Many families "get it" right off when they see all the exciting stuff we've got planned for this year. Others wonder, "What's with all the fun?"
There is a good reason we do it. It's because emotion is the gatekeeper to learning and performance.
When children are happy, they are in a state of relaxed alertness, which is the optimum state for introducing new information. When this new information is juxtaposed with things they already love -- such as a theme park or their favorite computer game -- their interest is heightened.
With this heightened interest, the students are introduced to compelling topics. This new content is now meaningful to them and they may be ready to take their learning to the next level as they may choose to do their own independent learning as lead by their interests.
There was a time when the artist Michelangelo was 15 and he was working on a sculpture. He was invited by a friend to go on a hunt. Michelangelo turned down the opportunity. After being chided by his friend, Michelangelo said, "For me, marble has the excitement of the hunt." Because of his deep interest in sculpture, Michelangelo would rather work than play.
The same thing can happen with learning. With true interest in a topic a child may have the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of the hunt themselves. What can they discover, uncover, create and find?
Following our topic introductions, if you allow your child to pick the projects he wants to work on, you may be surprised at the result! You may find him doing more research than you expected. He might spend more time on the project than you expected. The completed project will be much more impressive than a completed worksheet. Plus, because of his interest in the subject, the information that he takes in will be remembered for longer.
This also creates opportunities for your child to learn how to learn, which in the end, is more important than what is learned. A great experience all around!
Enjoy the fun!