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Playing with fire

Playing with fire is dangerous. Should we do it and if so under what circumstances?


I like candles and my son was watching me light them the other  day. He wanted to have a go. All my protective instincts screamed no. Then I reflected that he will need to strike a match (and out on his own!) at some point in his life. So I let him try and after a few failed attempts he was delighted to see the flame.

Today he said he wanted to do some science and burn different types of material. Again, this sent me into a panic and then I decided to just go with it. We had over a hour of playing with fire and noticed how different  materials really do burn in a very different way and at different speeds. He even learned what a Tampax was for the first time as I had heard they are great for getting a bonfire going.

Whilst we marveled at the different shapes of flames we listened to a Horrible Histories audio book about the Rotten Romans noticing how often humour was used and also alliteration. There may have been a role-play session on the murder of Caesar!

In the end we had a full morning of full on fun and learning.

So as I have a cuppa and a think, I compare home education to playing with fire. So many people tell you it is dangerous to go down this route and nobody more so than yourself sometimes. Yet when you stop stressing it and throw yourself into it with gusto, it is a delight and memorable learning takes place not just for the child but for the parent too.

There is movement and laughter. There is risk-taking and caution too. That sounds pretty much life life really and that is what we are educating our kids for right?

Cuddle Fairy
Kate Davis-Holmes
Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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