My MIL (who is somewhat of a homeschooling mentor to me) has often talked to me about the idea of "delight directed learning" and I feel as though I am starting to figure out what that looks like just a little bit.
Last week, as I was boiling some water on the stove, my constant observer (4 year old Abbie) said to me, "Mommy, why is all of the steam coming up from the water?"
This one little question sparked a large discussion on the states of matter- gas, liquid and solid. We talked about how water is a liquid, but when we heat it up, it turns into a gas, and that's what steam is. We also discussed how the ice in our freezer is actually solid water, and that's what happens when water gets cold. Who knew it was a science unit in the works?
Since she was still tracking with me, I decided to continue on with this sudden interest, and so I googled a bit and found a website where we could watch educational science videos, made for young children. Sure enough, we found two videos on the states of matter and solid/liquid/gases.
Watching those sparked more interest and discussion, so a few days ago we decided to watch them again and create a poster that shows water in the three different states.
**Abbie gave me ideas of what to draw, and traced all of the printing and I did the oh-so-artistic drawings- can you tell? :)
Next, I think we'll do a couple of little experiments to turn water from liquid to gas and liquid to solid, and back to liquid again. Sounds like fun!
Isn't it amazing how fascinating science can be when it stems out of real life experiences and observations? I'm not sure how well a science lesson on the "states of matter" would normally go over with a 4 year old, but when the interest and motivation comes from her end, look how far it can take us!
Have you found this "delight" principle to be true with your own little learners? How do the other home educating moms out there use this principle to further their children's learning and enjoyment?