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Indeed, the make-up of the programs entirely changed -- basically it was now identifying VSL learners -- but, bizarrely enough, what was DONE with the kids remained the same linear, sequential, text-based "enrichment" curricula, so the gifted kids were failing their gifted classes.

Gosh, there's really no limit to the stupidity of the public educational system, is there? :banghead:

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I plan to approach writing in the same way.

 

 

The way you have described your plans in more detail to me elsewhere, basically waiting and then tackling the whole rather than spending years on the parts, is something Jeffrey Freed encourages in his book. He also talks about co-writing at first; you take on the full paper together, with the adult writing much of it the first go-through, but discussing as you go. The second time, you have the kid do more of the writing. Gradually your part fades away.

 

This is a dramatic departure from the typical way writing curricula are structured, for many reasons; but I think there's an underlying assumption that this particular kind of adult assistance is somehow cheating. Freed takes great pains to try to distinguish how this can work for a VSL kid when more traditional, incremental, parts-to-whole methods do not.

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The test was changed from a standard IQ test to the Raven, which tests spatial intelligence and pattern recognition in a non-verbal format, and thus was thought would be a more even playing ground for boys and minority students, many of whom were just learning English.

Pretty much every IQ test in institutions I stumbled upon was either Raven / modeled after Raven, either that + spatial rotation + a section of verbal analogies... in fact, one of my issues with IQ tests *that I have known* has generally been that they are more geared towards VS crowd and "discriminate" against the verbal crowd (along with some other issues). The people who I know who regularly get the highest results on IQ tests are actually visual-mathematical types because of that. I was wondering why the opposite problem seems to be in the US and how more language-based they are.

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The way you have described your plans in more detail to me elsewhere, basically waiting and then tackling the whole rather than spending years on the parts, is something Jeffrey Freed encourages in his book. He also talks about co-writing at first; you take on the full paper together, with the adult writing much of it the first go-through, but discussing as you go. The second time, you have the kid do more of the writing. Gradually your part fades away.

Yes, that kind of "modeling" works really well with DS, because then he can see each "part" in context and also see the sequence as a continuous sequence. Most of these kid actually don't have trouble with words, per se (in fact they often have advanced vocabulary and excellent expressive language); it's sequencing that's the problem. So it makes sense to walk them through the sequencing in a sort of dynamic way, so the steps are connected, rather than just listing the steps separately.

 

When you first mentioned the Freed book, I went to Amazon and got a message saying I bought it in 2008. I vaguely remember loaning it to DH, so who knows where it is now. :lol:

 

Jackie

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I think the issue with "output" that tends to confuse people who don't understand the way these kids think, is that they apply assumptions about what works with linear-sequential learners (LSLs) to VSLs.

Jackie

 

Or maybe it is simply a matter of disagreement. Some of us do have VSLs and do actually understand what you are talking about.

 

I'll give you spelling as an example. My VSL is a poor speller, but at least he is no longer a completely horrid speller. Teaching him to spell via OG methodology was like dumping a bunch of letter sounds on the ground to form words.......it was really more like assembling puzzles and he could construct them in multiple unique ways conforming to all the rules he had memorized and yet he still couldn't tell you which one was right.

 

However, teaching to construct words from morphemes.....that connected to his way of thinking. It was building with bases vs. sound. His spelling improved dramatically. He still isn't a perfect speller by any stretch of the imagination, but it is so drastically better that it makes his few errors now not impact his writing so negatively.

 

There are teaching methods that can help VSLs w/their "output." Different strategies can build their weak "output" skills. That is the beauty of homeschooling. We can work to find ways to teach our children specifically in what connects with them.

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The way you have described your plans in more detail to me elsewhere, basically waiting and then tackling the whole rather than spending years on the parts, is something Jeffrey Freed encourages in his book. He also talks about co-writing at first; you take on the full paper together, with the adult writing much of it the first go-through, but discussing as you go. The second time, you have the kid do more of the writing. Gradually your part fades away.

