E-journal July 1, 2008

Determining how your child learns best

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The school for the animals

An old story tells of the creation of a school for the animals. In this school, everybody took the same four courses: flying, swimming, climbing, and running. Among the students were a duck, a flying squirrel, a fox, and an elephant. These four were highly motivated, and wanted to get good grades, so they all tried very hard.

The duck did fantastically well in swimming and flying, but he lagged behind his classmates in climbing and running, so focused special attention on those two subjects. However, his feet became so sore from trying to run and his wings were so bedraggled from trying to climb that by the end of the year he not only failed both those subjects, but made C’s in swimming and flying, which had once been his two best subjects.

At the beginning of the school year, the squirrel was first in his class in climbing and running and was second only to the duck at flying. But as the months wore on, he missed so much school from catching pneumonia in his swimming class that he failed everything. To make matters even worse,
because the squirrel constantly squirmed and chattered in class, and had difficulty paying attention, he was diagnosed with a learning disorder. The squirrel eventually was placed in remedial classes and had to be medicated in order to continue with his school work.

The fox was a natural in his running class and scored well in climbing and swimming, but became so frustrated at his inability to get good Grades in flying that he began assaulting his classmates. He even tried to eat the duck. His behavior was so disruptive he was expelled from school. He fell in with a rough crowd and eventually wound up in a center for animal delinquents.

The elephant, meanwhile, developed low self-esteem because he couldn’t do well in any of the subjects. When he sank into clinical depression, his therapist persuaded him to try a different school that focused on subjects such as lifting and carrying. The elephant was disappointed, because careers in lifting and carrying were not as prestigious as careers in flying, swimming, climbing, or
running. Even though he always felt inferior, he managed to make a decent living and support his family.

Our Children are Individuals

The point of this silly story about a school for the animals is that modern education sends every child through a program of study that is targeted toward a “generic” child. It expects every student to be able to follow the same course of study in the same sequence, without considering innate aptitudes or individual differences that are crucial to children’s abilities to learn. Schooling does not take into account differing personality types or temperaments.

Parents who understand learning differences can be more sympathetic with the frustrations their children face in school and more helpful in finding alternative approaches. The two major learning differences among children have to do with learning styles and learning readiness.

Conditions that affect learning

Each person has a dominant or preferred mode of receiving information. People also have different ways in which they process input, different innate aptitudes, and different temperaments. These differences in learning modalities can profoundly affect their ability to learn.

A Visual learner is one who learns best through visual images, pictures, diagrams, etc. and by watching others do something. Visual learners tend to be print oriented and can learn by reading about a subject. Some visual learners are strictly Print learners.

Auditory learners do better with lectures, songs, stories and other oral material.

Kinesthetic learners favor interacting with what they are learning by doing and touching. Most young children are kinesthetic learners, but oftentimes boys will continue to need “hands-on” materials even when they are older.

Social or Group Interactive learners learn best through group participation, conversations, and discussion.

A child will give you clues as to which kind of a learner he is not only in his activities but also in the words he uses to express himself. If a child observes and remembers details, likes beautiful things and bright illustrations, and tends to express himself with phrases such as “Look at this!” or “I see what you mean,” that child is probably a visual learner. If the child often sings to himself or makes up songs, can remember what people say, and uses expressions like, “Listen to this!” or “I hear what you’re saying” to mean he understands, he may be an auditory learner. The child who likes to touch everything, take things apart, and uses expressions like, “I get it” is most likely a kinesthetic learner.

In addition to one or two favored learning styles, each person has a dominant thinking style dependent on whether he or she processes information with the right or the left hemisphere of the brain. Left hemisphere thinking is sequential, analytical, rational, and interested in details. Right hemisphere thinking is “whole concept,” intuitive, subjective, and artistic.

Another component of learning is what scientists call The Seven Intelligences. Different people have various innate abilities that make certain studies easier for them. This innate aptitude may be musical, artistic, logicalmathematical, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, or intra-personal.

Linguistic Intelligence is the ability to use and understand language; Logical-Mathematical Intelligence is the ability to use numbers and math concepts.

Visual-Spacial Intelligence is the ability to understand the relationships of images and figures in space. Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence is the ability to hear tone and pitch and to sense rhythm. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence is the ability to move with grace and strength. Interpersonal Intelligence is the ability to work with other people and lead them. Intra-personal Intelligence is the ability to understand one’s own emotions, motivations, and goals.

