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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I thought I already knew my children! Part 1

The Lost FilesPrologue
What a Difference A Year Makes Part 1
Chapter 1: What a Difference A Year Makes Part 2
Chapter 2: Background Influences
Chapter 3: What Am I doing? Part 1
Chapter 3: What Am I doing? Part 2
Chapter 4: Best Laid Plans.... Part 1
Chapter 4: Best Laid Plans.... Part 2
Chapter 5: Socialization? Part 1
Chapter 5: Socialization? Part 2
Chapter 6 : I thought I already knew my children! Part 1

In preparing to homeschool, I read 30 or more books on the subject. My husband would tell you, when I get my mind set on learning about something, that I put all of my time and energy into it. My quest to learn everything about homeschooling was no exception. Two months after the decision to homeschool was made I came out of my self-imposed exile and from under my stack of books ready to use the information, I had learned. It was time to test the book knowledge with real world applications.

My first responsibility, as I saw it, was to figure out how my children learned. I realized that my children are complex puzzles that I needed to decipher. There was so much to consider. One needs to understand the way a child learns. From the way they are wired to their strengths and weaknesses, their moods at different times of the day, and even their sleep habits, you need to understand them fully.

I attended a seminar where the speaker, a woman named Ruth Martin gave a talk about homeschool record keeping. She actually turned out to be a bit of a local celebrity in the homeschooling community and I was very inspired by her because she dispelled many of the stereotypes that I had heard about homeschoolers. She was not a flower child, smock-wearing, Birkenstock sporting, longhaired, cum-buy-yah singing, religious zealot, hippy freak after all. She was just like me. She was a mom, who was only concerned about giving her children an upbringing where they could be safe comfortable happy and intelligent. I was so relieved.

At the seminar, the subject of ADD Children came up and I learned that Ms. Martin assessed these children. I took some time afterwards to speak to her on this subject. She asked me to describe my child, asked her age and several other questions and said that my child sounded more creative minded (or right brained) than ADD. I realized at this point that I was not finished reading. I asked her to recommend some books to me on the subject, and she told me she could test my child sometime in the future if I was still having ADD type problems with her.

I ran home, and searched the internet frantically on information regarding Right brained vs. left brained learning and ADD. The following Journal entries describe my thoughts and initial findings on these learning traits and "disabilities". I spent some time observing and testing my kids and myself to find out more. What I learned through several online tests and speaking to experts in the field, that I too am mostly right brained, but I have several left brained tendencies. The reason I feel I have left brained tendencies is the fact I was raised to fight my right-brained tendencies. First by the nuns regularly smacked my left hand with a ruler when they saw a pencil in it, then my well-meaning parents who insisted I study "something I could make money from" besides Art. I guess we will never know how I could have further developed the right side of my brain if I had been left alone.

Read more Notes From a Homeschooling Mom

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