 

This is a dramatic departure from the typical way writing curricula are structured, for many reasons; but I think there's an underlying assumption that this particular kind of adult assistance is somehow cheating. Freed takes great pains to try to distinguish how this can work for a VSL kid when more traditional, incremental, parts-to-whole methods do not.

 

I've been reading this thread with great interest even though I'm not sure it applies to me, as I'm pretty sure my kids are fairly "typical" in most areas. But I think this post (and the other one saying how some gifted tests skew for VSL) may explain the set-up of MCT's materials for gifted kids. They are very much whole-to-parts, and very visual as well.

 

This thread also leaves me a bit confused about my own brain's processes. On the one hand I can be very linear - it drives me nuts not to do all the pages in a book, in order. Leaving blank workbook pages is hard for me (I have to plan to skip them because I know that's sometimes nonsense, and it's still hard). Miquon drove me nuts (do the pages in any order? aaaaah!). I love outlines.

 

On the other hand, I am very spatial. I can not follow US/UK style knitting instructions (okay, I adamantly refuse, and get a visceral reaction so that I can't stand even looking at them) - I like Continental ones with a chart. I feel like those US ones I'm being led blind through a maze and supposed to trust it. With a chart I can see where I'm going. Same with directions - while I can follow the written ones, I much prefer just looking at the map so I can see where I am going (and don't give me those little pieces of maps that the online ones sometimes print out - I need the big picture with the area around it). Then I'm oriented.

 

I don't learn as well from textbooks as lectures - I'm very auditory and have an excellent auditory memory and didn't much need the textbooks in school because I could remember the lectures. I do remember fiction books well, and this thread has got me thinking that it might be because I have a "movie" in my head with fiction, but not with textbooks.

 

I love MCT's grammar materials because I love the big picture at first there and something like FLL makes me itchy. But with the writing I feel like I need more step-by-step instruction (yay, SWB's stuff).

 

I pick up language (both English vocab and foreign) very easily because I intuitively see patterns in language without even realizing it. I realize I'm a natural speller for the same reason. I hate traditional rule-based phonics and loved the more phoneme-based approach of Reading Reflex/Phonographix (as a child I taught myself to read at 3). These are areas where I make intuitive leaps but as an adult have been able to think about why and document linear/sequential "rules" for my kids even though it's not at all how I came up with the connections in the first place (which sounds like the output vs. input skills there's been some discussion about). I'm not sure if I would have been able to document that "why" as a child, though...?

 

I wonder if it's possible to be both styles depending on what you're learning?? :tongue_smilie: Oh, and the older I get, the more I think I'm ADD...

 

Sorry, I meant to just comment on the MCT/VSL connection and all this other stuff came spilling out. Carry on with this conversation! (and I'm not sure where the heck people are coming from that are implying that this discussion doesn't "belong" here. This is a great thread!!)

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I've been reading this thread with great interest even though I'm not sure it applies to me, as I'm pretty sure my kids are fairly "typical" in most areas. But I think this post (and the other one saying how some gifted tests skew for VSL) may explain the set-up of MCT's materials for gifted kids. They are very much whole-to-parts, and very visual as well.

 

This thread also leaves me a bit confused about my own brain's processes. On the one hand I can be very linear - it drives me nuts not to do all the pages in a book, in order. Leaving blank workbook pages is hard for me (I have to plan to skip them because I know that's sometimes nonsense, and it's still hard). Miquon drove me nuts (do the pages in any order? aaaaah!). I love outlines.

 

On the other hand, I am very spatial. I can not follow US/UK style knitting instructions (okay, I adamantly refuse, and get a visceral reaction so that I can't stand even looking at them) - I like Continental ones with a chart. I feel like those US ones I'm being led blind through a maze and supposed to trust it. With a chart I can see where I'm going. Same with directions - while I can follow the written ones, I much prefer just looking at the map so I can see where I am going (and don't give me those little pieces of maps that the online ones sometimes print out - I need the big picture with the area around it). Then I'm oriented.

 

I don't learn as well from textbooks as lectures - I'm very auditory and have an excellent auditory memory and didn't much need the textbooks in school because I could remember the lectures. I do remember fiction books well, and this thread has got me thinking that it might be because I have a "movie" in my head with fiction, but not with textbooks.

