The Power of Enjoyment

Secondly, let us consider the wisdom of Christian educators. That students should enjoy learning, even in school, was described in the seventeenth century by John Comenius, the Father of Modern Education. This Godly man spent his life studying the Scriptures and observing nature, along with teaching and interacting with students, in order to improve education in his day.2 As part of this lifelong work, Comenius wrote a transformational book on learning, The Great Didactic. In the preface, he described his goal: “To seek and to find a method of instruction, by which teachers may teach less, but learners may learn more; by which schools may be the scene of less noise, aversion, and useless labour, but of more leisure, enjoyment and solid progress; and through which the Christian community may have less darkness, perplexity, and dissension, but on the other hand, more light, orderliness, peace, and rest.”3

What a worthy goal for education and by what an unusual process: teachers teaching less, but learners learning more. How is that possible? It is through the power of enjoyment, of self-motivation, of discovering zest for learning.

Rosalie Pedder was a brilliant Christian educator from New Zealand and my mentor for several years, prior to her death. She wrote: “All learning is not fun. Most of it is very hard work, but it does not also have to be unpleasant. Gardening in spring is delightful—it’s hard work, but pleasant. Only a fool would try to carry out the same activities in winter. Why add unpleasantness to something already difficult? But we do that in learning all the time. Something hard but satisfying often unnecessarily becomes something both hard and unpleasant.”4

 I encourage you to carefully consider the children in your home school, observe what gives them zest, and find ways to work with it so you can harness the power of enjoyment in homeschooling!


1. Rose, Colin, and Malcolm J. Nicholl, Accelerated Learning for the 21st Century,New York: Dell Publishing, 1997.

2. LeBar, Lois, Education That Is Christian,Colorado Springs: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1989.

3. The Great Didactic of John Amos Comenius, translated by M. W. Keating, B.A.,London, 1896, page 468.

4. Pedder, Rosalie A., Starting Well: Preparing the Environment,Auckland, NZ: RAP, 2000.


Diana Waring, author of Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest, and History Revealed curriculum, discovered years ago that “the key to education is relationship.”  Beginning in the 80s, Diana homeschooled her children through high school–providing the real-life opportunities to learn how kids learn.  Mentored by educators whose focus was to honor Him who created all learners, and with an international background (born in Germany, B.A. in French), Diana has been enthusiastically received by audiences on four continents.

 Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine. Read the magazine free  or read it on the go and download the free TOSapps to read the magazine on your Kindle Fire or Apple or Android devices.

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