The Art of Child Led Learning
Child led learning can be beneficial in so many ways. I’m not saying this is the concept we take all the time with homeschool, but sometimes you just have to run with what interests your child. My choice for science this year was astronomy. I picked a variety of activities, books from the library, and art projects to go along with our Apologia science book.
Our two oldest took interest in a human body activity they did at our local children’s science museum and basically started begging me to teach them anatomy and physiology this year. I decided to save the astronomy stuff for a later date and dive deep into anatomy.
Our first couple weeks have been a blast learning about cell anatomy. Children can learn such complex ideas and it continues to amaze me every day. This morning our three year old daughter showed me where the mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum was in the cell. This is a concept I didn’t learn in school until later years.
Below are some activities my children and I have done together to learn all about cell anatomy. The materials I used for each are listed below in each caption.
Legos Meet Cell Anatomy
We created a cell with Legos, a magnetic chalkboard, and handwritten labels. Curled up and cozy in a blanket, I read lesson 1 over a few days to my children. For my kinesthetic learners, having hands on time gives them a chance to put into action the things they have learned while listening to me read. Our children a very interested in building things with Legos right now so this was a perfect activity and kept them interested for a long while.
Apologia: Anatomy & Physiology
They made a strand of DNA with pony beads, cotton swabs, and pipe cleaners.
This was something even the toddler was able to do for fine motor skills (of course I don’t take my eyes off of him).
It’s amazing how as homeschool moms we become pretty resourceful. What do you do when you have an idea in your mind and you don’t have a worksheet? Draw what you want your children to color, of course!
I simply drew a picture with white paper and black market and made a few copies. Throw in a few gel pens the kids haven’t used before and all of the sudden learning the anatomy of a cell is super exciting.
I took the same hand-drawn cell page and attached it to a magnetic dry erase board. I added a few magnetic letters and labeled each part of the cell. The goal of this is for the child to recognize the cell part but also choose the sound that completes each label. Our preschooler absolutely loved this “game."
I hope all of these activities can help you create a love for learning science and help you recognize the benefits that can come from child led learning.
Happy Homeschooling and remember to "willfully serve His children" throughout your homechool day.