Passion Directed Learning
I was amazed how often my son Kevin studied chess when we were homeschooling! I remember giving him choices about what he could work on, but my GOODNESS he loved chess! When we were using Power-Glide French, it had the students write some essays during the year; some were about France and some were in French. One of Kevin's essays was about FIDE - Federation Internationale d’Echecs, or in English, the World Chess Federation. His French essay was "D’Echecs" or in English...well...CHESS! Isn't that great? He was writing across the curriculum using his passion - passion directed learning!
Try having your student write about something they like. Give them the choice to write about anything
that will match the writing assignment. It doesn't always work, and it certainly doesn't completely eliminate bad attitudes, but if you let them write about what they love, sometimes it will make it easier.
I have to confess that by the end of the year I wasn't so easy-going. I remember my son Alex was in love with American History. His project for our "Learn to Write the Novel Way" English curriculum was about American history and economics. His history study was about American History and economics. His English papers were all about American History and economics. Finally, in the spring, we had enough. I carefully explained that he still had the choice to write about anything he wanted, but his papers could no longer include the words "Thomas," "Jefferson," "Adam," "Smith," or "economics." We managed to get a little bit more variety of work to read over that way! What is your child's passion-directed learning in your homeschool right now? Is it driving you crazy? Please share in the comments!
Please note: This post was originally published in April 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.