The ABCs of Homeschooling - Letter D


  I'm sure you have noticed, as have I, that most of the time, people are good at what they like and like what they are able to do well.  The converse of that, is that people are usually bad at what they don't like and don't like pursuits at which they are bad.
  We all do things, as adults, that we don't particularly like and/or don't do particularly well.  Our children need to, as well; first, because it is required by law, and secondly to prepare them for said inevitability in life.
  Gregg Harris, a homeschool pioneer, coined the phrase delight-directed study.I remember hearing him talk about it at a homeschool convention.  His suggestion was to do the required subjects in the morning and in the afternoon, pursue learning which is driven by delight.
    I used his principle of desire-driven schooling, but not exactly in the same manner.  For one, my two sons got vocational diplomas instead of academic.  That was a godsend. Both, as an example, completed one year of agricultural science rather than, say, chemistry.  They both raised dairy beef and completed all of the paperwork necessary for participating and competing in 4H. One raised chickens, as well, the other, rabbits. In addition, they did fieldwork. Since their younger sister didn't do fieldwork, but liked to plant flowers, one year her science was horticulture. Our boys also started working in construction while still in school, and that also counted towards their diplomas.
    My sons are both entrepreneurs.  One owns a construction business, the other, lawn care and snow removal.  Homeschool gave them the flexibility to pursue interests that they would have had to wait until after graduation to explore.  Although Ben, the construction business owner, loved wood and tools from the time he was a tot, it took a little longer for Andrew to hone in on a particular area.  At one time, he owned a horse and wanted to become a farrier.  Then he thought he wanted to do excavating. I actually checked into schools for farriers and he talked extensively to a local farrier.  I also talked to the owner of a fairly large excavating company and then we visited a smaller local company.
    My oldest daughter, Tabitha, delighted in being a mother hen.  She helped take care of her younger siblings on a daily basis.  One summer, she volunteered at a Joni and Friends camp.  The camps are set up so that a family who has a member with a disability, can get a break.  Tabitha was well prepared to take on a particularly large family because she had lots of experience in caretaking, including, during her school day.  Ultimately, this caretaking led to a degree in nursing.
    My daughter, Liz, enjoys not only agriculture, but also homemaking.  She is the only one of four daughters who took home economics in school.  My mother taught her to sew and in addition to some clothes for herself, she made a quilt.  Today, she is a full time homemaker.  She and her husband, Jared own a farmette.  She spends her days caring for animals, cooking, baking, and cleaning.  Earlier this week, she came home to go to the greenhouse.  She's planting flowers.
    The most studious and academically gifted of my kids, Rachel, took a second language in high school, just for fun.  Is it any wonder, then, that she ended up joining the Air Force and becoming an Arabic linguist?  Presently, she is pursuing a degree in nutrition.
   It grieves me when I see parents trying to force square pegs into round holes.  For instance, there are those who have their sights set on college, whether their childs giftings or interests lean that way or not. D is for desire.  Have you explored your children's desires?  Why not?


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