Monday, April 15, 2013

Motivation Sparks Learning

A day of discovery and interest-led learning. Better than anything I had planned. Better yet, it will be remembered.

The current interests were ignited by our friends' recent return visit from their work in Kenya. My children heard their stories, viewed their safari pictures and remembered personal discussions with their children, their friends. Intrinsic motivation? You bet!

One child took her interest to the library. She checked out informational books on African animals and started (because of her desire to remember the information) to copy the book. Copywork initiated by her interests (yes, we talked about plagiarism  too!). Her efforts helped her remember the animal facts she read but also helped her practice spelling and mechanics. Much accomplished through self-motivation and interest.

Her interest sparked the idea of designing her own lapbook (glad we kept those old file folders) using the copywork she had written and adding some pictures from old National Geographic and wildlife magazines. Thank you, Dad, for digging out the magazines from the laundry room cabinet!

Another child became interested in the geography and wanted to know the locations of the countries in Africa. Her interest ignited another child's curiosity and within minutes all three girls were asking for my help to find a printable outline map to label. We talked about reliable sources and how political boundaries change. Together we searched for the most recent political map of Africa. Great discussions.

Each proudly placed their finished "book" on my "desk" and talked about what their next learning adventure would be. Can't wait.

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