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Passion-Driven Education: How to Use Your Child's Interests to Ignite a Lifelong Love of Learning

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Here's the hard truth: the modern education system is a disaster.

Why do parents subject their children to a process that disregards their interests, ignores their basic humanity, and subjects them to arbitrary mandates and micro-management? Your children deserve better than to be bored learning about subjects they aren’t interested in and frustrated with endless busywork.

Paperback, 167 pages
Published August 16th 2016 by Libertas Press (first published 2016)
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Kevin Burke
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a parent of two homeschooled kids, Passion-Driven Education by Connor Boyack was very inspiring and motivating. It reminded me of all the reasons why we decided to homeschool our kids in the first place, it made me reassess how well we're doing, and motivated me to refocus our approach to our kid's education.

The John Taylor Gatto introduction is a compelling appetizer to the main course of this book, which is a great primer on alternative-- and frankly, superior-- methods for approaching edu
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kenya Wright
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this to be extremely helpful. I did think there was a large part of the book that argued against the modern public school system. I already am on that side of the argument so I didn't need the consistent chapters on why the present system doesn't work.

However, this helped me a lot in being strategic with how I homeschool my children. I'm glad I read it.
Laura Jane
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was mostly a diatribe against modern education. Not an unfounded one, but the meat of the proposal didn't come until the last third of the book. And then, very little of that was practical advice.

Overall, the idea is great. But the end result is biased, majorly flawed, and lacking practical examples of an alternative to modern government education, especially for working parents who are unable to homeschool.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a quick read with some great thoughts. The author's approach to education is unschooling or the equivalent (he mentions a few other options) that give the child the driver's seat (his words) and the topics of study are driven by the child. It definitely made me think outside of my status quo as I homeschool our kids and I plan on contemplating his ideas more as I think about ways to improve what we're doing but I also don't think this is the right route for our family to go.
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It echoed many of my own thoughts. I'm glad to have access to some hard copies to give out to people. We opted to place our twins in a Montesorri school starting in Kindergarten. I get a lot of questions about it. People tend to either get that it's an attempt to teach kids in a way that is actually beneficial or they look at me like I've grown a second head. (Especially when I announce that they don't give letter grades and have very minimal homework.). I've wanted t ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great book. However the subtitle is a little misleading. The entire book is not about "How to use your child's interests to ignite a lifelong love of learning" but rather consists of 3 chapters on WHY, a chapter on WHAT to do about it and a final chapter on HOW. Still a great book and one that every parent ought to read, especially those with kids in school. Are the underlying lessons your kids are learning from the system (even though they have a wonderfully kind teacher and they love school) r ...more
Ashley Jacobson
While I agree with the basic tenants of this book (people learn much more when they are passionate about it), I just didn't see any value in this book. He says in the intro that it will be extreme. And it is. I didn't see the need for dozens of pages about negatives in education. I wanted solutions. When I finally got to them, they were so obvious, that it was pointless. It was nothing I hadn't read before, and other books do a better job saying the same thing and then some. It's a very short re ...more
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The majority of the book deserves 5 stars. I was hesitant to like it, because it seemed like the author didn't really have the life experience to be telling me what to do with my children. But it's more a reiteration of the things John Holt and John Gatto have said before, so not much new information. Well written information though.

My biggest complaint is that he spends 4/5ths of the book telling you to stop trying to teach your kids and instead let them learn, but then his examples are all....
Mieresa Denton
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a Winner!

I gave this book 5 stars because the author, Connor Boyak, nailed this topic! This is a must read for anyone considering how and why to get their child(ren) off of the conveyor belt of the tired & mundane public school system! Currently my family still follows a cahrter/piblic/homeschool model, however there are still tons and tons of textbooks and worksheets. My 8 year old son is sooooo painfully bored with them and I feel bad to continue to force that stuff on him. I am t
Sarah Wheeler
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pro-Education, Anti-Public Schools

This book is as much against the public school system as it is supportive of taking your child’s education into your own hands. Be ready for a lot of arguments against public schooling, but also for the instruction on how to choose a different path of education for your child(ren). The advice contained in this text is extremely useful for anyone finding themselves wanting to educate a child freely, without a rigid curriculum. It is also helpful to anyone who has
James Davis
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love the principles of love, freedom, learning, empowerment, trust and faith expressed in Passion-Driven Education. Boyack also provides case-studies which prove the efficacy of those principles. It's inspired me to more seriously pursue my own passion-driven education and provide the right environment and guidance for my children to learn and grow. My wife is excited to read it now that I'm done.

Reading this little gem reminded me of the sentiments expressed by Albert Einstein:

"Curiosity is a
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the idea and message of this book! Boyack spends a big portion of the book defining the problem with mainstream education today. One is eager to read his passion-driven solution and it's brilliant! But I can't help feeling that he could've outlined it in an article. Some profound sentences that I have highlighted and will tweet and share.

