Self Directed Learning

by Paula Cleary

Just wanted to share my own experiences of the children being obsessed with something for seemingly 10 hours a day!!! And the whole worry of 'they're doing nothing all day except for that!'

My boys have been obsessed with lego for the last two years, and play with it every day, with the same verve and enthusiasm as they did when they first discovered it! No wonder it has been voted the world's number one toy!

Occasionally I get in a panic about the fact that they can sometimes seem to be lego building all day. Yet they have taught themselves how to build all-sorts, following the step-by-step instructions from the booklets that come with the lego, and also by experimenting with endless combinations.

The boys LOVE star wars and have some star wars lego, and enjoy playing the PC game too. I sat and watched one time as my five year old negotiated his way through multiple levels which involved an incredible amount of skill to master. The boys often play this game co-operatively, and have advanced in their understanding of the game through playing together like this.

In terms of the models that are being made, one of my boys demonstrated to me how to build a spaceship he had made, which was perfectly symetrical (maths skills). He built it piece by piece, then deconstructed it, then built it again in the same order over and over again, almost to the point of autism. I couldn't get over the kind of engineering processes which had gone into his thinking. Maybe all those episodes of watching 'the way things work' helped!!!

And I guess all those hours playing the various Lego games for the PC, subscription to Lego magazine (which is free incidentally) and a trip to Legoland (magic!) in the summer all helped to build and consolidate on the many wonderful things that encompass my boys world of Lego learning!!!

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