Delight-Directed Homeschooling Success Story


Guest post by Lelia Rose Foreman.

Many years ago at a homeschool convention, I heard a speaker (possibly Gregg Harris) talk about delight-directed schooling. I would have loved that back when I attended public school, growing depressed as every miserable second ticked by filled with stuff that interfered with what I wanted to do: Learn! I felt I had a chance to do better by my children.

I wasn’t sure, though, that I was doing better for my boys. I read books and attended conventions in desperate hope I would find the key to help my oldest child learn something, anything.

Delight-Directed Homeschooling Success Story at

ALL my son wanted to do was play video games and draw. He spent every second he could escape at a neighbor’s house playing those stupid games. In an effort to keep him at home at least sometimes, we bought a Nintendo. Now the neighbor kids came to our house and spent hours every day playing video games. And my son continued to resist any real education.

As the delight-directed speaker talked about how a love of baseball could be integrated into history, math, composition, reading, geography, and more, I racked my brain, trying to think how Metroid could fit into anything but hand-eye coordination and socialization with the neighbors.

I went home, still mulling over the problem. At home, I picked up a Nintendo Power magazine we had subscribed to since THAT he would read voluntarily. I flipped through the pages and skimmed the Letters To The Editor. Lightning struck. I gave my oldest the assignment to write a business letter a month to Nintendo Power until they published his letter. I figured that would be a standing assignment good for a few years.

They published his third letter.

So, where are we now? At age forty, my son is respected and well-known as an artist at Arenanet working on GuildWars, an online multi-player game filled with gorgeous images. Thousands of people watch his podcast and YouTube interviews and sculpting tutorials. He and I are collaborating on a young adult science fiction series which we hope to start publishing next year. (I am having a wonderful time with the collaboration.) He reads books far too difficult for me to follow about philosophy and ludonarrative theory.

The boy who used to groan when I gave him books for Christmas now has an entire long wall filled with books from floor to ceiling.

I may have done all right by him.

Have you incorporated delight-directed learning into your homeschool?



About the Author:

Lelia Rose Foreman

Lelia Rose Foreman has raised and released five children, one of them severely autistic. She and her dentist husband have retired to Vancouver, WA, the city on the Columbia River, not the one in British Columbia. She is the author of Shatterworld, a middle grade science fiction. If you should read the book and leave a review on Amazon, she would be extremely grateful.

Save 25% on Delightful Planning in October

A Word From Our Sponsors

Write Through the Bible Junior
Read the next post: »

Hands-on Science with the Magic School Bus


The Magic School Bus books have long been a favorite for elementary science. Raise your hand if you wished you’d had a teacher like Ms. Frizzle when you were in school!  Well, you can have the chance to be Ms. Frizzle to your kids with these fun, hands-on science kits featuring the Magic School Bus.

SPECIAL OFFER: Through the end of the week you can receive 50% OFF a year’s subscription through Educents… and FREE shipping in the Continental United States! Ships to Canada for $2/month. This deal is amazing… just $10 per month, DELIVERED!
If you have children (ages 5-12) who enjoy the Magic School Bus books or videos–and if you like doing science experiments with them–then you’ll LOVE The Magic School Bus Science Club!
Developed by a team of Harvard graduates, scientists, and educators, the award-winning Magic School Bus Science Kits are delivered monthly right to your doorstep. Children will explore science through experiments that will spark an interest and curiosity in science. Each kit includes a colorful manual based on The Magic School Bus characters, as well as everything you need to complete at least seven experiments related to that month’s theme.
What is included?
1 year subscription includes 12 Magic School Bus kits + FREE SHIPPING in the Continental USA (Ships to Canada for $2/month). Each kit includes:

  • Detailed, large 12-page colorful manual that is full of experiments and topic information
  • Each manual is based on the popular Magic School Bus books and TV series
  • Includes an adult section so that adults with no science background will find the kits easy to use
  • Materials and information necessary for a range of interactive experiments
  • Online Clubhouse for further exploration on each kit topic
  • Certificate of Completion
Kit Topics:
Would your family have fun with this? If so, now’s a great time to sign up: Through the end of the week you can receive 50% OFF a year’s subscription through Educents… and FREE shipping in the Continental United States! Ships to Canada for $2/month. This is an incredible deal! It’s just $10 per month, DELIVERED! The first kit will ship on September 15th! You can even create and print off your own gift cards to let your children know about the surprise.
Enjoy your exploration alongside Ms. Frizzle!

