pattern block creation Elijah constructed in his free time
Getting the hang of this delight-directed thing is still hard for me. I don’t know if I make it harder than it is, or if I just like to agonize over my child’s education. Probably both! But, I’m learning. Here are some of the things I’ve gleaned from the past few months.
1. My son has great ideas.
It’s okay to let go and let him lead the way. He is choosing great things to learn about. He is also learning how to fill his days with profitable activities.
2. Delight directed learning goes slow.
We don’t "cover" as much as we did before, but he’s exploring and learning things I would’ve never introduced. These things are really sinking in. Slowly, but surely! It’s better to go at his pace than mine. 🙂
3. I have to keep a journal in order to feel accomplished.
In the midst of the day, I feel like Elijah does a lot. But at the end of the month, I feel that we’ve done nothing unless I keep track of what he’s doing. My friend, Helen, suggested I keep a journal, and it has made a huge difference. When I look back through a written record, I don’t feel anxious about his education.
4. Delight-directed doesn’t mean my hands are completely off of my son’s learning. He will come to me and tell me what he wants to learn about. He determines the subjects and topics, but I put different options on the table. He chooses what he likes and we go from there. It’s kind of like this–
Elijah: Mom, I’m hungry.
Me: What are you hungry for?
Me: Would you like them mashed, baked, boiled, or fried, OR do you just want to eat them plain?
And he decides.
And we go from there.
5. The Delight-directed approach is not the same as unschooling. Elijah doesn’t determine what his entire day looks like. We still do math and language lessons daily. Elijah is still memorizing scripture and has critical thinking exercises to do. Someone asked if we still use workboxes. We do. I don’t fill very many, but the must-dos are in his boxes (usually 3-6, depending on the day).
I am certainly not an authority on this type of learning, but I do want to share my experience in case in might help someone else along in their journey. We’re just going to keep cruising through our adventure.