Thursday, February 17, 2011

Different Ways to Learn

Let's jump in and start talking about learning styles!  I have been fascinated by what I am learning about this lately!  I found this chart that asks some good questions about learning styles, and it helps to ask these questions when thinking about ourselves or our children.  Check it out HERE

  I recently took a little learning style quiz, similar to this one, for my family.  I found that while we all have our strengths and weaknesses in certain areas, we are all kinisthetic learners, or people who learn by doing, touching or handling the material we are learning about.  I am excited about this!  While we still continue to learn using all of our senses, having a good hands-on project will ensure that as a group, we are all getting the most out of a project or task.  I have really enjoyed using various manipulatives with my kiddo's!  When they open the "Joy Cabinet" (what we call our closet), there are lots of different teaching tools in there, which they can manipulate with their hands.  One of the things we have really loved the most, is a wooden box containing little wooden pieces of a bear.  There are little bear heads which have different facial expressions conveying different emotions on them, and there are bear bodies wearing various different types of clothing, and also bear feet wearing different kinds of shoes.  Our kiddo's LOVE to hear me tell a made up story about this little bear, switching pieces around as I go, on the front of the lid, which the pieces fit into like a puzzle.  It only took a little bit of inspiration from me, and now each of the children like to take turns using the bear.  Our youngest daughter does not tell stories with the bear (she doesn't really talk), but she uses it as a puzzle.

  I'd like to say a little something about Deep Pressure and Joint Compression!  I am not a trained therapist. I am not a therapist at all, unless you want to call me a parent therapist.  But our family has learned from some wonderful therapists who come each week, and teach our family.  Some of our Occupational therapists, have taught me and my husband how to do Deep Pressure and Joint Compression.  This has really helped each of our kiddo's!  If you don't know how to provide this kind of therapy to your child, I HIGHLY recommend finding a trained therapist who can teach you!  The bodies of kiddo's who have special needs, are different!  They respond to different stimuli (that maybe others of us don't even notice is there), their bodies sometimes don't respond to stimuli that most every typically developing person would be hard pressed to ignore, and their bodies sometimes just need to "wake up and feel!"  or "wake up and eat!"  We have found that Deep Pressure and Joint Compression help to connect all of the communication pathways in the body.  They help a person to accurately perceive sensory information received by various parts of the body, and respond appropriately.  This often has a calming affect on their body, which is displayed in different ways.  Sometimes it means they can focus on a task at hand, more clearly.  Other times it means that they can eat better or write better.  Sometimes it means they can settle down, relax and go to sleep, while other times it means that their bodies can wake up and take notice of something we are trying to help them learn how to do!  Deep Pressure and Joint Compression are invaluable tools to our family!  Let me know if you'd like to learn more about how you can learn to provide these therapeutic techniques for your children.  While I am not a therapist, I could likely recommend a way for you to find a therapist who can teach you!

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