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Passion Directed Learning

passion directed learningPassion 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!

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Please note: This post was originally published in April 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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Comments 10

Guest - Lisa (website) on Thursday, 21 July 2011 10:57

Great article, Lee! Our children have God-given gifts and it's those gifts that my husband and I look to encourage. Our children are like young saplings and we, their parents, are like the two stakes on both sides holding them until they're mature. We hold our children's interests and pursuits up to the light of scripture -particularly 1 Thess 5:19-22 and Phil 4:8.

PS
Elaine, you might want to check out this article - http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/a-christian-view-of-world-of-warcraft/

Great article, Lee! Our children have God-given gifts and it's those gifts that my husband and I look to encourage. Our children are like young saplings and we, their parents, are like the two stakes on both sides holding them until they're mature. We hold our children's interests and pursuits up to the light of scripture -particularly 1 Thess 5:19-22 and Phil 4:8. PS Elaine, you might want to check out this article - http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/a-christian-view-of-world-of-warcraft/
Guest - elaine (website) on Friday, 01 April 2011 04:58

Good Idea My 16 year old is so involved with World Of Warcraft an interactive online game that it seems like that's all he wants to do. It involves various fantasy people and strategies. He loves to talk about it, he love to write! I will assign him a project about his "love"

Good Idea My 16 year old is so involved with World Of Warcraft an interactive online game that it seems like that's all he wants to do. It involves various fantasy people and strategies. He loves to talk about it, he love to write! I will assign him a project about his "love"
Guest - Alison on Friday, 15 October 2010 02:07

my daughter does not need to do art as a separate subject. She could just submit her maths book! Every page is a detailed unique study. Unfortunately not much maths gets done and she still loathes it.
Posing word problems that she has to solve in terms of shopping that deal with the current maths concept we are trying to cover at least gets a smile from a girl who loves retail therapy!

my daughter does not need to do art as a separate subject. She could just submit her maths book! Every page is a detailed unique study. Unfortunately not much maths gets done and she still loathes it. Posing word problems that she has to solve in terms of shopping that deal with the current maths concept we are trying to cover at least gets a smile from a girl who loves retail therapy!
Guest - Lee (website) on Friday, 16 April 2010 13:08

Hi Lois,

There are some comics in Harold Jacob's book. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0716710471?tag=thehom-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0716710471&adid=0VRG7JW6Y7SA44B6N678&

No ideas for actually incorporating cartooning into algebra(LOL!)

I have seen cartooning as an art, as occupational education (when you make it a business) and as a technology credit (when you do it though computer programming rather than drawing.)

Have you see FamilyManMinistries?
http://www.familymanweb.com/cartoons
Homeschool dad cartooning for the Lord - crazy fun stuff!
There are vocabulary cartoon books
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0965242234?tag=thehom-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0965242234&adid=0D0H9Q8AFX874MH1NAYS&

and economics cartoon books, too
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0936175001?tag=thehom-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0936175001&adid=19Y5NSWVN04MQ2EVZ9EY&

What does YOUR child love that he could make it into a cartoon book and sell enough to make his first million? That could be a fun English credit.

Good luck, Lois! I'm sorry I was no help with the math part.

Blessings,
Lee

Hi Lois, There are some comics in Harold Jacob's book. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0716710471?tag=thehom-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0716710471&adid=0VRG7JW6Y7SA44B6N678& No ideas for actually incorporating cartooning into algebra(LOL!) I have seen cartooning as an art, as occupational education (when you make it a business) and as a technology credit (when you do it though computer programming rather than drawing.) Have you see FamilyManMinistries? http://www.familymanweb.com/cartoons Homeschool dad cartooning for the Lord - crazy fun stuff! There are vocabulary cartoon books https://www.amazon.com/dp/0965242234?tag=thehom-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0965242234&adid=0D0H9Q8AFX874MH1NAYS& and economics cartoon books, too https://www.amazon.com/dp/0936175001?tag=thehom-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0936175001&adid=19Y5NSWVN04MQ2EVZ9EY& What does YOUR child love that he could make it into a cartoon book and sell enough to make his first million? That could be a fun English credit. Good luck, Lois! I'm sorry I was no help with the math part. Blessings, Lee
Guest - Lois on Friday, 16 April 2010 12:57

Any suggestions on how to incorporate cartooning into completing math assignments? So far, my son has come up with 1001 ways to destroy a math book. You can do anything in cartoons, but in reality, you can learn algebraic concepts.

Any suggestions on how to incorporate cartooning into completing math assignments? So far, my son has come up with 1001 ways to destroy a math book. You can do anything in cartoons, but in reality, you can learn algebraic concepts.
Guest - Lee (website) on Wednesday, 11 November 2009 16:09

Dear Mary,
You're welcome! Have you seen the MIT Computer learning? Here is the link:
http://scratch.mit.edu/
You're daughter will love it!
Blessings,
Lee

Dear Mary, You're welcome! Have you seen the MIT Computer learning? Here is the link: http://scratch.mit.edu/ You're daughter will love it! Blessings, Lee
Guest - Mary on Wednesday, 11 November 2009 16:06

I have an almost-10 yr old who loves playing computer games. Anything with many levels to achieve is what she is drawn to. I am glad you wrote this article. I will stop arguing with her to get off the computer and start including her games in her writing assignments. Thanks for the solution. You are truly one smart cookie.

I have an almost-10 yr old who loves playing computer games. Anything with many levels to achieve is what she is drawn to. I am glad you wrote this article. I will stop arguing with her to get off the computer and start including her games in her writing assignments. Thanks for the solution. You are truly one smart cookie.
Guest - Lisa (website) on Thursday, 23 April 2009 20:10

Great advice, and funny too!

Great advice, and funny too!
Guest - J W on Thursday, 23 April 2009 06:53

Horses have played a part in most of human history, so my older daughter has it made.

Yep, I'm teaching her research skills and writing skills through the back door by letting her do horsey themes. She won 2nd place in a regional competition against her age mates and older teens with an essay on thoroughbreds.

While she was researching for that paper, I remember she turned to me, and with a big smile on her face said, "Hey, I've noticed something. I'm learning more as I do this!"

A friend of mine, a school librarian, once had a student come in loudly lamenting a Civil War essay assignment, and complained about hating writing and school in general. My friend asked the student what she did like, and the student replied, "horses." Needless to say, that child was delighted when my friend told her there were horses in the Civil War.

Horses have played a part in most of human history, so my older daughter has it made. Yep, I'm teaching her research skills and writing skills through the back door by letting her do horsey themes. She won 2nd place in a regional competition against her age mates and older teens with an essay on thoroughbreds. While she was researching for that paper, I remember she turned to me, and with a big smile on her face said, "Hey, I've noticed something. I'm learning more as I do this!" A friend of mine, a school librarian, once had a student come in loudly lamenting a Civil War essay assignment, and complained about hating writing and school in general. My friend asked the student what she did like, and the student replied, "horses." Needless to say, that child was delighted when my friend told her there were horses in the Civil War.
Guest - Carletta (website) on Thursday, 23 April 2009 03:05

That's so funny! Kids can certainly get tunnel vision, can't they.

I agree that writing from a place of passion and interest is important.

That's so funny! Kids can certainly get tunnel vision, can't they. I agree that writing from a place of passion and interest is important.
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