 

I love MCT's grammar materials because I love the big picture at first there and something like FLL makes me itchy. But with the writing I feel like I need more step-by-step instruction (yay, SWB's stuff).

 

I pick up language (both English vocab and foreign) very easily because I intuitively see patterns in language without even realizing it. I realize I'm a natural speller for the same reason. I hate traditional rule-based phonics and loved the more phoneme-based approach of Reading Reflex/Phonographix (as a child I taught myself to read at 3). These are areas where I make intuitive leaps but as an adult have been able to think about why and document linear/sequential "rules" for my kids even though it's not at all how I came up with the connections in the first place (which sounds like the output vs. input skills there's been some discussion about). I'm not sure if I would have been able to document that "why" as a child, though...?

 

I wonder if it's possible to be both styles depending on what you're learning?? :tongue_smilie: Oh, and the older I get, the more I think I'm ADD...

 

Sorry, I meant to just comment on the MCT/VSL connection and all this other stuff came spilling out. Carry on with this conversation! (and I'm not sure where the heck people are coming from that are implying that this discussion doesn't "belong" here. This is a great thread!!)

 

I agree that MCT is very whole to parts. So is AoPS. VSLs typically learn best by seeing the whole and filling in the details on their own.

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I agree that MCT is very whole to parts. So is AoPS. VSLs typically learn best by seeing the whole and filling in the details on their own.

 

And I love AoPS too. I saw that and immediately thought "I wish I'd had a math book like that!!" I think a tiny part of why I'm using it with one of my dds is because I want to work through it. :D

 

Another thing that confuses me about my brain is that even though I taught myself to read spoken language so effortlessly, I find it extremely difficult to read music fluently (I know all the pieces, but I can't seem to put them together in real time). But I play very easily by ear.

 

I'm not sure if I'm "versatile" as Ester describes herself or just bizarrely mixed up... :tongue_smilie:

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Different strategies can build their weak "output" skills. That is the beauty of homeschooling. We can work to find ways to teach our children specifically in what connects with them.

This is where I am at. I know that such improvement can be had, because that has been my own experience to some extent, though I still sometimes struggle with being able to spit out what's in my head, including right this moment on this topic, and I'd guess that I probably started with less-sigificant weaknesses than, say, one of my kids. But these output skills are critical for certain levels of success later in life, and I'm confident that some of it - especially the written part (as opposed to oral, which IMO is harder, although they are connected) - can be taught, though I'm not sure about when - that probably differs between kids. Certainly before the end of high school. I'm hoping to address some of this during middle school, with dd.

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Honestly, I thought MCT would be perfect because of the whole-to-parts, but after I printed out the samples, I realized it's just not for me (let alone dd - I showed them to her and she wasn't interested).

 

What dd objected to about MCT was the use of pre-selected selections taken from a work she may or may not have read. It works so much better for us when SHE chooses sentences from texts she's read in their entirety, so the quotes do not appear fragmented or out of context to her -- I've mentioned elsewhere that she keeps a quotation book that is rapidly becoming massive; I keep one too; and we regularly discuss our sentences together, although more in terms of stylistics than grammar.

 

On the other hand, it's perfectly acceptable for some reason, probably because she as no emotional investment in non-fiction prose, to read the corrections column in the New York Times in which the editors reprint, discuss, and correct grammatical errors from their own journalists. She actually quite enjoys this, as she enjoys hunting for spelling and grammar errors in things like menus, signs, posters, pamphlets, etc.

 

This sort of thing is the reason that we tend not to base her work on textbooks or published curricula, except for math. We may refer to them on occasion, or use them for brief periods, but they're not our foundation. Dd consistently discovers or makes her own.

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Or maybe it is simply a matter of disagreement. Some of us do have VSLs and do actually understand what you are talking about.

 

I'll give you spelling as an example. My VSL is a poor speller, but at least he is no longer a completely horrid speller. Teaching him to spell via OG methodology was like dumping a bunch of letter sounds on the ground to form words.......it was really more like assembling puzzles and he could construct them in multiple unique ways conforming to all the rules he had memorized and yet he still couldn't tell you which one was right.

