page.