Putting Kids in a Box

Steph left this comment on my last post:

 The human brain is incredibly complicated. We categorize things because that enables us to understand them. But as Christine mentioned (in the first comment) no one fits tidily into a box.

I agree! And that is why I don’t think that we should get really totally hung up on “is my child xyz” or putting a label on our kids. Yet, here I am talking constantly about visual-spatial kids…what gives?

The reason for me is because learning about the v-s learning style has drastically opened my view about how kids learn…it has expanded my options and has given me a new way of approaching learning with Jason. So in this way, finding a “label” has helped me break out of the traditional box.

Some labels can be used to limit. Others can be used to more fully understand. Reading about v-s learners has given me more tools to use and has enabled me to better understand how Jason learns. It also has given me information that has allowed me to become more relaxed (usually anways!) as I have learned that things like “late” reading and being slower to memorize math facts is “normal”. And it has made a difference to Jason as well…he is more aware of how he learns and is getting better at knowing what works and does not work well for him. Which can only be a good thing.

So for us, finding a label and a “box” to put Jason in has actually resulted in expanding our world and increasing our options.

So that is why I keep talking about v-s learners so much…in the hopes that someone else might recognize their child and see them in a different light…it is all about perspective and the perspective we have on our children makes the biggest difference in their lives. If we see them as progressing normal for them, we won’t see their progression as a problem that needs to be fixed.

And for those of you who are not sure where your child falls…reading about v-s learners will still give you additional ideas to try…maybe they will work, maybe they won’t. But having more options and different points of view is a good thing. And you will learn more about your child, even if they are not v-s…I know that I have learned so much about my own left-brained approach and gained quite a bit of insight into my own way of learning by reading about v-s learners.

So labels can be freeing and labels can be restricting. It is all what you do with the information gained from that label. Many people do just fine and don’t need any labels to figure out what their kids need. And that is great! In my case, a label was what I needed for me to figure out what my son needed. And I am eternally grateful to Cindy for pointing me in the right direction.


About throwingmarshmallows

I am a homeschooling mom to two sweet, energetic boys although I am probably not exactly what you would expect (definitely NOT your stereotypical homeschooler, if there is really such a thing). I support progressive political causes (yes, liberals can and do homeschool!) and I have found a spiritual home in the Unitarian Universalist Church. I have no real idea of how I want to use this blog, but will probably focus on homeschooling, things that I am learning from my boys, personal thoughts and opinions and maybe some liberal politics thrown in, who knows!
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7 Responses to Putting Kids in a Box

  1. JoVE says:

    So well said. This is exactly what I am finding about this discussion. Not a box to put my kid in, but a box full of tools that I didn’t know was hidden there at the back of the basement. Some of them are rather useful. Some of them less so. And I don’t need to throw out all of the tools that I was using but some of these tools do a better job. (How’s that for a metaphor thought up on the hoof?)

  2. willa says:

    This is exactly what has helped me.

  3. Pingback: everywakinghour » Blog Archive » Thinking Outside the Box

  4. Christine says:

    I think this is so true, but for me it is not so much as a single “aha” moment of suddenly seeing my kids in a new light, but of getting a few more glimpses here and there into how they think and why they do what they do. And I’m hoping that it will do for me what it’s done for you all, and help me to find better ways of helping my kids learn and grow. Great post… thanks…

  5. Jan says:

    Well said…by the way, stop by my blog when you can because I responded to your comment! :)

  6. MamaJen says:

    Yes, this is it exactly! I hate labels for kids, each child is so preciously unique! *But* – learning about VS learners has been so amazing for me. My second child seems to share about 85% of the common traits, and I have been struggling – and worrying! – with and about him so much. The information I’ve gained from you, and Willa, and all the great links you’ve provided have been invaluable to me. Not so that I can pigeon-hole my child forever, but so that I can *understand* him better – and even appreciate him more. And, in learning how to understand him, I have learned a lot about *myself*, because I see in me so many of these same “V-S learner” traits. And I really feel like, as a mom, and an educator, this self-knowledge is also very valuable.

    Anyway, you’ve given me just wonderful food for thought, and I really appreciate it. I hope you and Willa and Stephanie keep pondering all of this! :-)

  7. Ron says:

    I don’t look at learning styles like they are boxes. They are more like tendencies, preferences or leanings.