 

However, teaching to construct words from morphemes.....that connected to his way of thinking. It was building with bases vs. sound. His spelling improved dramatically. He still isn't a perfect speller by any stretch of the imagination, but it is so drastically better that it makes his few errors now not impact his writing so negatively.

 

There are teaching methods that can help VSLs w/their "output." Different strategies can build their weak "output" skills. That is the beauty of homeschooling. We can work to find ways to teach our children specifically in what connects with them.

:iagree:

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There are teaching methods that can help VSLs w/their "output." Different strategies can build their weak "output" skills. That is the beauty of homeschooling. We can work to find ways to teach our children specifically in what connects with them.

I don't think there's any disagreement here. I think this is exactly what we're all doing.

 

Jackie

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Honestly, I thought MCT would be perfect because of the whole-to-parts, but after I printed out the samples, I realized it's just not for me (let alone dd - I showed them to her and she wasn't interested). I'm VS-with-some weaknesses enough to have a feeling of what I think will and won't work for dd, and I'm sorry to say that I really disliked it as a matter of personal preference. Too wordy, among other things. Also, my dd struggles with making inferences. Basically, she does better with instruction that is visual (of course) and is as concise, direct and explicit as possible. That's one reason, among many, that I'm teaching her Latin - and yet even here I have difficulty explaining with precision why I think it will be helpful.

 

I don't know about AoPS yet, for dd. In our house, it might have to wait for one of my ds8s. I go back and forth. Fortunately I still have quite a bit of time to figure out what we'll use for algebra. I don't think we'll use it for prealgebra; I'm waiting to see what others think when it finally comes out.

 

I'm still mulling over what I think will be helpful for writing. We'll be trying WWS. DD has had a lot of grammar already and has been quite successful with it when she approaches it like math; we're going to try AG. When I ordered from AG, I also bought a little essay instruction book, because it really spoke to me - I could really have used that when I was in school (it's basically a 5 paragraph essay, where the function of every sentence is taught explicitly - a structural formula. Not that such structure is the be-all and end-all, but I think it may be a great place to start, especially as dd approaches high school. patterns!). Outlining is also something that I think is critical for VSLs. ETA: I also like some of what's in the Diana Hanbury King Writing Skills books - I like the "list" approach to the paragraph and then exploding that paragraph's sentences into the levels of an essay. Why didn't anyone explain any of this to me when I was in school.... it would have been so much easier...

 

And then there's proofs. But I have to think more on that.

 

Here is my take on using MCT. Even though MCT is pretty much structured exactly how I teach, I don't think I could have used MCT when I first started homeschooling. I personally had to sort through the actually teaching process and have a firm grasp of not only the big picture but the details before I could teach that way. Now that I know the end-goals/objectives that are mine, it is easy to make most materials function the way I need them to.

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Here's another cool video on creative thinking and how to encourage it. Perhaps it's one reason why student driven learning can be helpful for our students.

 

The point in this video is creative thinking is discouraged my extrinsic motivation and that creative thinkers are more productive when they are internally motivated.

 

Both MCT and AOPS worked very well for DS. I showed him the books and said "what do you think?" and he said "yay, I love this", and off he went into happy student land.

 

If he didn't bite or take an interest, I would have found something else. I suppose I just got lucky.

 

 

This sort of thing is the reason that we tend not to base her work on textbooks or published curricula, except for math. We may refer to them on occasion, or use them for brief periods, but they're not our foundation. Dd consistently discovers or makes her own.

 

Textbooks and curricula pretty overrated, especially for the younger grades. They make a handy checklist of potential skills but there is a whole wide world of learning out there.

 

 

 

Here is another cool video comparing education to learning skateboard tricks. He has a great analogy at the end of the video that I think you might relate to.

 

Another thing that confuses me about my brain is that even though I taught myself to read spoken language so effortlessly, I find it extremely difficult to read music fluently (I know all the pieces, but I can't seem to put them together in real time). But I play very easily by ear.

