Reply To: Theory student gone rogue!
You might be able to teach him by helping him to see the theory hidden in his own musical ideas and in other music he likes to listen to. He may enjoy finding the theoretical principles at work in the Beatles or his current favorites. The traditional theory class may not be the right fit for him, but as you say, he is growing.
To avoid the random Finale-ing, try to have him sing his ideas (first choice) or play them on his instrument before notating them.
Thanks for caring about your student and good luck!