Test the Waters of Delight Directed Homeschooling This Summer

testing waters

For those of us who grew up going through the public school system and remember waiting with bated breath for the coveted and too-short summer break, just the words “year-round schooling” send a chill up our spines.

How many times, though, after just a few days of that break, did we dare to utter the words, “Mom, I’m bored!”

Ack!

Now that I’m a mom myself, I understand that frustration when my child, surrounded by toys, games, crayons, paper and so many other things to do, speaks those impossible words!

But let’s remember – even for those of us who don’t structure in the same way that a traditional school might, our kids have a routine and they get used to it. Breaking that routine – while fun for a while – eventually takes our kids to a place where they’ve “been there, done that” and just aren’t sure where to go next.

I once heard somewhere that it is good for a child to be bored, so that they can use their imagination and creatively figure out new things to do.

I think this is a great idea. However, in today’s world where it is all to easy to pick up a remote or a video game (they’re even on our phones!), we as parents need to be there to help guide our kids: not simply tell them to use their imagination, but to engage, inspire and show them HOW to use their imagination.

How can we do that? Well, how about with a lesson?

I think the summertime is a perfect time for those of you who have been interested in Delight Directed Homeschooling, but perhaps were  not comfortable implementing this style during the official school year, to “dip your toe in the water” and see how it could work for your family.

Start by answering a question that your kids might ask. “Why do Watermelons have Seeds?” “Why are there fireworks on the 4th of July?” If you don’t know the answer off the top of your head – look it up! (I don’t dare call this a “research project,” but if the flip-flop fits….)

Take a trip and spend a day doing something “educational” (just don’t tell the kids!). Visit a historical landmark or take a factory tour (crayons, chocolate, glass, whatever floats your kids’ boat). Let the learning happen naturally – you just facilitate it and help add to it when needed.

Take lessons outside, either physically or topically. Study the beach or the flowers and trees – things that would be covered by the winter snow. Learn about them firsthand while they’re out!

Create or download a unit study if you’d like – but don’t feel pressured to do every single part of it.

Read great literature at night and maybe even have the kiddos put on a play!

If your kids are little like mine, have them do little “math challenges” during the day – use ears of corn to reinforce addition/subtraction/multiplication skills, work on telling time, or have them count their money and pay for an ice cream cone!

There are so many little ways we can incorporate learning into the day that are natural – and can even be fun! Showing our kids how to find information about the things that interest them is what delight directed learning is all about. It’s also how we can train our kids to make learning a lifelong process.

This continued learning is one reason I have decided to homeschool year round, in addition to being able to take a slightly longer “break” in the spring and winter. When learning is interesting and fun, why keep it confined to September through May?

I’ve talked more about this topic on my personal blog, Homeschooling…On Faith and Coffee. Check out 5 {Summer} Days of Delight Directed Homeschooling - part of iHomeschool Network’s Summer Hopscotch.

I hope you’re inspired to give Delight Directed Homeschooling a try this summer and to keep making your kids’ learning engaging and fun so that they don’t want to take a break from it!

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