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How to Give Your Kids a Delightful Education

Like most kids, I went to public school–not delightful education by any means. But I didn’t realize until I was a grown-up with my own kids how incredibly delightful my childhood was. Sometimes I look at my kids and think, this is it…this is their childhood happening right now. And it takes my breath away for a minute. I can only hope that they look back at their days as imaginative little kids as fondly as I do.

My mother’s creativity is boundless. A pile of sticks to her is a tablescape, a sheet is a Halloween costume, a candle is a mood-setter. I remember many October 30th nights going to sleep to the sound of her sewing machine. She set our imaginations in motion and gave us the space and the freedom to create, explore, find beauty, and escape to different worlds nearly every day.

That is what I remember of my childhood–the imaginative delight.

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Do you feel like the magic is missing from your homeschool days? Here's everything you need to create a delightful education for your kids.
 

What is a delightful education?

My definition is this: giving your kids enough space in their day that is unstructured, free, unplanned so that they can find what they really love, do what they are interested in and let their minds grow organically. It’s all about adding mystery, curiosity, creativity, and imagination into their everyday. And that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to plan or do anything at all.

Adding delight to the everyday

Even though I was public schooled, I still had a lot of time in my day to have an imaginative childhood. There was much imagination included in my days as a little girl…from playing store, library, Little House on the Prairie, and making our own potpourri, we were busy children with endless hours of imaginary playtime.
 
My mother didn’t necessarily sit down on the floor and play with us, but what she did do was open the doors in our sometimes idea-less heads to an entire realm of playtime. She would help us set up a “house” under the trees in our backyard with lawn chairs as the beds and the hose with sprinkler setting as the shower stuck up in a branch.
 
She would cut teeny tiny little paper bags out of brown paper so our Barbies could go shopping and get “real” shopping bags.
 
My mother would draw out elaborate menus so we could have our own restaurant or put bowls of Cheerios on the floor for us to play like we were horses with oats.
 
I’m telling you, it was pretty magical, and as soon as I became a mom, I wanted to be a mom just like that.
 
We are all overachievers and sometimes we think that adding these things to our days for our kids requires lots of planning or effort on our part, but it doesn’t really. It’s a good idea to gather some great things for our kids to have at the ready when the mood strikes and then just back up and watch it happen. Give them ideas, resources, and time and let them alone. We try to make things so academic and planned and picture-worthy–but sometimes that spoils it. Just let them be and see what they do.
 

Related: 50 Amazing Tools that Will Add to a Delightful Education

Create an enchanted education in your homeschool with some simple steps.

What does Enchanted Education Look Like Though?

If this idea is new to you, and you’re like me, you probably want some solid examples of what an enchanted education could look like. Here’s some ideas.

Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life

Outdoor Delight

Everyday Ideas

  • Go on field trips–as many as you can.
  • Set aside a few minutes each week to set a pretty table and have a poetry tea. We started doing this this year and it has been so great.
  • Practice strewing. Place things around the house to get your kids interested in learning. Strew about puzzles,  art supplies, educational magazines, fun fandex, and beautiful books they won’t be able to leave alone.
  • Give them audiobooks to play in their room while they’re putting together Legos.
  • Have a family read aloud time.  Light the fire, pass out cocoa and read together. Here is a list of our favorite family read alouds. 
 

Special Occasions for a Delightful Education

  • Start special traditions for birthdays like “donut cake” for breakfast.
  • Let them look forward to receiving a Summer Basket on the last day of school each year.
  • Make May Day baskets and run around to neighbor’s houses, ring the doorbell, and RUN!
  • Have special meals on holidays that you only serve on that day.
  • Do something special for Advent that you repeat every year.

Cozy Bedroom Spaces

  • Help your kids keep their rooms tidy so they have room to play.
  • Make their beds with cozy quilts and soft sheets, enticing them to cozy in at night and read.
  • Create a reading nook. All you really need is a chair or even a few floor pillows and a small space for a stack of books or a bookshelf.
  • Carve out room for your kids to have a desk space in their room. Even an old end table from Goodwill would be fine. Stock it with stickers, envelopes, cheap stationery from the dollar section at Michael’s and give them space to create at their desk–write notes and letters, draw, journal.

These are some things I found when I really looked around our house and thought of things we’ve done in the past. I’m sure you’re doing some of these things and more in your home too. Search for imaginative creativity today. That extra bit of language arts you were going to do this afternoon?

Skip it.

Give them some space to play.

 

Click here for my big list of “tools of delightful education”

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Do you feel like the magic is missing from your homeschool days? Here's everything you need to create a delightful education for your kids.

8 Comments

  1. Pingback: MY FAVORITE POSTS FROM 2015 - Investing Love
  2. I love these suggestions! Unstructured, but minimally guided, playtime is so critical for kids.

  3. i love this so much girly. we just moved from oregon to idaho, partly to give our kids more of this. now we can afford to give them room to run & explore less inhibited than before.

  4. I'm so glad I found your blog! This is amazing. I've been loving your scopes and loving all the resources you've led me to! Praying I get to see you at the conference next month!

  5. I was homeschooled my whole life, and this was a picture of my childhood as well. I love this, and it is absolutely something I want to give my children one day.

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