 

 

Language is story based and you can more or less take your time when reading. Music exists within temporal parameters. I would guess that you are having trouble coordinating the rhythms while you are reading (though it could be other things too, rhythm is the most common issue). If you were my student I would have you separate rhythm reading and tonal reading to see which one was your issue in fluency and have you practice this separately.

 

matroyshka, I too don't fit in the dichotomy of VSL/AS. Both DS and me are strongly non linear, intuitive types, but we are completely auditory and language oriented so neither of us are really VSLs. He is dyslexic, I am not (I am more like you, the ADD type). I think VSLs are only one type of "crow". Perhaps there are more dimensions to this (like the Myers Briggs personality types).

 

Since 8fill gave an example of spelling I will too, for contrast. My son is dyslexic but unlike many dyslexics he has fairly weak visual skills but an almost perfect auditory memory. I had access to Barton and it was a major lightbulb for him. But interestingly enough he had no use for the tiles and instead insisted on watching the tutor videos with me. After one viewing he basically taught me the lesson since he had everything memorized. The tiles were pretty useless for him.

 

I think what has worked best for DS is when I help him remediate his weaknesses by using his strengths. While allowing him to develop his strengths to his hearts content. What helps with this is that he actually wants to be able to spell etc. Probably because I keep things light and don't bombard him with too much. Also he has intrinsic motivation to develop both strengths and weaknesses. I think without this motivation it might indeed be impossible for any real learning to take place. I am not sure.

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I followed justamouse's link and found this, which might answer your question...

 

"Once spatial learners create a mental picture of a concept and see how the information fits with what they already know, their learning is permanent. Repetition is completely unnecessary and irrelevant to their learning style.

 

Just starting to read this thread. Well, I actually started last night and had to stop at 2:30 am. Will get back to this later today. But I wanted to comment on this before I forget.

 

I am a VSL and never knew it all through school. I thought I just had to study differently or that something was wrong with me. This quote describes me perfectly. In college where I was faced with memorizing details I would have to create a connecting map of concepts. No only did I have to connect concepts to each other, but I had to hook them onto something else I already knew. It would take me so much longer to study, but what I learned stayed with me. Conversely, my sister is a whiz at memorization. She could study for a test in a brief period of time and get an A. I would spend 5+ hours cementing the same material in my mind. But the difference was that my sister did not retain that information for much time beyond the test. I did.

 

Memorization is necessary in the real world. It is necessary in college. It is necessary in a job. It just takes longer. For the times where it is not absolutely necessary I write things down and refer to what I have written.

 

Yet another example was a class I took. We were given the task of memorizing an 8 minute passage. Yikes! I started working on it the day I heard about it and continued to work at it daily so when it came time to present to the class I had it memorized. The teacher was impressed because I didn't make a mistake and was quite fluent in my presentation. He knew nothing of what I had put into the task.

 

I am a VSL and my dh has learned not to send me into the gas station for directions:tongue_smilie: My son is a VSL as well and my other son is quite auditory, but not totally sequential. I'll keep on reading this thread with interest.

 

We homeschool differently. It works very well for us, but others think we are hmm...doing things the hard way.

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I am a VSL and my dh has learned not to send me into the gas station for directions:tongue_smilie:

 

LOL. My family refers to me as a random direction generator. :001_smile:

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Textbooks and curricula pretty overrated, especially for the younger grades.

 

I think one of the interesting aspects of the blog link with which I opened this thread was its discussion of the fact that conventional textbook-based course, lectures, and other forms of direct instruction may also be limiting many kids' understanding (as measured in test scores) -- as well as their ability to apply their knowledge in novel circumstances -- in college. The kids in the studies who also engaged in exploratory learning or hands-on tasks outperformed the control class on the same test. I wrote in one post quite a while back in this thread about the book School of Dreams, in which a high school AP physics teacher substituted a six-week period of investigative, project-based learning with fascinating results; the kids who struggled with the textbook/lecture format had amazing results, while the kids who were really good test-takers and geared all their study around the tests flunked the project.

