How Your Child Thinks: The Inventors (Part 3)

visual thinkers inventors creators

The visual thinkers of the world were created to be the designers, inventors, the artists, the musicians, the sailors and explorers. We say they have a problem with obedience and respect or we call it Dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome or ADHD. We try to tame them. Honestly, we have failed them . If a child is failing in his classroom, it is the classroom that failed the child. The child is not the one with a problem just because he learns differently.

The child must be set free to be the inventor, the artist, the dancer. So who will teach the inventor? Who will train the artist? The child must become his own teacher, and his parents and teachers must become his students, to learn from him, to understand him, to realize that he has within him the power to become great. We need to discover how to help him become who he was meant to be. We must accept that it may never happen in a desk, in a classroom and behind a pile of textbooks, even if you give the child medication and take away his crayons. Do you want to be the one to take away Albert’s compass, Benjamin’s kite, or Leonardo’s paintbrush or little Thomas Edison’s mirrors?

What is the solution for the child who fails in the classroom? Set him free from the classroom. Ask the child what he wants to learn about. Ask the child what he wants to do. Take the child to the book store, take the child to the art store, take the child to the beach, the forest, the ruins of a castle. Give him pets and let him catch lizards. Read to him until he learns to read to himself. Search for learning materials that captivate the visual mind–things like compasses, clay, mirrors, and paintbrushes. Let him sail, play instruments, and dig in the dirt. Let him take things apart and give him colored pencils. Let him watch people at work doing all different things in the world, take him to the kitchen, take him to an art studio, take him into factories and show him how to use sewing machines, instruments, scroll-saws, and tools. Let her dance. (to continue reading click here)

Work or Play? Why not BOTH?

Whenever my kids are playing hard and having the BIGGEST fun doing whatever kids do, when no one is telling them what to do I always ask them, “What are you working on?”  I use the word “WORKING”.  I call their activity a PROJECT.   They never say “Nothing, I’m just playing.”  No, they go into a detailed description of something amazing, that starts with: “I’m trying to build a… I’m figuring out how to… I am making a…  I’m taking this thing apart… I’m putting together a new!”

When they are playing they are often doing work that is very meaningful and important in their eyes.  I have a daughter who was always very, very busy, I was always trying to pull her away from her “play” as if it were a waste of time, because I didn’t yet see the value of play. After all, she was 9 and should be doing things that look like school. She knew how to read and write, and she was always in her own world.

One day it was raining outside and she was looking out the window.  She had been there for a long time. She was supposed to be in the school room with her science book.  I was about to tell her to stop sitting around and get back to work.  Then I noticed she had a notebook with all these strange little marks, pictures, checks and numbers.  So I asked, “What are you doing?”

“Oh, I was just charting the storm, timing the lighting and the thunder and measuring sound and distance.  I’ve been charting the weather for about a month.”

I started unschooling that child on that day, and at that point I began to ask my kids what they are working on when they seem to be playing or busy.  They always amaze me with their answers.I couldn’t find anything in the 3rd grade school books that could have been more educational and meaningful than the research our daughter had been doing on her own. I just began to ask more often what she was working on and then I began doing everything I could to support those interests. She is the one who recently gave me the ideas for the 10- and 12-Subject Portfolios! I think it is funny that my unschooled child would be the one to want to design such a structured subject-by-subject learning plan for herself!

She has learned so much about so many subjects over the years and now she wants to put all her knowledge together in a Portfolio that is well organized. 

All of my children need differing amounts of structure, motivation, instruction, teaching, guidance, assignments, evaluation, and follow-up with their learning.  They are all unique.  My dyslexics need a lot of my help and investment when it comes to learning to read, write, and spell.  Dyslexia Games makes it easy, now that it exists. (continue reading by clicking Page 2 below)