Delight-Directed Learning: a Homeschooling Natural for Summertime
Delight-directed learning necessitates helping your kids follow whatever pursuits come naturally to them. If perhaps your kids are aching to go to a health care camp, or perhaps dive into a new orchestra performance, that’s delight-directed learning, which takes place naturally. Normally this is most obvious in sporting activities. Our family did summer swim team. Other families may really dive into music and art.
Quite a few kids will do nothing but read books. I had a son who often had a book in front of him. A lot of kids will do volunteer work; they’re really into being a candy striper at a hospital, and summer may just be their only opportunity to undertake that. Others really love working with kids, so they go from vacation bible school to vacation bible school helping out with various churches. Other children can do nearly all their projects like scouting or 4H.
A proven way you can encourage delight-directed learning is to use summer as a gift-giving opportunity. You can give your children some gifts that will inspire their interests. For my son, this required getting Teaching Company courses on economics or American government. For my other son, it required different things, and for your children, it will mean different things as well. If you give gifts that encourage their interests, it might help them to feel like they’re taking a break.
Educational activities are one more good way to inspire delight-directed learning. Try some field trips, or possibly meet with an organized group that gets together for sports. Many parents prepare units that their children are able to do independently. I wanted my boys to have a health class, but we were not able to fit it in the school year, so I got them the book Total Health. They read the book, a chapter a week, and managed to finish it on their own time—and I didn’t need to be involved whatsoever!
In the midst of everything else, be sure that you plan time for rest, where you require nothing. In the book Margin, the author discusses how vital it is to have a lot of space. Anytime you look at a book, the more white space there is on the page the easier it is for you to read the book, and the faster you’ll be able to read. The same is true for life—the more unplanned white space on the page of your life, the faster you’ll be able to go and the more successful your life is going to be. Planning for nothing together with planning for relaxation can truly help.
Should you plan to do summer school and there’s something academic that requires supervision, try having the non-teaching parent be the one who checks on the work and makes sure that it’s accomplished each day. If your child is working independently through a math book or something, maybe you’re not checking it day-to-day and the non-teaching parent will simply hand your child the test, take away the answer key, and check the work when they’re done. If you don’t have a spouse at home who can do this, you could share this job with a friend. Just make sure that you receive a break from academic work!
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