Child-led learning

I would say that we are child-led in learning – my girls have control over what they want to learn about and do, L is now making those choices by going to school – her choice, her decision. At 11 she was able to weigh up the pros and cons and after thoroughly researching, has very successfully and happily settled into Secondary school.

R at 10 is happy at home deciding day to day what she’d like to do. I offer different options and we go out on trips – with the local home ed group, or just us, or with other friends or family. We also talk a lot about lots of different things.

Conversation as a learning tool is vastly under-rated!

Where learning is self-led we end up with hours of submersion in a subject, or even days, leading to weeks and months. That is how a lot of learning works here. Not in an obsessive way, just in an ongoing way where we don’t have to finish something due to time restraints, we can carry on until we have covered everything we’d like to.

If something inspires or engages then it can be explored from every angle, and in as much depth as required until the R has had enough. Likewise if something does not hold R’s interest then we can drop it, maybe to return another time, maybe not.

We can return to something at other times with new ideas to try and perhaps do some crossover with something else we have come across..

This is very much why we don’t meticulously plan things. I save resources, I research, I try things out myself and things filter through sometimes when appropriate / relevant, but the girls and life and outside sources drive a lot of what we do and we all like that because there is always something new around, something we didn’t know we’d be learning about or be interested in.

We do plan trips and some regular activities but we enjoy the free days. I think L enjoys a bit of timetabling which she gets now she’s at school – she likes to really plan things – I used to be more like that but with R it suits her to have oodles of unstructured time which she easily and happily fills with playmobil adventures, minecraft, stories, art, maths, chess, games and so much more.

See also: Talk, talk and talk or Taking the struggle out of education and also A child’s view

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