Drill & Practice

When my son was 5 years old I decided it was high time he learned how to use an electric drill.

So I asked him if he wanted a go with mine.

He said no it's too noisy. So he looked on from a distance.

Months later I asked him again. He came a bit closer this time and watched me drill a few holes. I showed him how to change the drill bit. I showed him how to hold the drill.

Maybe a year later I tried once more. Would you like a go I asked.

Ok I guess he said.

This time he put his hands over mine as we drilled. I loosened my grip a little so he had to tighten his. We talked about safety and technique.

It was a heavy old thing this drill. But the next time we used it, it was me putting my hands over his.

We did the work together. I slowly let my grip fade. He slowly took more and more of the weight. And the responsibility.

When my son was 8 years old he started to use the drill on his own. He asked permission first and still wanted me close by. To keep an eye. To check he was safe and accurate.

Then one day I found he'd got it out for himself. He was using it safely, accurately, confidently.

During GCSEs, A Levels and University he used a variety of power tools for a variety of tasks. This year he's setting up a high tech workshop for his company.

Last weekend I asked to borrow his impact driver (think electric screwdriver/hammer in one). I'm making a table from reclaimed wood. You need an impact driver to get the screws in quickly and deeply.

He brought the tool round for me.

Then he taught me how to use it.

I think this is what Vygotsky meant.