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What your child is learning

The first time I asked myself the question ‘What is this child actually learning?’ was over twenty years ago when I was teaching my Year 5 Class about farming in geography. What your child is learning is crucial to their development.

The children developed a model farm on some unused land in the school grounds, they grew ‘crops’ – tomatoes and courgettes –  and went to a local farm for a morning.  We invited the farmer to come into school to tell the children about ‘modern farming’.

The farmer brought all sorts of freshly dug vegetables. He handed them round and chopped up some of them for tasting. He talked about the farming year and what needed to be done in each season. He was an engaging speaker and talked about soil types; fertiliser and pesticides, both organic and non-organic and ticked a lot of the boxes in the geography curriculum of the day.

After he left, the children gathered round. I asked them what they had found most interesting and what they had learnt during the day. The responses came thick and fast: ‘I learnt that farmers wear earrings,’ ‘I didn’t know farmers could have long hair!’ and ‘Do all farmers have boots like those?’

I realised then – and it has been reinforced over and over again – there can sometimes be a gap between what we think the children are learning and what they are actually learning! This gap has been the subject of my research, analysis and understanding ever since and will help you actually comprehend what your child is learning. You are welcome to share stories below from your own childhood or from your children, which also illustrate this point.

So to understand what your child is learning you need to know how to be aware of, understand and bridge this gap to make sure that you can be really effective in motivating and teaching children remains at the core of Lessons Alive.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it.

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1 Comment
  1. This really got me thinking and I’d love to hear an example of how you’d bridge this gap through Lessons Alive!

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