‘Delight’ is the ideas, activities and interests that spark the child’s enthusiasm and ability to learn something new. (Partial quote from Robin Sampson, Heart of Wisdom)
I had previously thought that delight-directed learning was subject orientated. That if I could only find a subject that interests my child then I can centre their education around this subject and they would dig deep, learn a lot and become an ‘expert’ in their chosen field of passion. I am now seeing that Delight directed is a tool that I have in my hand to enable my children to learn.
I have had a fresh understanding of my job as teacher. God has given me the task of teaching my children. This isn’t a task God gave me when we decided to homeschool – this was assigned to me when my first child was born. As a parent, I have the God given task to teach, to train, to disciple our children. If I was to think outside of the parameters of homeschooling, and consider a personal trainer, or a mentor, or a teacher it is they who decide what their student learns. Why? Because they are the older, the wiser, the more experienced in whatever it is that the student needs to learn. This is the same in our family; I am older, wiser, and more experienced in God, than my children. It is from this perspective that I can direct their studies with confidence.
What they learn is up to me – the teacher. God has commanded me to teach my children of His ways, He has also required me, the parent, to train up my child in the way he should go. I understand this to mean, that I can recognise the bents, inclinations, passions, talents etc that God has put in my child when he/she was formed. From a Jewish perspective (which is the culture in which the Proverb was originally written) I, the parent, not only can recognise but MUST recognise these things in my children, in order to fulfil my God-given duty as a parent.
The proverb says that we should train our children ‘in the way he should go’. Jewish understanding doesn’t split their spiritual life from their physical life. The way he should go incorporates his work and his worship. It is one and the same; we are preparing our children for a life of Worship and Service to their God.
I believe that we are preparing each of our children for whatever situation they may find themselves in, in years to come. Peter and I have therefore, a prescribed set of required learning – Bible, Relationships (with God, Family and others), Character, life skills and general knowledge. As it becomes clearer what situations each of our children will find themselves in (due to the bents etc placed in them by God for His purposes) we will then be able to tailor their course of study to prepare them for that event. At this point, when we do have some direction, is when we start to prepare them to be an ‘expert’ in their chosen fields of interest. Until this is apparent we can only prepare for them with a broad scope of God’s Word and Gods World to lay a foundation for their future life and choices.
Visit Sarah at Heart and Soul Homeschooling to learn more about Delight-Directed Learning