Delight Directed Learning Book Review by ChristineMM

Friday





Title: Delight Directed Learning

Author: Lee Binz

Genre: Non-fiction, Homeschooling High School

Publication: Self-published

Format: eBook Kindle

My Star Rating: 4 stars = I Liked It

My Summary Statement: A Hodge Podge but I Learned Some Things From It

Binz opens the book explaining that colleges want students who have a passion, who stand out when in a crowd of cookie-cutter school students. I have heard this directly from multiple college admissions officer’s mouths so I know it is true. The way to not have a homeschool high schooler who is a cookie cutter is to do some delight directed learning, Binz feels. Binz defines this as learning a student does out of sheer interest not because it is a required course. In other circles people call this unschooling or interest led or delight driven learning, it’s the same thing no matter what its name.

In this book, Binz is basically recommending a hybrid: getting the college prep basics done while also allowing for room for delight driven courses which make your child a true individual. Actually perhaps I misspoke, Binz suggests to start with the passion topic and see if you can bend it to conform to an honest high school core course, to make the learning as enjoyable as possible. Either way, you can do both core courses and extra-curricular classes as delight-directed learning.

Chapters 1 & 2 are geared toward someone who is not me. This chapter seems to be aimed at parents who only think of homeschooling as school-at-home who have never let their kids do anything that came from their curiosities or interests. She talks here to parents who do not even know who their kids are or what their passions are. Perhaps this is best for parents who have just pulled their kids out of school and have no idea what their child’s interests are? I don’t know who the audience for these chapters is; I’ve never met anyone who falls into that category. What homeschooling parent does not know their child inside and out? I do appreciate her gentle tone here and her suggestion to observe our kids and to be patient while their kids developed over time.

Sometimes in this Coffee Break series Binz contradicts herself or says things that seem just incorrect based on other advice I have heard. She recommends “..if you have a child who is passionate about a sport, give him a grade for his experience”. She does not say how many credits to issue for that sport course. Excuse me but elsewhere we are told to count the sport toward PE which is either ¼ or ½ credit per high school year. Now here she says call it a course for the sport. So does this mean to count it as PE plus count it as a sport class? Also, she fails to discuss counting it as an extra-curricular or the possible issue of “double dipping”.

My favorite part of the book is about how to take a student’s interests and make them a custom designed core course (chapters 4 and 5). I love her sticky-note strategy and realized that my son has multiple partial courses completed, and after talking with him, he wants to do more work to justify the hours for a half or full credit class.

I like Binz’s recommendation “Parents need to find a balance, however. College preparation means you must cover the core classes and at the same time capture delight directed learning.”

The information in this book is a mixture of useful and not useful to me information. I like the tone and the upbeat encouragement and Binz’s open mind so I rate this book 4 stars = I Like It. You may have to learn more about homeschooling high school, college prep or unschooling in order to feel really confident but this is a good starting place.
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