Loving to Learn!

It is time for the Spring Crew Blog hop and our topic this week is “5 Days of Teaching Creatively”. I love these hops, I always get such great ideas from reading all of the posts! I hope you will be able to join us each day! Today’s topic is “Delight-Directed Teaching”. What does this mean? Well, basically, it means building what you do around the things your kids are interested in! I think it will look a little differently for all of us, but I am going to tell you what it looks like at my house.

I first heard about delight-directed teaching when I was just beginning to homeschool and was glued to the internet searching for information! I came across the Heart of Wisdom website, and the way Robin described this method sounded beautiful, but also kind of scary for a first time homeschooler, so it took a little bit of time to build up to doing it!

The first time I really tried it was last year, for some of our science studies. My oldest son wants to be an FBI agent when he grows up, and he has an interest in all things forensics. So, I figured, why not build our science around this topic? I started by searching for materials, and I found some great ones at Home Science Tools. I ordered the Crime Scene Science Kit, as well as the blood typing kit. I had the Crime Scene Investigations book that a friend had given me, so I also ordered the materials for that.

This is one of the labs from that book, a handwriting analysis:

From there, I went to Amazon.com and searched for “forensics books for kids”. There were a whole bunch!! I cross-checked the books on their list with my local library to see which ones we could check out. I decided to order two books from DK Eyewitness to serve as our “spines”, the Forensic Science book and the Crime and Detection book.

Each day we would read a little from these books and do an experiment or two and then my kids would read from their own books that they had checked out. My kids each had a binder where they would write up a “summary” of the days reading and experiments, and I would have each child share what they had read about when they were done.

TJ reading his book:

Jake reading his book:

We tied this study in with a study of the Human Body using the Apologia books (which were great!). So, since we did science four days per week, we would spend two days studying the Apologia books and two days doing forensics! I have to admit, I was a little nervous putting all this together by myself, but you know what?? It was so much fun!! That was probably our best year of science ever. My kids learned so much and they still remember so much of what we did. My oldest really got to explore an area that he loves, and he often spent time outside of school doing further research and study! I am not a science minded person at ALL, but doing science like this was fun for all of us.

I think delight-directed schooling can bring a lot of joy to your homeschool. Don’t be afraid to make up your own studies based on your child’s interests. With the vast amounts of resources available these days you can come up with a great unit on just about any topic. My suggestion to anyone wanting to try this for the first time is to start with the internet. Do a search based on your own topic and see what’s out there. You might be able to find a great book, or website, or lapbook, or kit that you can base your study around. From there, utilize your library if you can. Check out as many books as possible on that topic and read! The books can be fiction or non-fiction (we did read-alouds of some great detective stories during our forensics study, and we watched a couple of movies too!). Have your child narrate (in writing or orally) or illustrate or act out what you have learned about. And have fun!! That’s the whole point! I think you will find that delight-directed studies will make up some of the most memorable things you do in your homeschool, and your kids will be motivated to learn on their own!

To see what other members of the crew had to say about this topic, click here:

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I hope that you enjoy our hop this week! See you tomorrow.

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