Deal ends Sept. 8th at midnight!


Sara (92 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.

A Word From Our Sponsors

An Elementary Writing Curriculum
Read the next post: »

Do We Get In the Way?

The last week of May I was blessed to attend LER’s Spring Awakening 2015. It was a morning spent as a student of the Truth Beauty Goodness community in Minnesota. It was a one day event that I drove many miles to attend. It was worth it. This post is my attempt to share something I learned that is paramount to educating.

As teachers, we must not get in the way of the student learning.

Do We Get in the Way? Allowing our Children to Learn Authentically

It’s tough, I know, for mothers and fathers who homeschool, as well as parents who choose public school. We all want what is best for our children. Even teachers in traditional school settings really want what’s best for the students. It really starts with how we perceive children.

Children are born persons. {Principle #1}

Of course- we think- they are little human beings with the same physical makings as adults, only smaller. But they are not miniature adults. Nor are they the genetic code that decides if they have red curly hair or straight black hair. Or that suggests a child will have a particular temperament.


They are more than miniatures of their parents and inherited traits. They are persons in their own right.

The child’s mind is not a blank slate or vessel to be filled. It is a living thing, relying on knowledge to grow. {Principle #9}

The mind feeds and grows on ideas; it grows like the body grows through nourishment. The mind does not require training to learn, much as healthy lungs do not require external assistance to breathe in and out.

children learn

It is not our business to teach him all about anything, but to help him to make valid the ideas he holds as they match the experiences he encounters. {Principle #12}

They are capable of making their own connections with knowledge and experiences. They have ‘hooks’, as do we all, with which to hang ideas and notions based on past experiences and knowledge. When they encounter new situations or information, they take down the ideas from the hooks and analyze the new situation through them.

But they can be influenced. This is where it is important to not get in the way and make it more about us than them. If we believe them to be persons, capable of learning, we will be sure to not crush this. Here are some ways that we can get in the way.

  • Fear/love– Children trust and love their parents and teachers. It might be more obvious why we should not use fear to motivate our children to learn but love can be just as dangerous in this situation. When we push children to learn because of their love for us they do not learn for themselves. They can languish if there is not someone to learn for; if there is not someone to smile upon them when they do as they should. They become merely what those who love them wish them to be, or what the student thinks the teacher wishes them to be. Their personality is squashed and they live for the smiles, or languish at the averted eyes.
  • Suggestion/influence– I believe these are the two most often used tactics in public schools today. Educators hold the philosophy that the teacher is superior and an expert; the student cannot possibly know what to do without suggestion or influence. However, by using suggestion or influence, the student comes to depend on that for their every task. I have been quite guilty of both suggestion and influence. There have been times that, due to my previous overly suggestive or influential actions or comments, that my child could not make a decision or think clearly about a concept without suggestions or influence from me. This does not help the child, it hinders.
  • Emotions/desires– This is the tactic of enticing the child to achieve a grade or a status based on their learning. It could get them into a special group or allow them special privilege to do or not do a particular task. It is tied with ‘learning’ but it can be dangerous as well. This tactic can and often does produce children that are more concerned with attaining that reward, having that status, than to know. When they are presented with the opportunity to learn for the sake of learning, they will pass it by if there is no emotion or desire fulfilled.

Each of the above mentioned tactics to get the child to learn are actually hinderances because they present something other than actual learning as the goal.

Are there ways that you feel teachers, and by that I mean parents, get in the way of learning for their children? How do you think we can step back and help instead?



North Laurel (26 Posts)

Blossom- "North Laurel" to the online world- lives in Ohio with her husband and two teens, homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way with Ambleside Online. She is graciously allowed to be a moderator for the Ambleside Online Forum. North Laurel loves to read, be on the computer, and learn. You can read her blogging about homeschooling, book reviews and life in general at North Laurel Home & School.

A Word From Our Sponsors

An Elementary Writing Curriculum
Read the next post: »