Child Led Learning – Nails, Hammers, and Dissection!

IMG_7302Our little lady is naturally curious, and Sunday afternoon saw her commandeering the household tool box to dissect conkers and chestnuts, at the kitchen table.  Child led learning was in full swing.  She was using all sorts to break her way into them.  Delight was in discovering furry undersides, like velvet, to the skins, and the fact a chestnut looked like a brain (but for my nursing friends out there, thank goodness didn’t smell like one!!). One little man sat for ages fascinated by what she was doing (and for once wasn’t trying to steal all the props).  Once the other little man cheered up from an almighty paddy, over the fact that his twin was in the kitchen instead of the lounge with him, he also became absorbed in what was going on.


I, at this point, saw the delight and freedom of us letting her use anything from pliers, to knives, to saws to achieve her goals.  It reminded me about everything we are trying to follow in regard to risk and letting children have a go, placing more trust in them, and therefore helping them learn themselves to deal with risk.  My little men regularly use a saw at Forest School and love being able to wield a grown up tool, rather than their play ones.  Therefore I decided to pinch an idea I had read about somewhere else.  I would provide hammers, nails, and chunks of wood, which the children can use outside to their hearts content.  I have got three (rather cute) short handled hammers from B&Q and a lot of varied sized nails.  Some chunks of wood to start us off, and then we will forage for more on our walks.  The idea is that if they want, they can just bang nails into the wood, but learning to handle tools too, or if it’s our little lady, make heart shapes (or other things) and then maybe even decorate them with pieces of wool and ribbon.  They are very excited about this idea and can’t wait to give it a go.  We are keeping it all outside so they can access it at all times.

IMG_7305Otherwise, de schooling is not going so well!! Our little lady announced today that she wanted to do some maths and literacy work, so reluctantly I got her shiny new workbooks out.  However, it is all led by her so I thought I just needed to go with it.  She sat for nearly 45 minutes beavering away at her maths one, before attacking the English one for 30 mins, and then lunch called a halt to it. This afternoon though was spent making and creating sparkly things with her sparkle science kit she got for her birthday…sparkle chalks, sparkle geodes, sparkle necklaces, sparkle bath bombs………

So, things aren’t going quite to plan, as it is still the school holidays and she was already looking for “learning”, but I am following her lead, trying to be laid back about it and flexible, and most importantly she is happy….as seem her cheeky twinnie brothers!!


Child led learning home education home schooling



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