Gregg Eugene Harris (born November 23, 1952, in Dayton, OH) was a figure in the Christian homeschooling movement from 1981 through the mid-1990s and now serves as a teaching elder at Gresham Household of Faith, which serves as an experiment in local church reform. According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, his work helped launch the Christian homeschooling movement in the United States, Canada, Australia and Mexico. Over 180,000 families attended his seminars. His book The Christian Home School was a Christian Booksellers Association best seller in March 1988. The list was published by the CBA and is on file in the offices of Noble Institute for Leadership Development.
Gregg's wife, Sono, died on July 4, 2010, after a short battle with cancer. Gregg and Sono's three younger children Sarah, Isaac, and James live in Gresham, Oregon. He is the director of the Noble Institute for Leadership Development, a non-profit educational organization.
One of the main ideas promoted by Gregg Harris is the principle of delight-directed study. This is the basis of Harris's homeschool, child training, and church reform activities.
Harris bases this principle on Psalm 111:2, "Great are the works of the LORD, they are pondered by all who delight in them." He reasons that because God is good, everything that is necessary for human life is also a source of pleasure. It is when the pleasures of God are separated from the purposes of God for those pleasures that an activity becomes sinful, "God dishonoring", and self-destructive.
Harris interpretes this principle to state that boredom is the absence of learning (or mental hunger) and loneliness the absence of social connectedness (or social hunger). Therefore, education and study, for good or ill, is nurtured best through what he calls the "power of companionship" among "fellow enthusiasts". All of these ideas are laid out in his various seminars and workshops as described on the blog of Noble Institute..
According to his principle, many social ills are actually the negative consequences of delight-directed study among foolish, often age-segregated people, (e.g. drug abuse and gang membership), while many of the greatest human accomplishments are the consequence of delight-directed study among wise, age-integrated fellow enthusiasts (e.g. in science clubs, hobby groups and other affinity groups). Harris argues that this is why academic and hobby clubs are often more effective than classes offered on the same subjects. The social forces in a classroom are often at odds with its very purpose, whereas the social forces in a well-run club are more supportive of excellence in the topic of interest to the club.
The Harris family
Gregg Harris's seven children have also gained varying levels of fame within the homeschool and wider Christian community.
His oldest son, Joshua Harris, is the author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl, Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is), and Stop Dating the Church, the first of which has sold over 1 million copies according to Multnomah Publishers. Joshua now serves as Senior Pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
According to records from the Pierce County Superior Court and the US District Court for the Western District of Washington in Tacoma, Gregg Harris was named in an anti-trust suit by Cheryl Seelhoff, publisher of Gentle Spirit Magazine, in 1995 . Seelhoff mentioned Harris in her original complaint of various causes of action including defamation, slander, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with commerce, and violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Harris' insurance company insisted on settling out of court before legal proceedings began.
- Harris 1988.
- "Delight-Directed Study". Retrieved 2008-07-29.
- Harris, Gregg (1988). The Christian Home School. Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers. ISBN 0-943497-06-X.
- The Holy Bible: Old Testament: Psalm.
- "Jury Finds Teaching Home Editor Conspired to Restrain Trade - Defendants Gregg Harris, Mary Pride, Sue Welch Settled". Retrieved 2008-07-29.
- Noble Institute
- Household of Faith Gresham
- Gentle Spirit Lawsuit – Information regarding the Cheryl Seelhoff controversy.