Welcome back! Did you catch the first installment in this series last month? I shared about how talking to your kids (or listening to what they talk about) can give you many ideas about how to incorporate delight-directed learning into your homeschool. If you missed that article, be sure to click over and read more about that.
This month, we’re going to take a look at another great idea for accomplishing the same goal of adding delight-directed learning to ANY homeschool.
Another effective method to encourage delight-directed learning is to simply notice when your student gets excited by something you are already teaching.
Many homeschool moms are intimidated by delight-directed learning because they believe it means that everything has to be done from scratch. But that is not necessarily true. You don’t have to create an entire unit study or do anything else particularly labor-intensive. In fact, our journey into delight-directed learning began when we veered off course from a pre-written, pre-secheduled, pre-purchased, boxed curriculum because something we were already studying piqued the curiosity of my son. And it happened more than once!
It really can be as simple as giving your student some extra time to follow a rabbit trail. You can do this by providing a themed book basket filled with picture books, chapter books, nonfiction resource books, and DVDs. Or you can add arts and crafts, projects, lapbooks, notebooking activities or website searches for their chosen topic. How much you give your student access to will depend upon how much time you are willing to veer off course.
We’ve had rabbit trails take just a day to satisfy the need to know more. Others have literally taken weeks, even months. If you suspect this new interest will be ongoing, you could simply create another “class” for your homeschool and offer that option for continued study on a daily or weeky basis. Then resume your usual lesson plan.
However you decide to indulge your student, there can be great rewards. Being willing to stop and follow rabbit trails can delight your student, and creating an atmosphere of delight does wonders to encourage a love of learning.