Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Proper Training- A Book Recommendation

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6
I have heard a couple of different interpretations of this passage. The first, and the interpretation that it is most frequently quoted to support, is that if we train our children to be moral, God-fearing and honoring individuals they will always go back to that training. The other, however, that resonates with me is the interpretation that we are to train our children toward their bent. That bent being the person, the individual, God created them to be. The bent being that special mission that God designed for them to fulfill in their lives.
As you all know Son was in public school from Kindergarten through the Fourth Grade. He was an eager and happy student until he hit the Fourth Grade. Then he suddenly was a kid who saw school as drudgery and learning as a necessary evil. I believed that the contributing factors for this attitude were class size (he went from a class size of 18 in the Third Grade to a class size of 32 in the Fourth Grade) and peer attitude transferance. I thought that when we began to homeschool this attitude would resolve itself and he would again be an eager and willing learner.
Unfortunately this was not the case. While his attitude did improve somewhat he stilled viewed his schoolwork as a drudgery. He hadn't recovered a joy for learning. This should not have been surprising to me. My husband and I had simply taken him out of public school and started doing school at home. I recognized this about Christmas time but with our various illnesses at the time I didn't have any energy to really address the issue. What I did know was that I needed to figure out what Son's (and Daughter's) learning style was and how I needed to change what we were doing to make learning a joy.
So after we all were healthy again I went on-line at to see what was available as far as the learning styles subject was concerned. There are a number of books out there (of course) and they all offered a view of various learning styles. What made me finally decide on The Way They Learn was actually the price. Not much of a recommendation initially and initially I thought maybe I had let my frugality get the better of me. The first six chapters focus on one kind of learning style and it's four aspects. As I was reading I kept thinking, "This isn't really helping me all that much. I'm not getting a real vision of my child here!" However, as I progressed in the book she gave more information on each of the predominant learning style theories. This really gave me a fuller picture of how each of my children (and I) learn.
This new information has lead me to rethink my approach to homeschooling and to make some changes for next year in curriculum. We will be doing unit studies and lots of hands on activities with lots of hugs and attaboys (and attagirls).
I highly recommend this book as a way of understanding how each of your children learn and react to how you might be inclined to teach. Mrs. Tobias points out in the book that we are prone to teach the way we learn best. However, the way we learn best may not necessarily be how our children learn best.
The Way They Learn can be purchased at for $10.99 + shipping or at for $10.39 new (eligible for free shipping) or used starting at $1.26+shipping. You can also borrow it from me, of course. Stacey does have first dibs on it though.
I hope you all will get a chance to read this valuable resource and that it will give you insights into your children as well as tools for educating them and raising them up "in the way they should go".

Monday, April 16, 2007

Walking Faithfully

Hello Everyone!
Let me introduce our family to you. We are Husband, Cyndy, Brother and Sister. We have been homeschooling for one (almost completed) school year. What an adventure! This will be a very short post and I hope that my humble musings will touch you in a happy way. I am looking forward to this and hope that I can master this blogging thing.