Wonderfully Wiggly Kids
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Children are unique and specially created by God. They love to run, play, and investigate. Most children enjoy learning one subject or another, but not all children learn the same way. Each child has a preference for learning. Some like to do more hands-on activities, while others are much more visually oriented, and still others prefer to learn by listening. For the most part, all children can learn in any or all of these methods. Children with learning challenges definitely have preferences for how they learn, so it is important early on to expose children to a variety of learning styles.

In our American education system, bubbly little girls and energetic boys are asked to sit and concentrate for long periods of time, thus becoming fidgety. We have lessons to teach and we want them to learn, but they find it difficult to sit still. Think about how long you can sit still as an adult. At some point you need to move something—anything. Imagine having much less experience and a growing, energized body, trying to sit and focus for a certain length of time. Children learn to do this more and more as they mature, but for some children it’s a real struggle. How can you teach these children?

Have your children get up and move by doing a fun little activity or stretching—this helps them by getting plenty of oxygen to their large muscles and increasing circulation. Take a five-minute break to do something fun and then start back up to work again. Not everything has to be done with a paper and pencil. Use a dry erase marker or washable marker on the fridge or window. Put two hoops on the floor to make a Venn-diagram and place items or word cards inside rather than writing up lists.

It’s amazing how a change of scenery or pace can help a child refocus, especially if he is “stuck” on a difficult concept. Providing a yoga ball on which to balance and move within a confined space or using a mini trampoline when doing drills or memorization can be very helpful and fun! Providing nutritious snacks and plenty of water is also important to keep your child on task and motivated. Some families see great results from using certain essential oils to help their children focus. Of course, managing screen time (television, computer, tablets, etc.) and making sure children get a full night’s sleep are big contributors to improved focus.

Finally, consider allowing your child to use a fidget. Fidgets are small items that a child can use to self-soothe or to help him stay focused. They come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and textures and can range from something fuzzy to squishy, and more! These items allow the child to move within a small space, essentially making little to no noise, but helps him to focus. Here are some suggestions for fidgets. This list is not exhaustive; there are many types of fidgets available from various sources.

God has given you fun-loving, active children to educate. Sure, they can be fidgety, but as homeschooling parents we have the benefit of meeting our children’s specific needs in real time and in a significant way. Pray for the Lord to give you wisdom and patience. Be creative! Your kids will benefit from your efforts to meet their needs!

On behalf of the HomeWorks team,
Sharon Fisher

Manager | Curriculum Specialist, Speaker Coordinator, Social Media
HomeWorks by Precept


 

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