Why Homeschooling Is the Best: Child-led Learning

You might not be sure about homeschooling, not to mention child-led learning. I know that I had a skeptical reaction initially. As someone who came from a public school education, it only seemed natural that the teacher was the boss and that learning had to happen in the classroom

But when it came to educating my own children, I quickly realized that this type of model did not work for us. So after homeschooling my kids for more than two years, I can confidently say that homeschooling is the best because it allows for genuine child-led learning.

What Exactly Is Child-led Learning?

In broad terms, child-led learning is allowing your child lead the way. The child has a say in what they want to learn and how long they want to spend on activities. It also means encouraging children to learn at their own pace and in a way that suits them best. 

Your initial response to child-led learning might be that this seems impractical. You may think:

Children don’t always know what’s good for them. They need a varied and broad education, but would they choose that on their own? And if I'm going to educate my kids myself, isn't it safest to replicate the public school experience at home?

Let me give you some insight into what child-led learning in a homeschool can do. 

The Benefits of Child-led Learning

  • A child who learns what they want, is going to be interested, engaged, and motivated.

  •  A child who has the time and encouragement to learn something deeply and fully, is going to become an expert. 

  • A child who takes ownership of their learning is going to develop a sense of self-confidence

  • A child who can learn in a way that suits them best, is going to be successful and is also going to develop a love for learning.

Don't these benefits sound exactly like what you want for your children?

Why Homeschooling Is the Best: Child-led LearningHow Can I Move Towards a Child-led Experience?

Even though child-led learning is not just for homeschoolers, it is definitely easier to offer in a home-ed environment. Unfortunately our education systems have a long way to go yet. So my first recommendation would be to consider homeschooling as an option.

Then encourage your children's learning journey:

  • Offer them many different learning experiences so that they can discover what sparks their interest. This could mean taking them on field trips, showing them documentaries, and allowing them to use the internet freely (but safely, of course).

  • Hand over a curriculum catalog and show them the programs that would be a good fit for their age. Then let them choose what programs to study for the year.
  • Show them where to find information and take them to the library. You could also give them the opportunity to speak to people who are experts in their fields.

  • Give them the tools they need to do what they want. This could be equipment, resources, curriculum, or travel. 

  • Be supportive and encouraging. Praise their efforts to be independent.

  • Lastly, set aside your expectations. Let them lead and don’t try to force your visions or ideas on them.

Child-led learning does take a lot of involvement and energy from parents. But once your child has found their way and is deeply involved in an academic pursuit, you will see the magic of child-led learning happening. 

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Charlotte Jones

About the Author

Charlotte Jones is a multi-tasking mom who works from home. She spends her days blogging at My Little Home School, homeschooling her twins, and teaching English online.

Her home is a small house in a quaint little town on the coast of South Africa. You can often find her swimming in the lagoon or hiking in the forest with her husband, special needs twins, and furbaby.

She loves her family, spending time in nature, running, red lipstick, and drinking too much coffee.