While pregnant with my first child, Mr. Senior 2013, I was inspired by an article that encouraged homeschoolers to avoid a bookish routine in favor of real-life learning. However, out of fear, public popularity, and because I thought delight directed interest-led homeschooling meant wild abandon of any worthwhile learning, I followed with strict allegiance a bookish routine.
Then, as my sons grew and our lack of real-life learning lagged, I made a scary leap to interest-led learning.
It was scary because I was comfortable in my Nazi teacher approach.
I never felt like a nature loving or craft loving mother which was my impression of interest-led homeschooling. Lame, I know.As my love for teaching grew and realizing that my sons were in an apprenticeship for life, my day to day teaching lacked real-life application.
Soon after, I switched to a unit study approach which is based on mastery of interest-led topics.
Interest-led learning is the fuel that sparks lifelong learning.
Let me back up first and try to capture a simple meaning of interest-led and delight directed learning.
Interest-led and delight directed for our family means using a child’s natural love of learning to pursue subjects that spark his love of learning. Not the other way around. Academic subjects are centered around a child’s passion and then they take on life.
Although public school touts mastery, the truth of it is just the opposite.
A child never explores any passion in depth but is expected to be a jack of all trades or skills. He ends up master of none.
My switch to an interest-led unit study approach reminds me of the quote from Greg Harris which is indelibly imprinted in my memory.
A delight directed study is like a wonderful fire in the mind of a student. It starts small, but as it grows, it begins to consume vast amounts of information until it bursts into a roaring blaze of insight, understanding and creativity. It takes on a life of its own.
It doesn’t mean that there is no discipline or schedule which I thrive in, but it means guidance by the parent. It’s not indulgent, but reactive.
After I switched to interest-led homeschooling using lapbooks as our projects, it has been one choice I’ve never regretted for a moment.
I do regret lingering around the bookish approach for the first 5 years of my journey. Hopefully, you won’t make my same mistake.
To help you make the leap to interest-led and delight directed homeschooling, I’ve rounded up 19 blogs that I follow and you should too which emphasize this approach.
I’ll let each one introduce herself and tell you a bit about her blog.
Delight Directed Homeschooling
►I’m Rachel, and I blog at You’ve Got This Math.
I believe that math should be fun and hands -on. You’ve Got This Math focuses on ways to build number and fraction sense with free printables.
►I’m Susan Evans, and I blog at Susan Evans I love unit studies, themed cakes and parties, skits, re-enactments, and anything hands-on!
►I celebrate the homeschool lifestyle and frequently talk about learning through travel and adventures at This Crazy Homeschool Life.
►Hello! Hola! 你好！My name is Eva. My blog, Eva Varga focus centers around middle school science, specifically hands-on activities, service learning experiences, and project based learning – Minecraft and philatelic exhibits.
Additionally, we strive to expand our understanding of the world through our own cultural heritage and the exploration of diverse cultures (language studies and global travel).
►Hey hey! My name is Amy & I blog at Rock Your Homeschool.
My unique slant is to use Dr. Seuss to teach a love of reading. Also, I use Life of Fred for math learning fun. My five boys & I use brain breaks to keep our homeschool moving.
►Hi! My name is Joan and I write at Unschool Rules.
My unique slant it that we have used movies, video games and life learning as the basis for our entire high-school curriculum for my now 17-year-old daughter, and have a college-accepted transcript to show for it!
►Hey, hey! I’m Tiffany and I blog at Homeschool Hideout.
We are lazy homeschoolers so we like to binge-watch educational shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. We can cover everything from science and history to problem solving, without ever leaving the couch!
►Hi! My name is Colleen. I write all about raising kids to be lifelong learners through interest-led, hands-on homeschooling and parenting with a heavy focus on science, the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional kiddos, and cultivating creativity in all kids.
You’ll find monthly themed book and game lists, Minecraft challenge calendars, and loads of hands-on experiments on Raising Lifelong Learners and conversations with parents on our podcast — launching January 15th.
►Hello! My name is Jenny and I blog at Faith and Good Works. Our homeschool uses free internet resources for unit studies.
Hi, I’m Ginny, and I offer authentic, hands-on writing experiences to help parents create a culture of writers (and thinkers) at home.
►I blog at Not So Formulaic.
►Hello, my name is Sheila, publisher of Brain Power Boys.
My unique slant is that our site has a lot of hands-on learning projects geared specifically toward boys. We focus on things they like, such as LEGO, Minecraft, Star Wars and topics which include pirates, robots, dinosaurs, knights and more to help them learn reading, science, history, math and other subjects a fun and natural way.
►I’m Ashley, and I love creating thematic unit studies.
We use a variety of resources from fun hands-on activities and great literature to movies and media. My goal is to inspire a love of learning and enrich our studies in every subject from math and science to history and grammar! Please join me in The Homeschool Resource Room!
►I have a lot of nature study ideas on my blog, The Usual Mayhem.
►Hi, I’m Sara and I blog at Embracing Destiny. We focus on delight directed, literature-rich (living books) studies in our homeschool.
I’ve created some free Interest Inventory printables to encourage others to follow their child’s interests to foster a lifelong love of learning. We enjoy hands-on creative projects like lapbooking, notebooking, and unit studies. You can find my Ultimate Guide to Delight Directed Homeschooling cornerstone post here.
How to Make Your Homeschool Specialized
►Hi I’m Tricia Hodges at Chalk Pastel. We are a multi-generational homeschooling family.
My mother, Nana, my children and I are passionate about helping all ages lose insecurities and realize that yes, indeed, you ARE an artist. We JUST use chalk pastels and paper. No long, intimidating art supply list. Build confidence, choose favorite subjects and have FUN. We show you how with video art lessons, Facebook Live lessons and so much more to choose from. It’s not just one more thing to do, it’s a great way to make what you are already doing MORE fun while growing a LOVE of art! Art really does complement and help all other subjects.
►This is Ticia here, and over at Adventures in Mommydom I have three unique learners that keep me on my toes.
To stay ahead we cook our way around the world (with mixed results), read book and see how horribly the movie messed up the book, and use LEGOs to recreate history lessons (as well as a few other things). It’s learning adventures at the speed of fun.
►Hi, I’m Cindy West from Our Journey Westward. Teaching creatively is a top priority to meet the needs of my unique children and that’s exactly what I write about on the blog.
Active children excel through nature-based science activities . Reluctant writers blossom with picture book lessons. Struggling learners and those with attention issues make giant leaps through brain training games. And those are just a few examples of the creative learning ideas you’ll find at Our Journey Westward!
►Hi! My name is Pat Fenner and I blog at Breakthrough Homeschooling where I encourage and equip homeschooling parents of teens to homeschool through high school.
I believe in using life-learning and interest-led studies as a basis for a high school curriculum, and am convinced that college isn’t the only path to a successful future!
Then of course, I would love for you to follow my blog! Click below!
You’ll never teach your child everything he needs to know before he graduates, but you’ll teach him how to find out anything he wants to.
I know you’ll love these other super helpful tips!
- Homeschooling STARTS When You STOP Caring What Others Think
- 4 Undeniable Reasons People Hate Homeschooling (Keep It Real)
- The Big List of Unit Study Hands-on (and Hands-off) Curriculum
Hugs and love ya,