The Difference Between Adult-Directed and Child-Led Learning

 You have heard me go on and on about the benefits of child-led learning.  I wanted to show you two real life examples from my own house just this morning.  It is important for you to know that both of these examples happened within the same hour.  

My son, Brickston, is in kindergarten this year.  His school has been virtual this week, and then they are going to a 2 day schedule next week.  

Adult-Directed Learning

Today, he was asked to listen to a Pete the Cat story and then complete a worksheet.  On the sheet, he was supposed to write the color words.  He had zero interest in doing this task.  His older sister valiantly came to the rescue and I video taped from across the room.  You can watch their interaction below:

Brickston is frustrated.  He rubs his eyes and slumps in the chair.  He slams his pencil on the desk.  He is whining.  He says, "I can't draw an R!"

Have you seen this before?

Just 20 minutes later....
Child-Led Learning
Brickston is drawing on a whiteboard.  He has designed a game where he draws a letter, and I have to close my eyes.  When I open them, I have to tell him what the letter is. At one point right before I started recording, he ran to get his blue letter chart from his desk space to use as a reference.  All of this was directed by him.  Watch below:

Do you see the difference?  Brickston is smiling.  He is eager.  He shows persistence.  

And guess what...he is still writing that letter R that he said he couldn't write!

He is also making words on his own (this would have been just as meaningful of an activity if he wrote a nonsense word).  

I have no idea how he accidentally wrote "rib," but he loved it.  I loved it.  Look how many times he wrote it over an over again!

There is joy in the second video.  Our job as the adult is to continue to find where joy and learning intersect. If we continue to make space and time for child-led learning, joy will follow. 

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