The definition of Child-Led Learning’, also known as ‘Free-Play’, is when the child is free to select their choice of learning tools and toys, such as, building blocks, playing in the sandpit, painting, etc. The goal is to observe how the child approaches the chosen activity and adjusts it according to their preference. Early childhood settings promote this form of play by allowing children to self-serve/help themselves to the resources provided. Instead of the tradition form of the question-and-answer worksheets, children have free reign to interact with any material he or she pleases. They may be presented with options by their educator, parent, or guardian but the end goal is for the choice to be of the child.
It is important for the parents/guardian and the tutor to work together to build harmony and incorporate materials that suit and complement the child’s needs, between the school and home setting. Child-Led Learning may not be interpretated the same by all educators, nonetheless, it is founded on the premise that humans are curious beings. Allowing children from a young age to explore their surroundings encourages them to be lifelong learners who take charge of their education and gain a deeper understanding of their preferred learning style (auditory, visual, kinesthetic).
When children learn to trust themselves, they gain faith and a better sense of the self. This method of teaching has shown to benefit children and have a lasting impact, especially for children with unique learning disabilities, who may feel discourages and depressed in a typical classroom environment.