 

It was very easy for me to find other materials for dd when she was of elementary age, but the pressure to use textbooks or formal curricula for "coverage" and for getting high test scores grows much greater as your child reaches high school age. In some places, such as California, the University of California entrance requirements specify not only what courses must be taken in high school, but even that these courses must use approved materials (textbooks); the requirements have become much more rigid and prescriptive over the past ten years. At one point there was even legislation passed that ordered K-12 teachers not to spend more than 25% of science class time on labs, experiments, or other hands-on projects; the rest had to be textbook learning or direct instruction. (I don't know whether this is still required or not.)

 

Yes, we're homeschoolers, and we don't have to do what public schools do. But I think this underestimates the enormous pressures and cultural influence of the public school model, particularly in an age where college admissions has become so disproportionately dependent, for public schoolers and homeschoolers alike, on test scores, and on an increasingly narrow definition of what a "rigorous" course of study looks like on paper.

 

By no means am I against the use of ALL textbooks or curricula or direct instruction! But I do think that in our culture's test-based college admissions frenzy, textbook learning and direct instruction in high school have edged out other options. That was the blogger's point; that in general our educational practices are very unbalanced and unvarying. This damages most kids who have the most to gain from doing things otherwise, like VSL learners, or kids like dd.

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LOL. My family refers to me as a random direction generator. :001_smile:

 

Different from directions, but the references to gas stations and directions reminded me of Linda Silverman's hilarious account of her inability to get her car turned the right way in a gas station so that the cap of the tank was next to the pumps:

 

http://www.gifteddevelopment.com/LS_Column/confess.html

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Language is story based and you can more or less take your time when reading. Music exists within temporal parameters. I would guess that you are having trouble coordinating the rhythms while you are reading (though it could be other things too, rhythm is the most common issue). If you were my student I would have you separate rhythm reading and tonal reading to see which one was your issue in fluency and have you practice this separately.

 

LOL - yet again I have to be different and backwards. The rhythm is fairly intuitive for me - it's the darn notes. I know it's FACE and EGBDF. But I cannot figure this out in real time. I still have to look at it and think. Even after singing in a chorus for the past 7 years (which improved things, but not to the point of read and go). I just started a recorder class last night, and boy was this underscored. I can read the music if I do it slowly at my own pace over and over till I'm up to speed (guess what I'm doing this week), but not in real time. And heaven help me if the notes went above the staff! I was left in the dust - I had an easier time following by looking at the fingers of the person next to me. :glare: But the one piece where I knew the tune - I can play the melody of that piece without even looking at the music.

 

But this is a good example of teaching to a kid's inputs. My traditional piano teacher fired me because I kept memorizing the songs but never managed to properly note read. I loved music, but was tortured by having to read it to get there. She made sure she picked pieces I didn't know to force me to note read (but once I sounded them out, I'd memorize them). I would've been much better served by separating the learning of playing and technique from the note-reading - I probably would've learned to note-read better as well. You can see why I like Suzuki. :D

 

matroyshka, I too don't fit in the dichotomy of VSL/AS. Both DS and me are strongly non linear, intuitive types, but we are completely auditory and language oriented so neither of us are really VSLs. He is dyslexic, I am not (I am more like you, the ADD type). I think VSLs are only one type of "crow". Perhaps there are more dimensions to this (like the Myers Briggs personality types).
I think you're right.

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On the driving directions, I find it easier to visualize myself driving the route as the directions are being told to me. Still, if the sequence is long and being spoken too quickly, I'll struggle. A map, of course, would be best. I never used a map for driving until I was about 22 y.o., on my own in a new state. What a concept! Thank goodness for google maps.

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I think what has worked best for DS is when I help him remediate his weaknesses by using his strengths. While allowing him to develop his strengths to his hearts content. What helps with this is that he actually wants to be able to spell etc. Probably because I keep things light and don't bombard him with too much. Also he has intrinsic motivation to develop both strengths and weaknesses. I think without this motivation it might indeed be impossible for any real learning to take place. I am not sure.