People who have highly developed intelligence in one area may be weak in other areas.

In addition, a child’s temperament and his spiritual gifting can have a powerful influence on his ability to learn. Profound differences in people’s personalities cause them to be more receptive to certain learning environments and methods.

Determining your child’s learning preferences can be important because traditional teaching methods and materials favor the serious and deliberate temperaments, visual and auditory learners, left-brained thinkers, and linguistic and logicalmathematical intelligences.

Learning readiness

Dr. Raymond Moore was part of a task force of leading American educators who studied early childhood learning for the U. S. Office of Economic Opportunity. Based on his years of research, Dr. Moore reached two conclusions about learning readiness:

1] Many children suffer needless physical, emotional, and mental stress because they are placed in academic settings before their vision, hearing, nervous system, reasoning abilities, and muscular coordination are developed enough to complete conventional schooling tasks, and

2] Children are often taught academic skills before they have enough life experiences and background knowledge to grasp the concepts involved.

Dr. Moore and his wife, Dorothy, have since become two of America’s leading advocates of home education. They have written many books encouraging parents to delay formal education until children are mentally, physically and emotionally ready.

A comfortable learning environment

In addition to learning styles and readiness, a “student-friendly” environment is critical to learning. “Student-friendly” environments take into consideration the child’s physical and emotional surroundings. Children learn best in a positive, affirming atmosphere with enjoyable surroundings where they are physically and emotionally secure.

Many children are sensitive to lighting, to room temperature, to visual distractions such as clutter, to auditory distractions such as background noise, and to whether the seating is comfortable.

Some students work better alone, while others do their best work when other people are involved.

Children are also sensitive to their teacher’s attitudes toward them. Children who are expected to fail often do poorly in school, while children who are expected to succeed generally are better learners. Observant parents can create a physical and emotional environment in which each child does his or her best work.

Until next time....

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Resources to discover how your child learns best

Developed by the authors of Discover Your Child's Learning Style, this is the most powerful and user friendly learning styles inventory in the world and it is NOW ONLINE! A Self-Portrait™ Profile assesses several aspects of learning style, quickly and simply, in language that is easily understood by everyone. These aspects are: Disposition, Modality, Environment, Interests, and Talents. If you want help in understanding what makes your child "tick" and how your can help him or her learn easier and better (or find out more about yourself), take this easy, quick learning styles assessment test. For more about this learning styles assessment test, CLICK HERE>>

Discover Your Child's Learning Style is a book you need. Period. It has more potential to improve your child's education - and your family relationships - than almost any other book I have ever read. The authors of this book have developed a "Learning Styles Model" of education that helps you discern your child's:
Preferred learning environment
Thinking Style
The book includes handy self-tests. Use these to find out just how each child in your family loves to learn... and what teaching approaches help or hinder his learning style. What a huge difference this will make in your homeschool... and in your family relationships!

Discover Your Children's Gifts will help you uncover your children's natural giftings and personality traits. It helps explain why their personality "quirks" are really evidences of their own God-given gifts. The theological foundation is very sound, making good sense of the main passages on spiritual gifts in a way very few others do. Gifts are broken into 1) Manifestation (sign gifts - 1 Cor 12-14; Acts 2) 2) Ministry (equipping gifts - Eph 4) & 3) Motivational (every-Christian-gifts - Rom 12).

Dreamers, Discoverers and Dynamos. Every now and then a book comes along that fills in so many gaps in my understanding that I want to tell everyone about it. Dr. Pallodino suggests that one in five children is an "Edison Trait child," meaning he or she has one or more of the following: dazzling intelligence, an active imagination, a free-spirited approach to life, and the ability to frustrate the you-know-what out of others. The heart of the issue is that these children think divergently, while schools generally reward convergent thinking. This book discusses the different types of approaches to life your children may have (dreamer, discover, or dynamo) and how you can most help each type succeed.

100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy. Selecting the right curriculum can be a time consuming task for any family that chooses home education. Now, Cathy Duffy makes choosing the right resources for your child easy!

I've always recommended Cathy's curriculum guides as the best out there for choosing teaching materials that "mesh" with who your family is. Now Cathy guides you through the process, offering her "Top Picks" from each subject area.

