Basic Intro to


Delight-Directed Learning


by Barb Shelton




Many homeschooling moms attempting to implement Lifestyle of Learning principles into their homes and lives often find themselves confused, frustrated, and full of questions. One such mom said "I am trying to implement more delight-directed learning with my son, but he seems to get nothing done if I don't give him a schedule to follow."


Early on, I had many "mis-impressions" of not only "delight directed learning" but also of "lifestyle of learning."  As moms who have been in the traditional school system all our lives, we are very much in need of a fuller understanding of what "delight-directed" means, not to mention what "education" means! This is part of the "renewing of the mind" that needs to take place in each of us if we are to enjoy God's freedom and fullness in truly educating our children.


First, just to clear up the usual mis-impression, "delight-directed" does not mean "flesh-directed." It simply means that as much of the child's education as possible is built on his/her interests and delights rather than on generic text/workbooks and/or a curriculum company’s scope and sequence.


It does not mean you just let your kids indulge in doing anything and everything that delights them! Godly child training is involved, which includes a disciplined – not haphazard – lifestyle. Surprisingly to many, Marilyn's family usually operates within a flexible routine. It is not rigid or packed with artificial methods of learning. Rather, their home and lives are orderly, and they accomplish much. There is beautiful fruit in their lives, and their home is peaceful. Read Develop a Lifestyle Routine for much more insight and practical help on this.


Getting to know your children is also of prime importance in approaching "delight-directed learning," which entails seeing them with new eyes. These "delights" we are talking about are not just toward things – like Legos or dolls or bikes or birds or computers or... whatever. We need to look at our children more closely, beneath the surface, and begin to understand what makes them tick. To do this, we may need new "eyes" and new understanding. What is it about whatever they naturally gravitate toward doing that is really motivating them?  What is truly the inner delight of their life? The answers will give you clues as to what God created them for; not just to be a parent and procreate, which can certainly be part of their God-ordained purpose, but there’s more!...


What unique "thing" did God breathe into your child that He wants to bring to life, perhaps unearth from beneath that pile of curriculum, and develop for His purpose – part of His reason for creating them and placing him on earth!? God has "works that He prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." What are those unique "works" He prepared for your child? For you? As you begin to understand this more fully – and walk in it yourself as you enter a deeper relationship with God – you will begin seeing everything differently! And it will naturally overflow to your children! New delights in all of you will begin to blossom! New purpose! New interests! Let God take you by the hand and open a whole new world to you and your family. But you have to begin with letting go of the "old."


Be sure to read the section on delight-directed learning in Wisdom’s Way of Learning. Actually, it is vital that the whole book is read (several times, even) as you embark on this journey, as taking off and continuing with only a superficial understanding of "delight-directed," or with having heard a few terms tossed around, will not get you where you want to go. There is a much bigger picture.







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