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"Mom, I need a friend to come over who likes to look at clouds."
Oh, how I love my children. They say the most insightful things, and at the most perfect moments, too.
Moments like this make me thank GOD I am a homeschooling mom. I'm so glad I don't have to miss these sweet things my kids come up with.
(When we learned the news of the bombings in Boston, and that one of the victims was an 8 year old boy just like my Grant it put some perspective on my week. We prayed for that precious little boy and for his family. Never take a minute with your children for granted.)
We've been reading aloud A LOT this week, and since the weather has been so beautiful we have been sitting on the deck.
The kids alternate between laying on the box that houses the deck cushions and a quilt I lay out on the deck. In the middle of Blood on the River, my son starts talking to us about the clouds, how they are moving, and how he needs a friend to come over - not just to play LEGOS or baseball, but just to watch the clouds.
We stopped reading about Jamestown for a few minutes, talked about the clouds and friends, and then went back to our book.
What is Delight Directed Learning?
I've always heard the term and knew that we are delight direted learners at certain points in time in our homeschool.
This week I started reading a book by Lee Binz: Delight Directed Learning: Guide Your Homeschooler Toward Passionate Learning. (As of this writing, the book is FREE for Kindle!)
Lee Binz defines Delight Directed Learning as:
Delight directed learning is when a person pursues learning about a topic because they take great delight in it, and not just because it's a required course. From a homeschoolers' perspective, delight directed learning has to do with fostering a love of learning and a lifelong learning style that's important for children, so they become people who can adapt to any situation.
That last part about adapting to any situation spoke to me. This is what I want for my kids.
So yes, while I do "require" them to do the math, grammar, spelling, writing, and history of my choosing, there is wiggle room within our schedule for many delight directed studies.
This week was a perfect example.
Delight Directed Learning: Flight
My 8 year old son has been very interested in flight. It started with a paper airplane obsession.
It was then fueled by a librarian (whose husband is also a pilot) talking to him about flight.
When our pastor's wife gave him a balsa wood glider that really got him interested.
I knew it was time for a unit study about flight.
Each day this week I presented a different resource about flight to Grant (with the Wright Brother's Unit Study, from Confessions of a Homeschooler, being the centerpiece). He's had such a great time.
Resources we used:
- The Wright Brothers: Inventors Whose Ideas Really Took Flight
- The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane
- Nova documentary: Wright Brothers' Flying Machine
- Balsa Wood Glider
- Star Wars Folded Flyers
- and a HUGE box of paper!
Delight Directed Learning: Money & Economics
My 11 year old daughter has had a lot of questions recently about money, banks, governent, wages, how money is made, etc...
Truthfully, they are questions I had as well - and I think many adults are lacking in basic economic knowledge.
Last year a friend at co-op had talked about the book, Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?, so Anna and I thought this would make a great unit study for her.
We've been learning SO MUCH through this very clear and concise book! I found a printable study guide with questions at Homeschool Share, and put it in a folder for Anna as a guide.
You can see her in the collage above standing on a kitchen chair giving a speech. She had to pretend she was running for the senate and needed to tell the voters "what they wanted to hear". That was funny.
You see, politics and economics are intertwined.
I can't wait for us to start Whatever Happened to Justice? next!
Anna also learned about the history of coins/tokens and how our current system dates back to Ancient Rome. We inspected coins and bills and pulled out our trusty play cash register (which has been worth it's weight in gold!).
We had some very frank discussions about the economy, the government and debt. My husband works in the debt counseling industry, so this is a subject near and dear to our hearts.
Resources We Used:
- Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?
- Study Guide from Homeschool Share
- Play cash register and play money
God Made Little Boys
This week we also had a great outing with friends.
My son is around 2 girls all the time - his sister and me! Sometimes we don't allow him to be all that God has created him to be. There may be times when we discourage messes, dirtiness, and downright silliness.
I'm learning, however, that my little guy has the NEED to be the boy God created him to be! I'm trying to provide him more opportunities with his friends and just more chances to be a BOY.
(What's funny is that his 11 year old sister had a great time with the boys, too!)
1. "Can you take a jumping in the air picture of us?"
2. Teamwork: rolling a log to the lake
3. Our friend caught a frog. I cannot believe I even got close enough to take a picture. He sure loved it, though.
4. We saw several of these snakes - looked like babies to me.
5. I guess this is a slug...again - ewww...
6. Anna coordinating a massive "log roll" - the other boys love her because they don't have a big sister!
"Elevenses": A Morning Routine That WORKS!
Finally, I want to share with you one thing that made our week WORK wonderfully!
I read about this last week at my friend Ellen's blog. Read The Lovely and Useful Tradition of The Elevenses to learn more.
Basically, I told my kids that if they got up on time, did their essentials (math, piano, spelling, writing, grammar, and history) diligently and cheerfully, that we would break at 11:00 a.m. for a sweet snack.
Wow. (Oh, did you know "Wow" is a Native American word? We learned that this week!) Talk about cheerful, hard workers! I was SO proud of my children.
One morning (the day Anna has a math class about 30 minutes away from us) we weren't home at 11:00. They had Goldfish in the van at 11:00 - didn't want to miss their tradition!
My son is always up early, but for my daughter she had her alarm go off at 7:30 each morning. After showers, etc... we gathered for breakfast around 8:15 and did our two devotions: Grace for The Moment and Jesus Calling. (We tried to make healthy breakfasts this week - oatmeal and blueberries was the favorite!)
Devotions were followed by CNN Student News (we LOVE this resource!).
Next the basics were completed by each child and then at 11:00 they were rewarded. It's amazing how a sweet treat, a cup of tea (or glass of milk), and a good book will motivate children.
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This Week on the Blog
Why You Can't "Standardize Children" - Another Reason to Homeschool - This post received lots of views and comments. I wrote about testing from my heart and shared our story of standardized testing.
I hope you link up your weekly photo collage post! Please remember to include photo collages. Also, link back to this post or include the Collage Friday button (in my sidebar) in your post. Once you have signed the linky, please visit others on the list to gain ideas and offer encouragement. I love the Collage Friday community! (I reserve the right to delete any links that don't comply with the guidelines.)