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Child Led Learning

by Lucinda.

My son hated school from nursery. While my eldest thrived in both nursery & school but the youngest was increasingly more and more upset. Child led learning was something we knew nothing about.

Primary school years were spent unpeeling his fingers off the railing as he tried to cling on – anything not to be dragged through the gate, carrying him kicking and screaming to an office where I would have to unpeel him sobbing from around my neck and run while he was restrained by a TA. It was soon past I was told – for four years!

In year 4 after being told by the school he had no SEN, then yes he was autistic, then perhaps something else just wrong with his make up (their words) I took him to a private educational psychologist. He informed me my son was severely dyslexic and most likely had school refusal and that the education system was failing him.

Two weeks later I deregistered him from from school to home educate, fully intending to send him to a specialist dyslexia school. They didn’t have a place for 6 months though. I tried teaching him at home, I bought ALL the work books and curriculums possible, but still he wouldn’t sit and learn.

Then one day I was reading the Educational Freedom site sitting on the sofa with a horrendous cold and discovered child led learning. My son cuddled up next to me and was watching a history Youtuber. He then spent two hours watching documentary after documentary on a particular part in history and spent the next week listening to audiobooks about it, watching films on it and drawing about it. He then proceeded to tell everyone he knew about all this he had learned!

Overnight we basically threw out every workbook and started child led learning.

He left school in year four barely about to complete reception level work. Now as he would start year 7 he is covering history at GCSE level, completed the national curriculum requirements for his age (half way through the first term) and is learning well above his peers. 

We never got to the specialist school!

He has since written to the company he would like to work at in the future, intends to study a degree with the Open University and has contacted them himself. All without the need of workbooks, teachers or the education system.

My eldest still thrives in school while my youngest thrives at home despite the fact I am not a teacher, I don’t have a degree and we don’t do workbooks. Instead I facilitate his learning and often we learn new ideas together!  

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