Work or Play? Why not BOTH?

I have one child who has dyslexia and has some signs of Asperger’s.  She is drawn to the computer and would sit there all day if I didn’t limit her.  I know that she is learning, but being in front of a screen for a long time is not good for her mind or health.  That child needs a lot of motivation, follow up, and limits… and most of all, encouragement and interaction. She tends to want to study just a couple of topics that she is passionate about, and her interests rarely change. Dogs and horses were her passion for 5 years. She also liked to design things… like cities and houses.  She would not do well with the same freedom as her sister because she craves computer time more than is good for her.  Besides computers, she really likes books that are laid out like visual encyclopedias. 

My oldest son needs to study only a few topics at a time, but he digs deep–very deep–and desires to master the knowledge on each topic before moving on.  He doesn’t do well with a 5-subject-per day-plan. The journals work well for him because he can do unit studies and use several books about the topic he loves.  He might dig into one topic for a week or for a month, or a year, or many years. He can’t jump from subject to subject.

My oldest dyslexic daughter loves to study lots of different subjects all at once.  She has a stack of seemingly unrelated books on lots of different topics, many of of them are teaching her some kind of practical hands-on skill. She loves books with step-by-step illustrations. She loves DIY and “How to” books with lots of photos. That’s why we have the “Make Your Own Book” collection.

I have a child who loves books with hand-drawn illustrations. She loves to look at the hand-drawn pictures and she copies them.  She also loves books with lists and interesting facts.  She wants to build things like websites and she loves to help me publish books.  She is constantly coming up with ideas. She is a quiet child, and when she speaks up she often asks, “Mom, do you think it would be possible to (fill in the blank)?”

I love how different they are.     

What about your children, what are their learning styles and interests?

Do they like to focus on one topic, or do they enjoy learning about multiple subjects in a day? When they play… what are they WORKING on?

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