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Homeschooling High School: The Joy of Delight!

When did you start the Delight directed Learning?  Did you find it hard to get through a year-long school course when doing it 4 days a week?  Did you just tell the kids they could do whatever they wanted on the non-school day, or did they have certain things they always did, like going to a class in a homeschool coop?  Did you allow them to watch TV or play video games during the free day?

Dear Diane,

What a GREAT question!  When I speak to groups, I usually try to mention that we homeschooled 4 days a week, and the 5th day was for specialization - also called delight directed learning.  When my kids were young, that 5th day was the day we went skating, swimming, bowling, or to park day for fun.  When my kids got older, that was when Kevin studied chess and taught classes, and Alex studied economics and charcoal drawing.

I think that having a 4 day homeschool can help provide a much-needed "margin" to our busy American lives.  It gives kids a time to be a kid - especially if you have very academic children anyway, they need to be able to lighten-up sometimes!  I don't think it's necessarily for everyone, but it was GREAT for us.  I didn't do a co-op with my children.  Once in a while we would take a class at a local group, just for fun (like "World War 2 Naval Battles" so they could meet other boys their age) but we never used co-ops for their primary courses.

During our fifth day of the week, the boys were still required to get their math and foreign language done.  Later in high school, when I would assign them a week of school at a time, they could choose to do school during that 5th day, so they could take part of Friday off instead.  But the "free day" did come with some rules and regulations.  It was meant for "margin" for "specialization" and independent study.  So there was NO TV allowed - unless it was an educational video from the library.  There was NO COMPUTER or VIDEO GAMES unless those were educational games (as determined by ME, not as determined by them!)   On our "free day," after dad got home they day was the same as every other day, and they got their usual amount of TV and video game privileges.

My husband has written a series of articles about encouraging delight directed learning called "Raising your Own Superheroes" here:
Part 2:  Observing Passion

Part 2:  Catching Fire

Part 3:  Providing Opportunity

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I also have an entire chapter in my transcript book devoted to Delight Directed Learning, and how to incorporate that into a transcript.  Check it out!
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Comments 4

Guest - J W on Saturday, 07 March 2009 06:59

Yeah, but don't let your enjoyment of a nice day at the park be limited to your "fun day." We've been known to take school to the park.

Yeah, but don't let your enjoyment of a nice day at the park be limited to your "fun day." We've been known to take school to the park.
Guest - Lisa (website) on Friday, 06 March 2009 20:01

I like this idea of a 4 day homeschool and a day of delight directed learning. Sometimes that fifth day can be a field trip or a club or a time to get together with other families. I love that homeschooling is flexible enough that we can enjoy a nice day at the park when the weather allows.

I like this idea of a 4 day homeschool and a day of delight directed learning. Sometimes that fifth day can be a field trip or a club or a time to get together with other families. I love that homeschooling is flexible enough that we can enjoy a nice day at the park when the weather allows.
Guest - Lee (website) on Friday, 06 March 2009 08:40

We rarely had our "day off" on Friday. In fact, we sometimes took 1/2 day off one day, and another 1/2 day off on a different day. I don't think it matters what day. I think it just matters that we have enough time for little kids to be little kids - and enough time for teenagers to explore career interests, learn how to love learning, and learn what they like through trial-and-error.
Blessings,
Lee

We rarely had our "day off" on Friday. In fact, we sometimes took 1/2 day off one day, and another 1/2 day off on a different day. I don't think it matters what day. I think it just matters that we have enough time for little kids to be little kids - and enough time for teenagers to explore career interests, learn how to love learning, and learn what they like through trial-and-error. Blessings, Lee
Guest - J W on Friday, 06 March 2009 08:32

The "fun day" (as we call it) doesn't have to be a Friday. If the food bank needs a volunteer on Wednesday and your child wants to do it, then so be it. Homeschool is flexible enough to accommodate that!

The "fun day" (as we call it) doesn't have to be a Friday. If the food bank needs a volunteer on Wednesday and your child wants to do it, then so be it. Homeschool is flexible enough to accommodate that!
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Thursday, 03 December 2020

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