Some children have clearer and more overt passions than others. I have seen children become experts on subjects and I greatly admire them for it. But I'
I don't agree that public schools are as disastrous and as completely corrupt as Boyack, but he did share some good information and make some good points regarding the educational process. I feel like his unschooling approach holds some appeal, but doesn't seem realistic unless you have a good bit of time and only one, maybe two children. I do really appreciate the book for its encouragement to critically analyze the educational process, to recognize that mainstream education is often far remove ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
What I liked best about this book was the second half, where Boyack gives practical suggestions. (The first half of the book is a summary of John Taylor Gatto's writings about the problems inherent in public schooling. While I love Gatto's writings, he's heavy on analyzing the problem and light on suggesting solutions.) In the last few chapters, Boyack talks about unschooling, Thomas Jefferson Education, Montessori, and hackschooling as alternatives to traditional public schooling. He also gives ...more
Jeneece Western
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quic and easy read that shows the pitfalls of public education. Anyone who has been a part of the educational system will understand that how it was set up and the ways they keep trying to "fix it" are not really ever going to get it to how most parents want their children taught. Having said that I have been most fortunate in my education and my childrens with fabulous teachers that have done everything they can to produce best environments and learning activities while still being at the mercy ...more
Vicki Arnold
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Passion-Driven Education is one of those books that will light a fire in homeschool parents. It boldly challenges you to rethink what you believe about education. Boyack does not mince his words. He believes our current education system is failing our society and his observations are hard to argue with.

This isn’t just for homeschool parents. Teachers and parents of children in schools public and private would benefit from Boyack’s ideas. The book presents many issues, but it also offers solution
Karla Oroz
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty informative book. 5 stars

We had just started out homeschooling journey, my decision was confirmed when I met a family homeschooling their daughter. I was not clear on how to do it, and funny thing what I was doing was reason driven education. Definitely this book have me more ideas and reasons to continue this style.

The first chapters made me realize in a deeper way the non sense of modern education, specifically with understanding the origins.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants t
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschool
When I look at the products of our education system (often bored, apathetic, rebellious, unmotivated, uninspired teens) I think there has to be a better way. But, what is it? Boyack shares the history behind our education system, the ways and reasons it is so miserably failing, AND what we can do instead. This book is not for the faint of heart. To act on his recommendations will take courage and a willingness to stand apart from everyone else, but I'm pretty sure the results will be worth it.
Andrew Nielsen
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Hit on several questions that were swimming around in my head. Connects problems and solutions in our society in a way that elevates the family unit and enhances the value of the individual. Loved it...enough that I stayed up to the early AM hours to finish in one sitting.
Halie Marie
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Borderline paranoid

Borderline paranoid/conspiracy theory type read, but there was a lot of interesting facts and studies regarding the modern education system. I would recommend to anyone considering homeschooling, even if you have no plan to unschool or to any parent wanting to foster a love for learning in their child
Gene Griffith
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great perspectives

I didn't like public school. I was way smarter than my peers and got in to lots of trouble from them and teachers. I hated the traditional curriculum and would have loved to choose my own adventure. Alas, it was not available back in the day. At least mouth on my family. Now If i could just figure out how to do it for my own kid.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Every parent should take a moment and read this book. And then read it again. I’m on my second time in a week and this book sits so profoundly with my heart, morals, soul. Everything I felt and deep down knew to be true is brought to light in this book.
Thank you so much for writing this book!
Lori Scheffler
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick motivational read

Nothing new or profound but a good review of the topic and lots of helpful examples. Good read for someone new to the idea as well as seasoned homeschoolers or unschoolers.
Benjamin Azevedo
Important and eye-opening.

I really enjoyed this one and I'll make some changes based on its ideas. I do recommend it.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prepare to be taken for a wild ride with this book. The author takes you on a journey with his factual and knowledgeable insights on the public school system. It's kind of like having a piece of a puzzle missing and then finally finding it for the puzzle to be complete. So many "aha" moments in this book with my own personal experiences. A must read.
Crystal W
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spot on. Thank you for reaffirming our decision to continue to unschool our kids. The only issue I fundamentally disagree with is the age in which electronics are allowed to be consumed at will considering the prefrontal cortex (aka self-discipline) is the last part of a child's brain to develop... so while our son would love to sit on a computer or watch movies all day we're offering the natural world, good literature and tangible opportunities daily right now instead and plan to offer screens ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good book. I love reading about all the things public schools are doing wrong BUT, I already knew this stuff so about half the book was repeat info for me. It would be great for beginning homeschoolers or public school parents who would like to know why their children aren’t doing so well, or why the lights in their eyes have slowly fizzled in regards to learning.

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around unschooling lately. We just need something different. We are all stressed out and bored and r
Ryan Seamons
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Must-read for anyone dissatisfied with the way most of education in America is approached. While Connor covers similar background information I've read other places, he tells the story in a clear, concise, source-driven way that's better than any other resource I've consumed on the subject. The principles can be used by any parent, not just those who homeschool. Lots of good stories and ideas. Definitely a resource I'll refer to in the future. Loved it.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!

Helped me to see clearly for the first time what it means to help my children learn and discover by using the things they are already interested in - no matter what that might be! Provided specific examples of what that looks like.
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Connor Boyack is founder and president of Libertas Institute, a libertarian think tank in Utah. In that capacity, he has spearheaded important policy reforms dealing with property rights, civil liberties, transparency, surveillance, and education freedom.

Connor is the author of several books, including the new Tuttle Twins series that teaches the principles of liberty to young children. Other book

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