While not every subject in school will fascinate your child, we all want our children to delight in learning. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to find enjoyment in subjects that just don’t interest us or greatly confuse us. You were a student once, you know what it’s like! Thankfully, homeschooling provides the freedom to mix up our approach as needed. If your child has had a hard time with a subject, such as science, perhaps shifting your approach to delight-directed learning may be helpful.
As homeschooling parents, we are constantly in search of a homeschool method that is sustainable, efficient, and enjoyable. Consequently, homeschooling involves a lot of trial and error, which can be tiring. That’s particularly why we like the sound of delight-directed learning. Let’s talk about what it is, and how it can be used to invigorate subjects like science!
What is Delight-Directed Learning?
Delight-directed learning, as the name implies, focuses on increasing enjoyment of the subject wherever possible. It is also heavily project-based, which adds to the enjoyment for many students. Most kids love seeing their science come alive with hands-on projects and experiment results! Projects solidify concepts learned and impress the lessons directly.
To homeschool with the delight-directed method, your first step is to figure out what your children are most curious about in the subject. That topic is now your focus for the study! The basic idea is to help your child study that topic for as long as their interest remains, and then switch when they are no longer as fascinated. Encompass these studies with projects, as mentioned, as well as unit studies, field trips, videos, games, books, and more.
With delight-directed learning, you are choosing to focus on what your children are interested in, and create learning moments and opportunities from that interest. The key is to avoid making it into “required work,” which will reduce, if not eliminate, the enjoyment from anything. When you naturally encourage learning about the topics your children are already curious about, they will be learning with delight rather than the trepidation of sitting at a desk and powering through assignments.
For further ideas, here are five more ways you can implement delight-directed learning:
- Online Science Tutorials
- Visit Science and Technology Centers
- Art and Music
- Co-ops/Elective Courses
5 Ways to Teach Science with Delight-Directed Learning
Delight-directed learning can be an excellent way to stoke your child’s curiosity without the academic pressure of “school.” Child-led interest is one of the best ways for your students to learn, and they will likely retain more of the information since they learned it while having fun and exploring their intrigue! However, how does delight-directed learning translate to such a technical and facts-heavy, equation-filled subject like science?
Science, thankfully, doesn’t have to be based on rote memorization and technical jargon. While that is the medium most often relied on for science lessons, that does, unfortunately, leech the fun from the study. Here are a few ways you can revitalize your child’s view of science and provide them with enjoyment once more!
- Projects, projects, projects. We mentioned that delight-directed learning thrives on projects, and a science study is a perfect example! Science courses often incorporate weekly or monthly experiments and labs anyway, so clearly, it is a subject meant to be hands-on. Perhaps try a simple project, craft, or exploration for each lesson covered!
- Ask what they like about science. Even if your children automatically respond with “nothing” because they adamantly avoid it, press farther. Do they like collecting leaves? Do they like insects? What about stars? What about helping people feel better? There are so many aspects of science, you’re bound to find something that at least prompts a shrug with an “It’s okay.” That’s your green light!
- Steer clear of the textbook. I know, I know; how can they learn science without textbooks? Instead, look for YouTube videos. Library books, preferably fiction. Writing prompts, if your child likes to write. Art projects. Online Wikihows and tutorials. You could probably even find a National Geographic-related film!
- If you’re going to use a textbook, let them choose. It’s understandable if you’d prefer to still use a textbook as your base or at least the spine of your science studies. To still incorporate delight-directed learning, consider letting your child choose the textbook/topic that interests them most!
- Field Trips. There are numerous science-related field trips available! Consider visiting a science-center in your state, a space museum, or a local university, to name a few.
By shifting to a delight-directed learning approach, you are helping your child own their education, without the pressure of it feeling like required schoolwork. Learning happens best when it’s through curiosity and enjoyment, and the information will likely be retained for far longer! We hope this helped give you an introduction to the world of the delight-directed method, as well as provide inspiration for marinating science with fascination and wonder.