Learning Differently

It’s over!

The holidays and the World Cup that is, not homeschooling!

Mr 16 and Miss 12 are football (soccer) mad! But, I must admit I did enjoy watching the matches (and the ones I slept through half of! What can I say? Here the games began at Midnight or 1 am and 4 am! Only a few began at 10 pm.)

But, it’s all over now… and so are the July school holidays.

So, that means back to homeschooling!

Sometimes (like yesterday and today), I wish we didn’t stop for mainstream school holidays. It’s so hard to get Miss 14 back into a routine. The other two are okay, but Miss 14 struggles with change.

Learning Differently

You’ve probably heard about all the different learning ‘disorders’ children can have. (I prefer to call them learning differences, hence Learning Differently :))

Whenever I learn of one I haven’t heard about before I find myself stopping, thinking, and wondering if it relates to Miss 14. Of course, then I feel bad because there is nothing ‘wrong’ with my beautiful Princess. (She’s been our Princess since birth – and age will never change that!)

But I want her to thrive.

I don’t want learning to be so damn hard for her!

Miss 12 said (actually whispered really quietly) this morning that she thinks ‘Dad should teach Miss 14 math and money.’

Miss 14 and hubby learn the same way.

Mr 16 and Miss 12 learn like me.

I understand this. It makes sense.

So why do I feel like I’m failing her?

 

Learning Differently

 

Sensory Processing Disorder

I only heard about Sensory Processing Disorder quite recently.

So… you guessed it! I looked it up.

Children (and adults) with Sensory Processing Disorder can have some of the following:

  • Be sensitive to sounds – Miss 14 hates fireworks, loud noises, loud voices – she has told us to ‘stop yelling at me’ when we are only speaking normally
  • Don’t like to brush, wash or cut their hair
  • Don’t like to brush their teeth
  • Like to smell people and objects sometimes
  • Don’t like tags on their clothes
  • Don’t like to wear clothes
  • Enjoy being squeezed, they like pressure – Miss 14 loves a good squeezy hug
  • Don’t want to get their hands dirty – Miss 14 hates her hands being dirty
  • Have poor fine motor skills
  • Get over stimulated and meltdown – Miss 14 only melts down at home…
  • Get fearful and anxious sometimes – Miss 14 gets anxious
  • Overreact to minor scrapes and cuts
  • Cling to adults they trust – Miss 14 is very clingy
  • Sometimes walk on their toes – Miss 14 always walks on her toes
  • Don’t like bright lights
  • Get really bothered by some smells
  • Are picky eaters
  • Can be clumsy and fall over things – Miss 14 is clumsy
  • Have poor gross motor skills
  • Sometimes don’t like to be touched – We always know when MIss 14 doesn’t want to be touched
  • Like wearing the same clothes – Miss 14 likes to wear the same/similar CLEAN clothes
  • Lose their balance – Miss 14 is clumsy…
  • Crave fast spinning
  • Have poor body awareness

Apparently, according to SPD Australia, one in twenty children are affected by SPD.

‘People with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) misinterpret everyday sensory information, such as touch, sound and movement. They may feel overwhelmed by sensory information, may seek out sensory experiences or may avoid certain experiences.

 

People with SPD experience their world as either Hypersensitive (over-reactive, sensory avoidance) or Hyposensitive (under reactive, sensory seeker). They may also present with motor skill problems. They may react with strong emotional behaviours and experience what may be described as ‘meltdowns’.

Alternative Learning

Miss 14 feels that she hasn’t learned anything this year (I know, she said so this morning). The reason for this is that Mr 16 and Miss 12 are homeschooled too. Last year it was just Miss 14.

Miss 14 does not like noise while she is learning, in fact, she will meltdown.

Miss 12 asked this morning how Miss 14 learned at school….. My response was ‘That’s why she’s homeschooled now.’

I explained to Miss 14 that there are many ways to learn.

  • Mr 16 loves watching documentaries (and has said he would never have learned about de-extinction, Ancient Egypt, and many different scientific theories at regular school)
  • Card games and board games can be learning tools
  • Books, online learning, worksheets, DVDs…
  • WII games, PS4 games, etc
  • Netflix and YouTube can also be used

 

In Conclusion

Convincing Miss 14 that there are many ways to learn, not just the ‘traditional’ way is taking some doing, but we will find the best ways for her.

At the moment I believe we will continue using worksheets, card and board games, some online learning programs and field trips/excursions.

We will also be spending more time in the kitchen.

Which methods have you found to work best in your homeschool?

Do any of your children need complete quiet to learn? How do you manage with multiple children homeschooling?

I look forward to reading your comments below.

However you homeschool,

Enjoy the Journey.

Lara xx

 


Author: Lara Galea

Lara is a freelance writer, blogger, photographer and homeschooler. When not helping others with their journey, she is either reading, binge-watching Netflix or creating havoc in the kitchen.

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