See How We Learn: An Insight into Interest Led Learning

Little Cat turns five years old this winter, and this would be his first year in school. However, he won’t be going as we will be continuing with home education instead. We use no curriculum, we have no lesson plans and we don’t set out to teach. Instead, we enable him to find his own interests and learn all he needs to know through exploring these passions.
Learning is everywhere for the naturally curious child.

In this series I will share some of the ways he learns through life.

Today was a beautiful, sunny day and we used our long break from the hospital to head off to the woods to explore. Little Cat was in high spirits and had brought along a plastic bottle to collect some “specimens” in. He and Daddy attempted to catch several insects and we noticed the different leaves as we wandered. He was very interested in the stinging nettles which had grown nearly as tall as me in some places.

It wasn’t until we emerged from the woods that he got lucky with his specimens though. They were able to catch, admire and release a fruit fly, a butterfly and a moth. Yesterday he got a cricket and it was fascinating to release it into the long grass and watch how far it could jump.

After we were finished catching bugs, we took a stroll down to the beach where we found several jellyfish had been washed up. LC has a particular fascination with marine life at the moment and this was a real treat for him.

He counted 12 jellyfish in total along the shore line, and spent some time with each of them, remarking how firm they were when he prodded them with a stone. We decided to avoid touching the tentacles as we didn’t know what type of jellyfish they were, and we had a chat about how some can give quite painful stings.

He also found a clam shell which was fun to explore and he spent some time figuring out how it opened and closed and how the clam would have been able to catch its food.

We continued to walk and along the way he found washed up rubbish to make a bridge for crabs over a rockpool, and saw a sculpture of a red arrow fighter plane, which he had a long look at and asked some questions about.

On the way back he decided he would like to make a cardboard jellyfish later to add to his collection of cardboard sharks and whales. (His favourite is the Mako shark which is a super fast swimmer, or so he informs me!). This largely involves him directing as either myself or Daddy make it – he doesn’t actually like to do it himself most of the time.

He is slowly growing in confidence in this area and we have no intention of pushing him before he is ready, but we talk a lot about how it is OK to make mistakes and how it took a lot of time and practice for us to learn creative skills.


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