A major feature of 100 Top Picks is the charts showing the 100 Top Picks in relation to educational approaches, learning styles, and practical features such as prep time needed; design for independent, one-on-one, or group learning; and ease of use for the teacher. Complete reviews of each of the Top Picks provide parents the information they need to make the best choices for each of their children.

The first half of 100 Top Picks covers information that will help you decide your child's learning styles, help you decide what your "Philosophy of Education" is, and help you figure what to teach when. The second half has reviews for all 100 of the top picks. You will gain a lot of insight into what curriculum is available by reading these reviews. She even tosses some extra "Picks" here and there that would've made the list if her books title was "200 Top Picks".

Mary Pride's Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling. The title can be deceiving, because the book isn't just for those getting started, it's also very helpful to veteran home schoolers who want to re-evaluate what they are doing and the resources that are available to them.

Veteran home educators will dive into a vast amounts of up-to-date information with sections on Field Trips, Conferences, Retreats & Homeschool Days for the Whole Family, and Worldview & Leadership Training for Teens. There's also information on how to find everything from contests, to how to write a winning college application essay.

If there were one "top expert" in homeschooling, I would say Mary Pride is it. With her numerous books, Practical Homeschooling Magazine, and website, Mary knows her stuff.

Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School by Rebecca Rupp. This book does not come from a Christian orientation, but is one of the few books I know that gives you a checklist of what the traditional pre-K through 12th-grade curriculum expects a child to learn year by year and then tells you how to accomplish the same level of learning at home. Home Learning Year by Year also gives guidelines for the importance of each topic, pointing out which knowledge is essential and which is best for more expansive study based on your child's personal interests.

Home School Resources

I Saw the Angel in the Marble

With over 4,000 copies sold in just a few months, I Saw the Angel in the Marble is becoming a home schooling best seller!

This book represents the best of 15 years of Elijah Company articles. Find our more HERE>>

Turning Hearts: Davis Seminar Set (8 CDs)

The Best of Chris and Ellyn Davis, this set contains seminars given by Chris and Ellyn Davis of The Elijah Company at home schooling conventions. The set contains all of the favorites that home schoolers ask for over and over. People have told us this set of CDs changed their lives. Find out more about them HERE>>

Angel in the Marble/Davis Seminars Set
Order a combination of I Saw the Angel in the Marble and the Davis Seminars CDs HERE>>

Building the Home School of Your Dreams

Building the Home School of Your Dreams is a 6 CD set taken from the From Home School To Home Business Seminar and features sessions by Chris Davis and Mary Hood. Find out more HERE>>

Home School Mom Creates Organic, Non-toxic,
Great Smelling Play Dough That Kids Love to Play With

My friend Susan is a home schooling Mom and she is very concerned about her children's health. Her son, Liam is allergic to almost every chemical known to man, so Susan has to be very, very careful what she allows him to play with. When he gets together with other children and they play with Play Doh, Liam can't play. The dyes and chemicals in the dough can not only make him very sick, they might kill him.

To read the story of how Susan solved Liam's problem and how you can benefit from what she did, GO HERE>>

Be a part of our Home Business Incubator!

At Home School Marketplace we are not just about home schooling. We also want to encourage and support you in developing home centered income.

One of the ways we want to do this is by providing you with the opportunity for involvement in businesses that we and other home schooling families develop.

So for years we have thought about creating a home business incubator that home schooling families can participate in.

What is a Business Incubator?

What is a business incubator? A business incubator is a collection of resources designed to help businesses become established and sustainable.

We want to create businesses that allow home schooling families to participate in their development and share in their future profits.

If you would like to participate in one of our Business Incubators, please GO HERE NOW>>>

CLICK HERE to listen to a teleconference explaining the concept and our vision for a Home School Business Incubator.

Highly Recommended Programs and Events

Rhea's Entrepreneur Days
I've known Rhea Perry for over ten years and seen her heart for helping home school families develop an entrepreneurial mindset and start their own family businesses. She also is very concerned that teens are trained to become entrepreneurs. So for the last six or so years Rhea has held "Entrepreneur Days" where she brings together leaders in different businesses and lets them share their secrets.

Entrepreneur Days is in Atlanta, August 15 - 17..

If you want to:

1) Create additional income or replace current monthly income

2) Reduce debt to manage monthly bills

3) Work for yourself instead of for someone else

4) Train your children to own their own business so they can become financially free

5) Create a family business that the whole family can participate in

....then this is the place to go!
Find out more about Rhea's Entrepreneur Days here.

