Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A B C
When you sing you begin with Do Re Me (Sound of Music, Do-Re-Mi)
In the Sound of Music, Maria is teaching the children how to sing, by starting at the beginning.
The good news is that with delight-directed learning, the beginning is just whenever and however you decide to start. There really are no rules. There’s also no prescribed formula. You can start at the beginning (of the week, or month, or school year). Or . . . you can just start right smack in the middle of whatever you’re currently doing.
That makes some of you nervous, I know. You’re used to a boxed curriculum with pre-set lesson plans, worksheets, and tests. You’re accustomed to starting with A B C, and finishing with X, Y, Z. No interruptions. No veering off the lesson plan.
I don’t want you to be nervous though. This is easy peasy. And fun.
So let me share briefly the story of how we began.
We were using a wonderful “boxed” curriculum. It had all of the elements I thought Ben would love — it was literature-rich, came with fun activities, and was very unit study-ish (a method we had enjoyed earlier in our homeschool journey). It also had what I thought I needed — a daily lesson plan. The curriculum was geography-based, which was an added bonus, because at this time in his young life, Ben was obsessed with maps. We would be traveling the world, learning all about the people, places, animals, and foods of many different cultures. How much fun was this going to be??! I was very excited to have finally found the perfect curriculum.
We started in Canada and all was well until we began learning about the beaver. Ben went beaver nuts. He wanted to know EVERYTHING about the beaver. He read about them, acted like them, and built beaver dams out of Lincoln logs. I impatiently waited for his obsession to end, so we could get back on track. Okay, so I didn’t really wait. I kind of forced him to move on.
Next, we headed to Mexico.
And then it happened again — this time with butterflies.
I could have said no to the butterflies. I could have said we need to move onto China. But something inside me told me to wait this one out. I am so glad I did, because realizing at that moment that what was happening inside of Ben was a growth in his love to learn, and being willing to stop and let that happen, changed everything about our homeschool.
We never looked back. That was our beginning. Our A, B, C, so to speak.
So how do you begin using a delight-directed approach in your homeschool?
The simple answer is, just do it.
Where you are now, or where your children wish to be. Just start brainstorming with your children, ask them what they want to learn, or just listen to what excites them. Make a list, so when you hear something you know will work well, you don’t forget. Start with just one day. Set aside a Friday (or even a Saturday, if that would make you feel better). Make a plan not to plan and go for it.
There are some ideas in yesterday’s article that can help if you need some suggestions of simple, yet tangible, things you can do to get started.
I’ve also written an ebook that is filled with ideas and planning and journaling pages. Click here for more information or to purchase Delightful Planning.