Creative Homeschooling: Don’t Say No!

Don't Say No! Encouraging Creativity and Interest-Based Learning | Our Journey Westward

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Don’t Say No??

I’m not talking about discipline here – I’m talking about building creative, independent, interested, motivated learners!

I have my plans for this little guy each day.  Those plans include Bible, phonics, math, science, history and the like.  We get most of those things done most days.  Some days, however, Eli (6) is just so enthralled with something that the plans change and we fly with his interests down a road filled with learning and enthusiasm.

Those days are awesome.

Enter creative homeschooling. Some people choose to call this delight-direct learning, while others call it interest-based learning.  Either way, the fruits that come from these moments are beyond cool.

An Example: Pioneers

Don't Say No!  Encouraging Creativity and Interest-Based Learning

1 A pioneer settlement.  One day Eli asked if he could use his various Cowboy and Indian toys to build a pioneer home.  Piles of dirt and rocks from outside were all of the sudden brought into the house and placed on a cookie sheet as the setting for this settlement.  Sigh – I never said interest-based learning wasn’t messy!

2 A perfectly organized desk.  After explaining all the details of his pioneer settlement to me, he said, “Mom, can we learn more about pioneers?”  Before we could jump in, though, (in classic delight-directed style) he had to organize his desk first.  It’s at these times (that seem to take forever, make a bigger mess, and seem worthless to parents) that it would be easy to nip the enthusiasm in the bud.  Resist that urge!

3 Books.  We went to our history book shelf and he helped me pick out several of our pioneer books.  We immediately had to read three or four of them. 

4 Drawings.  While reading, we learned how pioneers usually had to cut their own trees for lumber.  He wanted to know how lumber is harvested now-a-days.  I pulled out the iPhone and we did a little search.  He was intrigued.  The next day, while I was working with the big kids on school, he set out to draw a lumber truck.

5 Lots of drawings.  This led to picture after picture of things he relates to pioneers.  So many that he made his own pioneer art book.

6 A Gun Shop.  After reading more pioneer books and continually searching “rabbit trail” questions on the internet, he decided to create his own pioneer gun and ammo shop.  Of course, this led to dramatic play, counting money and more.

The Rest of It Didn’t Matter Much

So what if we skipped a couple days worth of math and phonics lessons?  Think about all the knowledge and real-life learning this little man was soaking up!  If at all possible, DON’T SAY NO the next time your kiddos want to dive into a subject that isn’t written in your plan book.  You might be surprised at how rich and wonderful the learning time is!

Two More Examples of Creative Homeschooling

Early Elementary Technology Project

Science Notebooking with Microscopes

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