Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Release the Butterflies - "All the Same and Yet Different"

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
My very talented blogger buddy, Susan, over at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds is hosting a "Release the Butterflies" theme for the month. You really need to hop on over and get all of the details from her, read the sweet story that inspired this theme,  grab a button, and sign up for the DigiScraps Give-away.

What's it about? In a nut-shell, it's about embracing the uniqueness in each of our children, and seeing them for who they really are. Susan has a son with a rare skin disorder and she is a Momma on a Mission to educated, inspire and inform! I love people with mission and passion and Susan has plenty of both! Susan has gathered a group of wonderful bloggers to write along with her this month and I get to be one of them! Woohoo!

We have been incredibly blessed in that we have 5 children who have all been relatively healthy and fairly intelligent. We haven't had huge challenges like some of our friends whose children have either mental or physical health issues. We count our blessings and thank-God for that. To a one they have been beautiful, delightful children, eager to learn and curious about the world. In the grand scheme of things, all of our kids have been "normal" (as much as anyone is, right Mae? : )

That said, how does a "normal" family embrace the uniqueness of each child? While I've had healthy, mostly happy, incredibly opinionated children, each of them have been so very, very different. I have a couple of extremely outgoing kids, 1 serious introvert, a couple of highly organized kids and one or two severely messy ones as well as 2 highly auditory learners, 1 visual (read it and weep) and 2 kinesthetic/ mixes, most of whom are more linguistically oriented than sequential, but I think, by jove, we might end up with a mathy kid yet.

I'm a reader and an autodidact. In order to really appreciate something, I believe that you need to understand it. To that end I have read vast amounts of books on child development, learning styles, etc. I've heard this dismissed as "just psychology" but the folks making those types of comments often don't take in to account the actual science behind the field.

Two of my fav, easy to read books on kids/ people:
The Way They Learn, by Cynthia Tobias Ulrich and
The Birth Order Book by Kevin Lehman
They both contain simple, straightforward info on how to understand you kids (and maybe yourself, too).
Childhood and Society by Erik Erikson is also worth a look, if you want to delve in to psycho-sexual stages of development.

We home school using a neo-classical paradigm; that might seem counter-intuitive to those eager to embrace a child's uniqueness. But I believe that learning is an art form. And like all art forms you must start out with structure and form and as the student grows and develops their uniqueness, passions and creativity will spring forth from the structure. Furthermore, a classical approach will shore up, rather than give-in to or succumb a child's weak or less attended to areas. Honestly, for me, really getting ahold of what classical education is has helped me educate my kids in a way that strengthens and encourages the uniqueness of each child/ student because it's starts out big picture and then gets specific, focused, individucalistic and personal. Love that.
So, I'd have to add listening to Leigh Bortiens and reading The Well Trained Mind have given me greater understanding into each of my kids uniqueness.
And really, homeschooling is one of the major ways in which we seek to develop our kids unique abilities and embrace them for who they are (read Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto or anything by John Holt).

What are some of your favorite books/ resources that have allowed you to understand the uniqueness of each of your kids?
Read what my blogger buddies around the globe are writing:
Susan writes Embrace the Wild Child, Release the Butterflies @Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Chareen writes  Releasing Butterflies this May @ Every Bed of Roses
Nicole writes Releasing the Butterflies. Turtle... @ Schooling in the Sun
And check this out!
GIVE-AWAY: Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids Book Bundle ($44 value, ends 5/12)
FREEBIE: Thursday, May 9, 2013: Free Preschool Butterflies Printables! 


1 comment:

Susan said...

Thank you for joining Release the Butterflies, Lisa!

Yes, I think one of the great strengths of home education is that we can have our structure and academic rigor, but still have the flexibility to pursue personal interests in our spare time and to shore up weak areas more effectively. Great insights here, thank you for sharing. ;)