Home Business Resources

Let Your Mortgage Make You Rich.
A friend in my internet marketing group discovered this technique for paying down your mortgage incredibly quickly without making an extra payment or refinancing. Using her method, people are cutting a 30 year mortgage down to eight or nine years. It’s true; without extra payments or refinancing – you could save tens of thousands of dollars - even hundreds of thousands - on what you pay for your home. And the best part is that the book comes with a money-back guarantee. If you don't save more on your mortgage than the book costs in the first 18 months of using the techniques, you'll get your money back.
Find out more about this money-saving book NOW!

From Home School to Home Business
(14 CD Set)

If you missed one of our From Home School to Home Business Conferences, you missed a great time.People who have attended tell us that it changed their lives—not only in the area of home schooling, but also in the area of creating their own sources of home income.This set is huge and filled with useful and encouraging information about how to be successful at home schooling and at home business! Find out more about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>

Building the Business of Your Dreams (8 CD Set) I've had requests for just the business portion of the From Home School to Home Business Seminar, so have developed a set of the business CDs from that set. It contains 8 CDs and includes sessions on The Entrepreneurial Mind, Multiple Streams of Home Income, Discovering Your Ideal Life and Ideal Business (2 CDs) , Developing a Business Plan (2 CDs), and The Importance of Business Relationships. Plus, there is a very important and insightful interview on Redeeming the Marketplace. Find out about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>

SALE PRODUCTS! Limited Quantities
30% Off! We only have a few of each of these left.

We have the following WIN books available: The Reluctant Writer, Comprehensive Story Writing, Writing Man 1 & 2, and WIN Twin.

For more information and to place an order, GO HERE>>

Is Your Child Left-Brained or Right-Brained?

1. What kind of school experience does your child have? Students who are left-brained do very well in traditional classrooms. They are good at spelling and grammar and have neat handwriting. They are logical and excel at algebra, though they may struggle with geometry. Students who are right-brained often struggle in a traditional classroom setting. They can be easily distracted and are often told they have ADD or are “late bloomers.” They are often poor spellers and have sloppy hand-writing. They excel at geometry but struggle with algebra. They excel at the visual arts and usually show talent in drawing and sculpting.

2. Does your child prefer working in groups or working alone. Students who are left-brained enjoy working on group projects, but right-brained people usually prefer working on their own.

3. How does your child remember things? Left-brainers tend to make written lists. They will instinctively begin to take notes. Right-brainers rely on their visual memory and “see”what they want to remember in their mind’s eye, feeling like writing them down distracts them from remembering.

4. How does your child respond to ideas and challenges? Left-brained people can be uncomfortable with change and prefer to stick to routine. They like things that are familiar and predictable. Right-brained people welcome change.

5. Is your child good at following directions? Left-brainers are good at following directions. Right-brainers are not, and often prefer to figure things out for themselves. When assembling a project, left-brained people will read the instruction sheet before starting the assembling.

6. How does your child feel about rules? Left-brained children enjoy making and following rules and like to "run" things and can tend to be bossy. Right-brained children often dislike rules and prefer activities where they can make up their own guidelines.

7. Is your child creative? Left-brainersr tend not to be imaginative. Right-brainers are more likely to be highly imaginative and creative.

8. Do your child remember names or faces? Left-brainers are better at remembering names, while right-brainers are better at remembering faces.

9. Is your child hypersensitive to touch or smell? If so, he or she is probably right-brained. Right-brained people are often bothered by things like tags in clothing, tight shoelaces, coarse-textured fabrics and smells in their environment.

Any article appearing on this website may be copied or forwarded electronically provided that proper credit is given and that the article is not substantively modified. No article may appear in whole or in part in a publication sold for profit or as part of any commercial endeavor without the written consent of Home School Marketplace. Any reprint must include an acknowledgement of where it came from and the sentence "Sign up for the Home School Marketplace newsletter at www.homeschoolmarketplace.com."

© Copyright 2008. Home School Marketplace, 1053 Eldridge Loop, Crossville, TN 38571.

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Webpages about the importance of reading great books and booklists for children of all ages
te are completed:
Webpages about choosing teaching materials

Webpages about charting a course through high school

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