:iagree:

I think sometimes what looks like a weakness, because a child struggles with teaching methods that don't work for him, turns out not to be a weakness after all, once we find the right method. It turns out Karen's DD didn't have a spelling "weakness" once she learned to visualize the word and spell it backwards and forwards. My DS turns out not to be "weak" in grammar at all — now that he's ready to learn the whole system at once and is intrinsically motivated to do so, and it's presented in a really engaging/interactive/visual way, it turns out he's actually extremely good at grammar.

 

I've been really interested to see how many VSLs like and use AoPS, because when I showed DH about 10 different algebra texts and asked which one he would prefer to use, he picked AoPS hands-down. But I've been very leary of trying it with DS because everyone says it's really for kids who enjoy math and are good at it, whereas DS is convinced he hates math and is terrible at it. But I'm now I'm thinking it's possible that the only reason math seems to be a "weakness" for him is because he just hasn't met the right curriculum yet. Maybe I'll give AoPS a try and see what happens.

 

Jackie

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I think one of the interesting aspects of the blog link with which I opened this thread was its discussion of the fact that conventional textbook-based course, lectures, and other forms of direct instruction may also be limiting many kids' understanding (as measured in test scores) -- as well as their ability to apply their knowledge in novel circumstances -- in college. The kids in the studies who also engaged in exploratory learning or hands-on tasks outperformed the control class on the same test. I wrote in one post quite a while back in this thread about the book School of Dreams, in which a high school AP physics teacher substituted a six-week period of investigative, project-based learning with fascinating results; the kids who struggled with the textbook/lecture format had amazing results, while the kids who were really good test-takers and geared all their study around the tests flunked the project.

 

It was very easy for me to find other materials for dd when she was of elementary age, but the pressure to use textbooks or formal curricula for "coverage" and for getting high test scores grows much greater as your child reaches high school age. In some places, such as California, the University of California entrance requirements specify not only what courses must be taken in high school, but even that these courses must use approved materials (textbooks); the requirements have become much more rigid and prescriptive over the past ten years. At one point there was even legislation passed that ordered K-12 teachers not to spend more than 25% of science class time on labs, experiments, or other hands-on projects; the rest had to be textbook learning or direct instruction. (I don't know whether this is still required or not.)

 

Yes, we're homeschoolers, and we don't have to do what public schools do. But I think this underestimates the enormous pressures and cultural influence of the public school model, particularly in an age where college admissions has become so disproportionately dependent, for public schoolers and homeschoolers alike, on test scores, and on an increasingly narrow definition of what a "rigorous" course of study looks like on paper.

 

By no means am I against the use of ALL textbooks or curricula or direct instruction! But I do think that in our culture's test-based college admissions frenzy, textbook learning and direct instruction in high school have edged out other options. That was the blogger's point; that in general our educational practices are very unbalanced and unvarying. This damages most kids who have the most to gain from doing things otherwise, like VSL learners, or kids like dd.

 

I agree with most of your post. I do believe that this is pervasive across all learning styles and does not solely impact VSL. I also believe the push for pre-school and early academics also impacts cognitive development negatively b/c of the constant structure vs. creative play. Again, all students can benefit from instruction that leads up the pyramid away from a knowledge focus.

 

As far as college admissions, the pressure absolutely exists for top schools. However, that pressure is going to exist w/in those schools as well. The students admitted are going to be the high performing students that are used to that pressure and that competitive vibe will continue w/in the atmosphere of the academics.

 

The admission procedures for other schools are not that way. Not all schools require the fast-track AP/testing cycle. For students that thrive in the non-textbook environment, perhaps schools that attract students with similar learning personalities (not necessarily learning styles) might be a better fit.

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On the driving directions, I find it easier to visualize myself driving the route as the directions are being told to me. Still, if the sequence is long and being spoken too quickly, I'll struggle. A map, of course, would be best. I never used a map for driving until I was about 22 y.o., on my own in a new state. What a concept! Thank goodness for google maps.

I'm the exact opposite! Even if I have a map, I have to write the directions down, with street names and which direction to turn. And then when I'm coming back, I have to write those directions as well, because I can't just mentally go "backwards" through the original directions, switching the turns in my head.

