Does Your Child Learn Differently?

by pamelawright on August 19, 2011

Yesterday, a friend of mine whose a reporter for the media outlet Patch (which is owned by AOL) contacted me to see if I wanted to contribute to a local story in my neighborhood.  At first I thought “No… I don’t have time” but then I thought “Why not…!”   So, I contacted the editor of the story on back-to-school tips for parents.

I really enjoy the summer with my kids… no school, no homework, no projects.  I love it!  We just hang out, swim, go on vacation, and roll with each day.  So, when I was asked what back-to-school tips I had for other parents… I was pulled into my reality that school starts in two weeks.  Yikes!  It’s time to start constructing the Almighty Homework Plan.

You see… one of my three kids is not a traditional auditory learner.  Amongst the learning styles of visual, auditory or kinesthetic , he’s definitely a visual/kinesthetic mix.  This child of mine loves to read and has a verbal intelligence above most of the population.  However, when it comes to taking notes in class, getting the homework assignments written down, completing the homework assignments, and turning them in… we are on a Great Adventure.

During 8th grade we learned that my son has ADHD.  I would love to write about our web of dealings with the school district but that’s another article.  All I can say is thank goodness I’m a lawyer too because there can be so much legalese that goes on when you’re dealing with finding the best way to help your child learn at school.

The question posed in the title of this article is “Does Your Child Learn Differently?”  The context of that question is based on the traditional type of auditory learning that goes on in most public schools.  So, let me ask you this… “Does your child learn best in a way other than sitting in a chair listening to lectures all day? 

My son is naturally a visual/kinesthetic learner.  He loves to learn by doing.  In 7th grade we took him out of public school and homeschooled him for the year.  He and I had a great experience.  At the end of the time he wanted to return to public school because he really missed his friends.  He’s also my natural salesman so is it any wonder that he missed being around his friends and teachers?

Now, we’re getting ready for high school and a new learning adventure.  I’m happy my friend contacted me yesterday because I’m gently getting in the zone to start all the things we need to implement to continue building my son’s organizational skills this school year.  After much research and investigation, I’ve determined that this process comes down to repetition.  There’s really nothing better than repetition for building neural pathways in the brain.  So, this week my son and I are going to talk through his homework plan together, brainstorm, and map out the things we need to implement when school starts in two weeks.  For the record, homework planning has not been a subject my son enjoys talking about but we’re going to talk about it anyway.

I have found that coming to an acceptance about your child being something other than an auditory learner is a good thing.  Why?  Well, it’s very frustrating when you’re expecting your child to learn a certain way and he or she does not.  Once you discover how he or she learns naturally, you can start creating a unique plan that works for him or her.

This plan is a dynamic thing that must stay flexible and be constantly assessed until you find what works for your child.  I highly recommend that you engage in your child’s learning and not delegate this duty to anyone else.  I have found that I cannot outsource my child’s academic future to the school district.  I am my child’s greatest advocate.  I can engage others in his learning experience (i.e. teachers, tutors, etc.) but the responsibility for overseeing his learning belongs to his parents.

Plan early, plan year-round, and have a great school year!

 

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Solvita August 19, 2011 at 10:18 am

Thanks for posting this great article! I read a book by Dr. Caroline Leaf ” The gift in you.” your article just reminded… it is very interesting subject on how the brain processes information and how to use it in your advantage. When we know that it is not the same process for everyone, we can understand our children better and so develop strength rather then weaknesses in them, so they can become smart and successful.

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pamelawright August 19, 2011 at 11:56 am

Thanks, Solvita! The interesting thing to me as a parent is finding your child’s genius. I believe every child has a gift! Deepak Chopra talks about this too. There’s so many gifted children who just learn differently. When you figure this piece out, you are more empowered to set your child up for life success. It’s funny how many of the successful millionaires and one billionaire I know, do not have college degrees. They’re brilliant and did not let the educational system define them. Thank goodness!

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Lori thayer August 19, 2011 at 11:28 am

Learning to understand your child’s nature is very important. If we can find out how they learn we can help them be more successful in school.

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pamelawright August 19, 2011 at 11:58 am

You are so right, Lori!

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denny hagel August 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Wow Pamela I could write a book just commenting on your article! Great stuff…My daughter (now 33) is ADD and I am raising my grandson (almost 13) and he is ADHD and I homeschool him!

I am truly jumping with joy over the message in your article…true success comes to all of us when we are allowed and encouraged to find what makes us tick…when we are treated as individuals whether in education, family life or socially.

Love this! Thanks!

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pamelawright August 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Thanks Denny for your words of wisdom! Wow… you’re homeschooling your grandson. That’s so cool! Yes, the world needs that book you could write to ALL the parents dealing with these issues you’ve personally dealt with. I may write my own book on mapping out a success plan for your brilliant child with ADHD in a few years but I’d love to read yours way before then!

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Anastasiya Day August 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Pamela, great article! I agree with Lori – Learning to understand your child’s nature is very important. Thank you so much for sharing!

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pamelawright August 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Thanks Anastasiya! Yes… Lori is so right about “learning to understand your child’s nature.”

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Carol Giambri August 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Pamela, What a great article. There is lots of help out there for parents whose kids are learning challenged or all out for “norm.” Not all learn the same way but knowing your child’s learning style helps them, yourself and the teacher not get frustrated. It also helps the teacher include all modalities into the learning process. I know locally we have an amazing vision therapist world known. I have used her amazing services with great success. People don’t even realize having a babies sight check at a young age can make a big different too. I don’t know what the recommended age is today.

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pamelawright August 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Thanks Carol! Here’s a link to a great resource for helping children with learning issues: http://www.ldsuccess.org/
This link goes to the Frostig Center which has a great parents guide called “Life Success for Children with Learning Disabilities.” The Frostig Center did this research study over a 20+ year span of children with learning disabilities and recorded the factors that contributed to their success in life. This parents guide is fabulous!

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Rachelle August 20, 2011 at 9:09 am

“we are on a Great Adventure. ” I love this total acceptance of your child, Pamela! Thanks for the reminder that our kids are definitely individuals.

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pamelawright August 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Thanks, Rachelle!

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Olga Hermans August 20, 2011 at 10:06 am

Pamela, you’re right on. We know that everybody has a unique plan for their life given by God and to find the destiny that each child has it is very important that we guide them in their learning skills which will boost them into their calling for their life. I think the best way of doing that is through homeschooling. I have seen children just blossom when they are confident in who they are. Thanks Pamela!

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pamelawright August 21, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Thanks, Olga!

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Victoria Gazeley August 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

What a wealth of super info! We recently found out (or rather, had confirmed), that my son has some learning differences that we’ll be incorporating into his schooling this year, so your article came at just the right time. Thanks, Pamela!

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pamelawright August 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Thanks, Victoria! I’m encouraged our experience could be of service to your family. It’s great you’ll be able to incorporate things into your son’s learning experience this year!

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