Heart of Wisdom Publications:
Here is a sample of our homeschool day. Our study took on a life of its own going in several unplanned directions (lessons running a muck is norm for us).

Sample of a Delight Directed Homeschool Day

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Here is a sample of our homeschool day. Our study took on a life of its own going in several unplanned directions (lessons running a muck is norm for us).  Click on images to view larger images.

This morning (teaching two boys, ages 6 and 7) we read The Narrated Bible “The Final Week: Monday” (pp1442-1443)

We spent a few minutes on Jesus cursing the fig tree which lead us into a discussion of fruit and fruit trees. We touched on, but did not go into detail on, the barrenness of the priests and the house of Israel.

We spent a few minutes on Jesus clearing the temple and a discussion of money changers and unfair weights and balances (something I was recently studying so I shared what I was learning).

When we got to the part where Jesus explained “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it only remains a single seed.” This started my wheels turning. We have been saving watermelon seeds for planting. I was not ready to plant so we just discussed seeds, planting, vines, types of watermelons, and Jesus’ sayings about the seed. I bought them to the dining table. We discussed the seed dying, estimated the number of seeds and compared the size of a watermelon to the seed.

The boys copied “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it only remains a single seed.” for writing practice (copywork).

Meanwhile I went out to the barn to find a piece of wheat to illustrate the lesson. I usually see wheat in the hay but today couldn’t find one piece. So I went on the Internet to print a picture of wheat. The next two-plus hours turned into a science/history/language lesson on farming methods and the evolution of grinding mills.

I found and printed an image of wheat and a threshing tractor. As soon as I found the tractor, I knew I had hit pay dirt and could expand this into a delight-directed study as both boys are tractor crazy.

I used Google video search (which is quickly becoming part of our school day) to find several online videos on threshing and grinding wheat and corn. Each video is only a few minutes so we watched several.

  • Threshing wheat in India
  • Threshing at a farm museum thatching straw
  • Threshing beans with a combine harvester (patented in 1834)
  • Threshing wheat in the Middle Ages with a stick
  • A snake coughing up a hippo (OK, not related, but the boys found it fascinating!)
  • Grinding whole wheat (electric mill)
  • Threshing wheat in 12th century England
  • Water wheel powered grain mill
  • Ancient Indian wheat grinding machine
  • 1905 corn grinding machine
  • Hmong woman grinding corn with stones
  • Grinding corn with a gas engine
  • Several modern tractors and threshing combines demos

We used Google image search to find images of threshing, milling and tractors. We used methods and Scrapbooking to Learn methods and Scrapbook Max software to create scrapbook pages showing changes in threshing and milling from Bible times to modern times.

David remembered a book on tractors and got it so we could examine the combine harvester. This lead to another Google image search and two more scrapbook pages of the steam engines and the modern combine harvester.

As the boys worked on the scrapbook pages, I read the book Johnny Appleseed aloud. I had the book out from the day before (ran out of time to read it) and had no idea it would fit with today’s Bible/history/science study.

When the boys finished the scrapbook pages they started playing the interactive game “How Things Work In Busytown.” Huckle and Lowly and other characters build a tractor, harvest wheat, mill the wheat, grind it into flour, and measure it to bake bread. I have to admit it would have been even better to grind my own wheat and bake fresh bread to wrap up the theme. But I gave my electric wheat grinder to my daughter years ago (no time to bake since I started writing. I now buy bread).

The reminder of our school day was structured with phonics and math.

This is pretty much a typical delight-directed day school day. We always start with Bible. Our phonics and math times are structured workbook time. And I have a large pile of history- and science-type books (like Johnny Appleseed) in the school area to read based on how the day goes. We were finished with school work by noon.

I’m a semi-structured homeschooler and the rest is, as they say, by the seat of my pants. Now, for those of you gasping at how I am probably missing large gaps, I can assure you I do have an overall plan and touch on all the required history and science topics (we’ve been homeschooling almost 20 years). We just do it a little differently. I try to encourage a love of learning by looking for a spark and fanning the flame.

Download a 10 pages (PDF) on Delight Directed Teaching here.

See More About Scrapbooking to Learn

  1. Wow! We will begin homeschooling in the fall and I hope that we have lots of days just like this one. Thanks, Robin, for this precious gem of encouragement.

  2. Oh wow, what a great day! I just love homeschooling, especially on days when it just gels. And great job on your site, if I haven’t said so already.


