Parents who home school children often seek alternative forms of educational tools and curricula to incorporate into their children’s learning. Whether you are beginning your home education journey or well into the process, you’ve most likely had a brush with the theory of child-led learning. Child-led learning may build self-esteem, encourage a healthy curiosity in your child, and help them develop a lifelong positive relationship with the learning process.
What Is Child-Led Learning?
Child-led learning generally describes educational programs where children are responsible for deciding what they learn. In some cases, child-led learning also incorporates children controlling the time spent on a particular lesson and the materials and methods used for the study. This type of child-centered educational focus is often conducted in private or home-school environments where parents and administration have more autonomy over the curriculum.
What Does Child-Led Learning Involve?
The child-led learning movement often opposes a fixed curriculum, and the approach can be incorporated into a curriculum in part or whole. In some educational settings, child-led learning may mean the child has a free range of the classroom and learning materials and can decide what to do or learn for themselves. This could include doing worksheets, playing, reading, or any other educational method.
In other approaches to child-led learning, parents may introduce options for the child to choose what to pursue. Parents may designate specific timeframes of each day to devote to child-led learning as a part of their overall educational approach. Still, some parents may select lessons or topics, and students steer it in the direction of their choice. Depending on the academic setting, parents and tutors work to create a balance of support and guidance in any child-led learning environment.
Simple Ways To Incorporate Child-Led Learning Activities
* Scheduled time outdoors
* Access to creative materials
* Unstructured arts and crafts
* Multi-sensory learning activities
* Problem-solving tasks
* Virtual field trips
* Role-playing activities
How Parents And Tutors Engage In Child-Led Learning
Children need praise and encouragement to keep them motivated in learning. Parents and tutors are essential to successful child-led learning activities and can provide the feedback necessary for an authentic educational experience. Without a fixed curriculum or during child-led learning activities, parents and tutors can engage in the learning process by keeping track of achievements to plan the next lesson accordingly.
For many children, some aspect of child-led learning incorporated into their education and curriculum is highly beneficial for developing natural curiosity and a love of learning. When you decide to set aside time for child-led learning activities or adopt an utterly child-led learning home-school curriculum, you are allowing your child to grow and learn at their own pace, boosting their self-esteem and enriching their educational journey.