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Home Schooling the Not So Average Child

This term sees many of us homeschooling. I have to say this injected a little bit of fear into me as I have a child who does not like school.  But I recently read a book called ”The Highly Sensitive Child”. The author Elaine Aron discusses raising an extraordinary child and how it cannot be done in ordinary ways.  Maybe home schooling is the perfect opportunity to show some of the ways your child is extraordinary. What I mean by this is, let your child learn the way that is best for them. As Occupational Therapists we look at how we can use our senses to help learning.  This could be the perfect time to explore this at home.

I have seen so many photos of home school set up replicating a classroom set up, with a desk, chair, books etc. But what if we give our children the items they must have (eg. the Ipad for Zoom lessons), but instead of making them sit, let them go and see what happens. They may use their senses to guide their learning; they may have a drink, fidget, stand or even dance while watching their English lesson. Does it matter where they are if they are still learning the content? Who knows, they may learn the content better than if they just sit.  

For some children, if they must remain seated, all their thoughts are focused on keeping still and sitting, leaving little room for them to learn the subject. As adults we learn differently. I know I personally learn better when I “do it”, whereas others learn better through reading.  Our children are no different, but unfortunately, they do not always have the opportunity to explore what suits them best.

This system may not work for you, especially if you have three other children all trying to learn while one is doing pirouettes around the room.  And if it doesn’t work for you then stop, don’t add stress to the family.  But if it does work, you may find what truly makes your child extraordinary.

 

Dina Whelan

Senior Occupational Therapist

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