  3. Hi Robin,
    Great job at getting your new blog set up! Love hearing and SEEING your “school” day! Sometimes those unplanned days work better than the planned ones. :) I have a HSB friend that just asked me about HOW this morning, so I’ll be writing about it soon. If you don’t mine, I’ll be referring them to this post (as well as the HOW web page).
    Lots of Love & ((hugs))
    Your Friend, Jane in MN

  4. […] Did you See “An Unplanned Delight-Directed Homeschool Day”? […]
  5. Great ideas!

  6. […] See “An Unplanned Delight-Directed Homeschool Day” Leave a Comment […]
  7. […] See “An Unplanned Delight-Directed Homeschool Day” 10 Responses […]
  8. This is very helpful. I have a K and 2nd grader. Thanks.

  9. We just got Scrapbook Max. I love looking at the pages in the gallery. Lots of ideas.

  10. Found you on Blogging 101. Thanks for this link. I missed this page. I scrapbook the traditiaol way but we are considering Scrapbook Max.

  11. Good Morning. Homeschool4Him told me about this blog. Just super. I love the Bible focus of your day.

  12. Terrific explanation of delight directed. Thanks

  13. Thank you for this. Enjoyed it.

  14. Just getting to know your website – sooo glad I found this example. It really helped me alot – this fall I will have 3rd, 1st & K5. I know the Lord let me to your book and doing unit studies for our family. You’re book is very encouraging and I have recommended it to several friends. Thanks again and God bless! I can’t wait to start this next year with unit studies and HOW!

  15. I’m a very visual learning myself and have been reading “A Family Guide to the Biblica Holidays” Do you have any pictures of your centerpieces that you could share or email to me? I would GREATLY appreciate “seeing” them.

    email: TrainingHearts-emailATyahoo.com

  16. Sounds like my kind of a homeschooling day! I totally agree with “looking for a spark and fanning the flame,” and love the way you demonstrated it.


  17. I have always love your blog.
    I love to school like this and am learning. Do you go through alot of ink. Do you do the pages or do your boys? It would take hours for my son to do that. He would love it though. We have Scrapbook Max too and love it also.

  18. I love this sort of teaching I pray I learn to teach this way using the resources avialable to me. I am thankful for HOW and know God is leading me to grow in the delight directed teaching. I have not attained or let go of the “old
    schooling” methods. Robin, please don’t make apologies for any gaps from where I am sitting there are none in this approach. with a grateful heart, Michelle B.

  19. Hey, I just wanted to say that I really like the way you approach schooling. When my kid and possible future kids are older I really think I would like to use your HOWTA. It seems the post in line with the Bible of the approaches I have come across in my research. My baby is only 9 and half months but I think it’s a good idea to think ahead a little. God bless!

  20. I love how you documented this! Fun!!

    Laura @ Laura Williams’ Musings’s last blog post..Do you wash and reuse plastic baggies or bottles?

  21. Thank you. It’s very nice to see the HOW approach in action. I’m the kind of person that needs examples. This helped a lot. :smile:


  1. Allison

    Okay, I have an 8, 6, 4, and 2 year old. How do you accomplish a morning such as you shared above with two little ones at your feet, especially a 2 year old? I have trouble getting two whole sentences out with my older boys. I am really interested but worried I cannot pull this off with two little ones. Allison

  2. Julie Hall

    I am going to homeschool this fall and I can’t wait! I would start now, but friends have said it would be confussing to the children. (Starting at the end of the year). I cannot wait to have Jesus in our day EVERYDAY!! You are my insipiration!

  3. Wow…beautiful school day! I will begin teaching my oldest daughter 3rd grade in a few weeks, and I pray that this school year will have many more “delight filled” moments than we have previously. If I can slow down enough to smell the roses, I am sure our school days will be delightful.

    Thank you for your encouraging website.
    .-= Demetria´s last blog ..Discover Your Destiny Series/ Gift and Talent Workshop =-.

  4. Michelle


    I have been considering your book for a while, but I have a few questions.

    First, I was wondering how this method works for high School credits.

    Second, can this method work if the focus isn’t so centrally focused on Ancient biblical history? (This year we will be studying the Middle Ages and are using the Middle Ages curriculum by Simply Charlotte Mason)

    And lastly, I was wondering if your book pushes following the Old Testament Hebraic Laws. This is crucial, since I want to respect and honor my husband, who does not agree with teaching this to our children. (He isn’t against teaching the Bible, or the Old Testament itself,) but he would not be in favor of my children or myself being led into that way of thinking.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Have a blessed day!

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