Kinds of Babies

Baby, reading.Our firstborn son was bookish. From an early age, he could “read” himself to sleep. (They were pre-school picture books.) He loved lining toys in rows and dressing like and imitating his daddy. He was a visual learner.

My friend had two boys who disliked reading, although they loved a good story and she could hold them enthralled for hours if she read to them. Having difficulties with bookwork, they aced the hunter-education class, which was all lecture. They were auditory learners, picking up most input through the sense of hearing. Which explains why her sons could hear Mom calling for chores better than mine could?

Some children love to learn by touch. They love science experiments, lap books, and many other sorts of projects, whereas my kids cringed at them, resented the time they seemingly wasted. Math manipulatives greatly help tactile learners, even if it’s just Popsicle sticks. Coloring a picture of a horse can teach them more than hearing or reading a description of one, but riding a horse will teach even more.

I had one child who learned the most by talking about it. Oh, he could read okay, but until he reproduced what he had learned, his lesson was not done. He was one who also learned better when moving, so when he bogged down as an older child, he would slide over the piano and pound out some Rachmaninoff and then could study better. And then he proceeded to become a computer whizz.

What lesson do WE learn from these learners?

  • All of our children may look alike, but have extremely different insides.
  • Our daughters may look like us but have their dad’s personalities.
  • A perfectly excellent curriculum may not work for one child as well as it did for the others.
  • Einstein and Edison could both be immensely successful, although one was bookish and the other was not.
  • Institutionalized teaching of scores of children via the same methods will never work.

All of which statements are another good reason to homeschool.

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6 thoughts on “Kinds of Babies

  1. sanstorm says:

    … or be educated in Scotland!
    Learning styles are ‘big’ here. I feel lucky to be prefer to learn through the written word – as that was the way I was taught. Here, everything has gone to “active learning” with “personalisation and choice” embedded in the curriculum.

    I find your ideas fascinating. Home schooling is very much the exception here. Keep posting!

  2. sanstorm says:

    We walk! (OK we sometimes drive). There is one school bus at our village school and it is old and red. Yellow school buses are very American iconic.
    The children are encouraged to cycle from about the age of 10 and get given day-glo vests to go over their jackets – and here they ALL wear helmets.
    I believe the US is not big on health-and-safety?

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Hello, sanstorm! Thanks for your comments!
      Red. I like red better–never did like the yellow much, even as a child.
      Especially as a child. 🙂
      We like health a lot over here, but safety (from kidnapping and pedestrian fatalities) is the reason we use buses. Also, some of us live far too far from a school to walk it. Or bike it.
      Biking without a helmet is considered illegal, but lots of folks skip it and lots of enforcers overlook it. I never wore one when I was a child. Neither did my kids. But we hardly ever went out on the streets, either, except maybe around the block. For ages, I guess we never perceived the danger of it until the media made it knowable.
      If my parents had even wanted a helmet for me, I cannot imagine where they would have found it. They just did not exist until recently, I believe. Anyway, I really like your thumbnail sketches of life over there–things we never learn without visiting. Thanks for taking the time to comment and for the great insights!

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