This sentence in the book I just finished reading so describes my life sometimes. I’ve written about our routines and schedules again and again. Some people think that our life must be pretty boring if we are doing the same things again and again. Sometimes it does seem a little boring but I try my best to keep things interesting.
I stick with what we do because it is what works best for our family. We have three children, two who are special needs, who were adopted. They need the structure and stability of the routines we have in place to help them feel secure. So this sentence makes perfect sense to me.
As a result of these three being adopted I missed out on a lot of their younger years. Those fun years when you see their personalities being to develop and when you start to develop a sense of who they are. During these years you can learn a lot by watching them and they interact with others. I have felt at a disadvantage because I didn’t have that.
However recently I’ve been reading a few different books to help me help them to succeed. In the beginning of the book she mentions that we should all try to spend at least 15 minutes a day with each child. This is a great idea and I am working on trying to do this but it can be a difficult thing with as many children as I have.
When you are alone with your child she suggests letting them play and interact with you in whatever way that they choose. You can watch, give positive comments, and make mental notes. We can learn a lot about each child just by this simple task. This can be quite exhausting but the rewards will be immense!
This book aims to:
- help parents identify areas of frustration. These may be due to the differences between the parent’s and child’s different learning styles.
- help parents find positive ways to build on the natural strengths of each child.
- help parents to teach their children to work well with others.
She suggests that we all focus on:
- OBSERVING the patterns of behavior.
- LISTEN to the way each person communicates.
- EXPERIMENT with different ways to find what works and what doesn’t.
- FOCUS on natural strengths instead of weakness for a strong foundation.
- LEARN more about learning styles.
She also notes that it usually takes 3-5 years of studying and learning, observing, and using learning styles information before it will become second nature. Whew! That seems like forever right now but I’m gonna keep trying.
Gregorian Model of Learning Styles
This book has a variety of information related to learning styles, including the Gregorian Model of Learning Styles. I’ll admit that this seemed a little overwhelming and confusing at first but after taking a couple of the quizzes I was able to narrow down our learning styles.
My learning style is the ‘Dominant Concrete Sequential‘ while my ‘difficult child‘ is a ‘Dominant Concrete Random’.
I am semi organized most of the time and like to manage my time resourcefully. I have a method of completing tasks and like for others to use this method because I know it works. I am also very detail oriented most of the time.
After comparing the information I have a better understanding of who she is and why she acts the way she does. She is strong willed to the point of being defiant, she will refuse to cooperate which may be a result of her feeling like she doesn’t have a choice, and she likes to take risks. All of these have been problem areas but now I have a plan to help her turn these problems into ways that can help her to succeed.
So some of our issues may just be a miscommunication because we are speaking ‘different languages’. According to the author the most difficult child is the one who doesn’t think like we do!
Using the information
Now that I know what styles we are I can use this information to help in so many ways. This will help to determine how each child concentrates, studies, and learns. This can help to improve areas like Homework.
One of the suggestions that the author gives is making a deal with your child. You can give them two weeks to study at home any time, any place, and with any thing they say they need to help them get the tasks completed. All of these things should be allowed within reason of course.
After the two weeks are up the child must show an improvement in their grades or they will need to study by your rules.
This part of the book is very similar to the last book I read by this author. Each person remembers information in a different way. I’ll give a brief explanation below:
- AUDITORY: learning by listening, remembering by forming sounds of words
- VISUAL: learning by seeing and watching; using strong visual association
- KINESTHETIC: learning by becoming physically involved and actually doing something with what’s being learned
Then we also have to consider in the GLOBAL and ANALYTIC styles as well. These affect how we understand and organize information. These also affect how we pay attention, follow directions, and manage our time.
The 7 Intelligences
Have you heard of the seven intelligences? Maybe, maybe not but there is not any one test that can accurately measure any person’s IQ because of these variances in these areas.
They are as follows:
- LINGUISTIC: verbal abilities. ex: journalists and poets
- LOGICAL – MATHEMATICAL: abilities with numbers, patterns, and logical reasoning. ex: scientists and philosophers
- SPATIAL: the ability to think in vivid mental pictures. ex: architectures
- MUSICAL: the ability to express through natural rhythm and melody.
- BODILY KINESTHETIC: ability of bodily movement or physical activities. ex: surgeons and actors
- INTERPERSONAL: the gift of understanding, appreciating, and getting along well with others.
- INTRAPERSONAL: this is usually expressed in solitude and is the understanding of ourselves as individuals, who and what we are, and how we fit into the grand scheme of the universe.
By learning about these different styles and intelligences we can have a better understanding of ourselves and those around us. As parents we must become ‘mulit-lingual’ in the different styles in order to help our children succeed in life.
Make medication a last resort.
I am a firm believer in this statement as is the author of this book. Too many times children are labeled with learning disorders, I know there are children who have a valid need for medications just maybe not all of the ones who are prescribed medications on a daily basis, who just need a little bit of one on one time until they can figure out what works best for them. A traditional school setting may not be the best for them.
Read the book for yourself.
Anyway, if you want to read more about these ideas and learn about your learning style or your child’s learning style then you need to check out this book ‘The Way They Learn’ written by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. Yes, that is an affiliate link which helps to support our blog. You may be able to find it at your local library like I did.
Here are a few more books written by the same author: