I provide my.. handicapped dog with the choice to engage in walking every day; she loves it.
When children engage in activities they view as pleasurable, and when the projects are ones they have chosen, just as Maddie does, dopamine is released in the brain. This neurotransmitter increases attention and helps information to be stored in long-term memory.1
When children choose to engage in academic work, there is joy.
Let's not lose track of one important goal of learning: making sense of the world for the pure joy of it. That is sniffing for a dog or joy of discovery for children. Learning will naturally follow.