Sunday, October 3, 2010

Staying on Track and Teaching our Right Brain Learners-

photo credit
 Over at our AKOL Community, we have been talking a bit about Right Brain Learners. It has been a while since we had brought this up on our e-group, but in many ways, I think it is excellent timing and really helpful for me in providing reminders in how best the boys learn.

At times we can loose track of how best to teach our children, with all the curricula, programs and recommendations we have to find ways to sort through these things ( many times our budgets help us to do that as well) and make sense of everything that is laid out before us.


The internet can be a huge help with researching information and finding new ways and things to help our children, but it can also be overwhelming at the same time.  I have experienced this myself. But as time goes along we begin to know and learn when seeing something if it is something that will really work for our children or something that would not help at all and create more struggling and frustrations.

I think continuing to remind ourselves what our goals are in specific areas really helps. With so much information out there we have to have a clear understanding of what is our the strengths and weaknesses of our children actually is, and we need to teach them accordingly based on those observations.
I often explain it by saying that when I am at "my best" ( while teaching) and when we are the most successful is when I "feel" as though I am walking a tightrope. I am not really sure of myself or where things might head... this is in many ways acting more of the facilitator and having the learner take a much bigger, active role in his learning ( key word here, "his/her learning" ).

As time goes by we use less and less programs and curricula. Is our learning at home weaker? Watered down? Not at all. It is actually very rich, it is more holistic learning, it tends to be a deeper learning, partly because we are not following a program someone else has written.  We dictate how far or how little we may explore on a particular concept or skill.

This has been an evolution of sorts for me while I have taken time to learn and know more about how my learners need to learn. They both not exactly the same but have many similar strengths in how they process and take in information. ( They both tend to be very right brained in many ways in their learning)

* here is a resource for learning styles:
I found this really great blog awhile ago when I was really diving in and learning more about Right Brained Learners and thought I would share about it here.  The blog is by a homeschool mom who has learned extensively about RB learners it is called Applestars.  If your looking to learn more be sure and check this blog out and look into specific posts by Cindy, these are really helpful.

Other resources for learning and reading more about Right Brained Learners:
Throwing Marshmallows  ( this specific link has a great blog post, a favorite of mine about RB Learners and memorization)

Right Brained Learning Difficulties ( this is a new facebook page I found when I had joined the new Homeschooling Bloggers Haven group) its a good resource also and one I am continuing to explore.

Hoagies Gifted Education Page

The Right Brained Learner

Right Brain vs. Left Brain

While finding out more about RB Learners I heard the name Linda Silverman come up quite often and checked with my local Childrens Resource Center and found a audio seminar by Dr. Silverman and that really helped me understand things even more. Here is a great article I could really relate to when it came to my boys~
Some books I have read for RB Learners are; "Right Brained Child in a Left Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your ADD Child" by Jeffrey Freed - this was a really helpful book and one I do go back and re-visit and look up things every now and then. Its one that you end up making pencil notes on the margins or at least it is for me.
"Unicorns Are Real" by Barbara Vitale - this is a helpful book,  a bit outdated, but I would really recommend this to those who might be very new to the whole concept of right brained learning and also teaching them. I felt it was more specific to the younger elementary learner as well.

These are a few books I hope to read eventually:
The Right Side of Learning: Effective Skills for ADD, Dyslexia and Creative Right Brained Thinking 
Visual Spatial Learners, by Alexander Golon

I hope to share more resources and ideas, but thought perhaps some of my readers might enjoy exploring why maybe they find that so many things they "try" just doesn't work and we feel like we are banging our heads against a brick wall~ if you feel that way, these resources might open up a few doors for you with your home learners.

2 comments:

Karen Gibson said...

Another book you might find interesting is "A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future" by Daniel H. Pink.

Many years ago I wrote an article about learning styles and right-brain/left-brain and how it all affected our homeschooling. http://www.leapingfromthebox.com/art/kmg/learningstyles1.html

I am really enjoying reading through your blog posts! Keep up the good work!

Learners at Home said...

Karen~ thank you for the book recommendation. I will also check out your article as well. ~ and I am glad your finding my posts interesting. It's so funny, my 14yo is working a Intro to Neurology unit right now and just today they were explaining how RB learners really have a very difficult time in traditional school settings.. he was intrigued to say the least, hears mom talking about it all the time and here it is even in his program~ :)
Warmly,

Tracey

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