Monday, March 11, 2013

Delighted to Learn? Oh yes!

This week a group of us are talking about Delight Directed Learning

I try, when possible to let my children's learning be delight directed, but what exactly does that mean?
Lego Challenge~ make different
 structures with the same bricks

First Rainbow. Painted while
I was in the other room.
Well, for my Littlest delight directed really does mean following his lead. Since he is only 5 years old, I'm a firm believer in letting him be . . . "Five." In my estimation that means allowing him to explore, read, draw, paint, build, play, and do all the things 5 year old children should be doing.

We do a little bit of reading and math, but those are things he enjoys ( he asks to play Ooka Island and do math almost every day, if I haven't brought it up myself).

We also use Five In A Row, which is pretty much delight directed. Sometimes he gets to choose which book we row, and he always enjoys our time reading and exploring (it's also fabulous when everything lines up, like when we rowed Katy and the Big Snow, and got... a BIG Snow! :)

We have a huge number of educational apps on my iPad, many of which are reading and math oriented, with others being more logic and puzzle oriented. Some favorites are Rocket Math, KinderBach Music, and a variety of storybooks, as well as the more typical games.

As they get older it becomes a little more difficult to keep things delight directed, but we do try~ sometimes Middlest gets to choose some science topics (He particularly enjoyed our time reviewing the Physics and Digital Science Task Cards from Creek Edge Press), and we're in the midst of reviewing SuperCharged Science, which is great for delight-directed learning.

For Eldest and Middlest both, sometimes they get some input into what books they will read for Literature or History, but it does get a little harder to incorporate that "Delight" into every day "Math, Science, and Writing."

Thankfully, Eldest enjoys math, and doesn't mind science, so while those aren't totally delightful, whenever she gets excited about something there we try to dig a little deeper. I also enjoy the fact that when she is interested in something nature or art oriented, she just goes for it, with little to no instigation on my part.

Middlest is a researcher extraordinaire . . . when the topic excites him.  MY task becomes turning what he's learning about his current interest into definable schoolwork. This year his interest is fishing, maybe he will write a report on the different kinds of fish found in our state. Make a poster showing what sorts of lures attract which fish... that sort of thing. Create a chart showing what temperatures and weather are optimal for catching each variety of fish.

A couple of years ago he was all about skateboards, so guess what we put together for our Educational Achievement Fair? A tri-fold on the physics of skateboarding, with a display of "Tricks" he could pull with his finger-boards.

By and large, my feeling about delight directed learning is that when a child shows an interest in something, you let them run with it. It doesn't necessarily take over everything school-ish (although that is a possibility at times).

When the kids pull our our kapla blocks and keva planks to build, they are working on engineering and physics skills~ sometimes what they come up with it pretty fun! :) Marble runs and tall towers that look terribly unstable . . . but surprise us by NOT falling down. . . That is delight directed learning!

When we discovered monarch eggs on our milkweed and watched as they hatched and grew into caterpillars, then chrysalis and finally emerged as butterflies... that was delight directed learning.

When the robins decided to build a nest in our window, next to the air conditioner by our back porch, we took pictures every day from building the nest to full fledged baby birds... that was delight directed learning!

Orchid flowers beaded
by eldest, for a friend
Close-up of beaded Orchid
Delight directed learning can be planned: Choose your next book~ Choose your next unit study (Amanda Bennett anyone???), or it can catch you blissfully by surprise the next time your child asks a question about something they've seen, or shows you a project they want to try (Or that they've done without your total knowledge).

What do YOU consider delight directed learning?


For more Teaching Creatively, with Delight Directed Learning.... 

1 comment:

  1. good to read of some of your delights. :)

    annette @ A net in time


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