Thanks for your kind words about my story yesterday. In answer to a few questions, Grace is now finishing up second grade and thriving – especially in language and reading!
I shared that story to let you know that NONE of us feel totally equipped for this parenting gig. No one I know has had a perfectly smooth run of it so far. Highs and lows are just inevitable, but what’s important is that we keep the faith (literally), arm ourselves with knowledge that helps us to understand what’s going on, and surround ourselves with others who are in the trenches of parenting and maybe homeschooling too.
You may be wondering what those parenting superstars or seemingly-perfect homeschoolers have that you don’t have. Do you suspect that they’ve been gifted with some “perfect parenting” genes? And do you sometimes wonder if, when God was handing out those genes, he skipped you?
I don’t buy it. I believe we can all be super-parents! Well, at least that we can all raise healthy and responsible children who are equipped for a great future.
I believe we can all raise healthy and responsible children who are equipped for a great future.
Here’s my theory: first, I believe that we’re all in the same trenches as we try to parent right now in 2017. Second, I do think that those who are armed with good information are better-equipped to fight for their children. And third, I absolutely believe that the community that we surround ourselves with matters, and matters big.
So here’s a little more information about learning styles for your journey. Today we’re going to discuss the last two categories in a popular 4-type learning styles model. Yesterday, we outlined the differences between extroverts and introverts, and those who take in information by intuition or by sensing.
Thinkers and Feelers
Almost all of us lean at least a little toward being a thinker or a feeler. Thinkers are not unfeeling robots, nor are feelers incapable of making rational decisions as they’re surrounded by the Kleenex boxes they’ve cried through.
This category has to do with how we make decisions as we learn. Do we make decisions based on logic, reason, and facts, or on our feelings, relationships, and harmony?
As we homeschool our little thinkers, we need to consider outputs – assignments, reports, or projects – that allow them to logically think through what they’ve learned and produce something based on those facts. Our feelers are a little more easily engaged in some subjects than in others. How do you FEEL your way through math? You know what? It’s just not always possible. But remember, no one is 100% thinker or 100% feeler and incapable of being flexible.
Our little feelers need opportunities to process what they’ve learned through their strong “feeler filter.” How did they feel about what they read? What do they feel about the animals facing extinction? How would they have felt if they lived in a particular historical time period?
Do you ever feel like an over-thinker AND an over-feeler as a parent? I do. Here is something that I’ve discovered.
When we go into “Momma Bear” mode, we are ALL feeler. There is a threat to my child, and I WILL crush it. The more that we can arm ourselves with reliable information – such as, say, a 5-day blog series about learning styles written by an educator and mom who wants you be a successful homeschooler/homework helper! – the more we can move the needle toward “thinker” and make balanced decisions.
Judging and Perceiving
This description of learning and personality is typically the most difficult for people to remember. Those with a judging style are typically quite decisive, and prefer order and structure. Those with a perceiving style, in contrast, are less decisive and more fluid in their decision-making process. Perceivers tend to start things without finishing them or having any kind of detailed plan for doing so.
So if you have a child with a strong judging style at your table, she is probably organized in her schoolwork, and makes decisions about what she wants to do for an assignment or project fairly quickly. Once she’s made that decision, she usually sticks to it, follows her plan, and finishes on time. She also probably has a hard time being flexible or when plans change.
If your child has a strong perceiving style, she is less decisive and tends to make decisions based on how she feels at the moment. She may be completely flexible and find it difficult to follow through with decisions that she’s made along the way. In fact, she may be a bit on the impulsive side when it comes to those decisions!
So how on earth do we homeschool these two children? Our judger is going to need our help to be adaptable and flexible. He may need help especially when he works with others who are wired differently. But overall, it’s probably a little easier to homeschool him because he likely has the ability (at a certain age) to set his own sail by being somewhat independent and following the plan that you’ve laid out for him.
Your perceiver may be more of a challenge to homeschool, but he sure will be a lot of fun when spontaneous opportunities arise or you decide to change directions mid-lesson or mid-week. You will be needed to help your perceiver make decisions when he has flexibility in his assignments, and to help him follow through on his many projects he’s started.
Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up this 5-day series about learning styles. Don’t forget, if you’d like to receive all of this in a PDF, write to me at [email protected], and I’ll make sure you get it.
If you have someone who’s in the trenches with you, be a good friend and share this information.
Read Day 5 here