 

I have a lot of "crow" traits, including being visual (but only in 2 dimensions), but I'm really quite spatially inept. On IQ tests as a kid I was always 99th% in everything except those rotational shape things, which I completely bombed. :tongue_smilie:

 

Jackie

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I think one of the interesting aspects of the blog link with which I opened this thread was its discussion of the fact that conventional textbook-based course, lectures, and other forms of direct instruction may also be limiting many kids' understanding (as measured in test scores) -- as well as their ability to apply their knowledge in novel circumstances -- in college.

 

Right. I think what I meant is that elementary texts and curricula have the added problem of being awful (with a few notable exceptions). So you haven't missed out on too much.

 

http://www.veritasium.com/2011/03/khan-academy-and-effectiveness-of.html

 

According to this one direct instruction is also not so great at imparting information. Though they do offer some handy suggestions to get around this. Ultimately this video isn't so much geared towards creative thinking but it does offer some interesting ideas on effective teaching. They are still employing direct instruction but have found ways to do it more effectively.

 

 

LOL - yet again I have to be different and backwards. The rhythm is fairly intuitive for me - it's the darn notes. I know it's FACE and EGBDF. But I cannot figure this out in real time. I still have to look at it and think. .

 

How does this not surprise me? My next guess would be to teach you solfege (do re mi fa sol) and how to apply this to note reading. Suzuki is a good choice, I am all for sound before sight in music teaching. The other way around puts the cart before the horse.

 

 

I am a VSL and my dh has learned not to send me into the gas station for directions:tongue_smilie:

 

Funny you should mention directions but I have this uncanny ability to always know which way I am going when I am on foot. I am absolutely horrible at following directions though. I tend to find strange short cuts that noone knew existed. This doesn't work nearly as well in a car because they don't fit on the little paths.

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I have been mulling over the group of comments...which basically argued that kids with different wiring need to learn to conform to the norms of the academic and working world at all times and under all circumstances, to learn to "communicate" in accordance with the conventions of those frameworks.

 

KarenAnne,

 

I know that some of my posts stated that I thought it was be valuable to be able to work within the professor's (and later boss') framework, but I certainly didn't mean that it *always* had to be movement or adjustment on the part of the student, or that otherly-wired people should always have to conform to some norm. I'm sorry for writing in a manner that might have led you to believe that. I would be a poor person, indeed, always trying to jam someone else into a wrong-fitting mold. : (

 

Indeed as a mother of two LD students, who are somewhat otherly-wired, I make routime accommodations/adjustments, while trying to teach them to stretch and learn to conform for when it is necessary, such as at the DMV. :lol:

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:iagree:

I think sometimes what looks like a weakness, because a child struggles with teaching methods that don't work for him, turns out not to be a weakness after all, once we find the right method.

 

:iagree:

 

However -- I am very curious, Jackie, and I know I've asked you this before, but bear with me please because it's of burning consequence to me:

 

Your son is still relatively young, and you are not yet dealing with official high school in terms of a transcript. How do you imagine what you are doing with him, and the extent that you are letting his interests guide his course of study, changing -- or not -- by, say, 11th grade? How much time and effort will you devote to test prep? How pressured do you imagine you will feel to fulfill every aspects of typical coverage-based high school science and history courses? In other words, are you planning on your son's learning becoming more and more conventional/traditional as time goes on?

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On the driving directions, I find it easier to visualize myself driving the route as the directions are being told to me. Still, if the sequence is long and being spoken too quickly, I'll struggle. A map, of course, would be best. I never used a map for driving until I was about 22 y.o., on my own in a new state. What a concept! Thank goodness for google maps.

 

For short distances, verbal sequences are OK (as in: tunr right here and go leftat thefirst traffic light)

But for anything longer than a two-step process, I don't like just getting verbal directions and much prefer maps, too.

That said: I do like the mention of landmarks, as in "turn right at the gas station" - but I do not feel confident about the directions until I have managed to look it up on a map.

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So why are there so many posting here who have no use for this topic as it doesn't relate to them or teaching their children?

 

(Quoting my previous reply to this here because I forgot to click on its button when I was choosing posts to reply to' date=' and I'm trying to show the sequence in one post - probably because of my visual nature, I'm realizing more and more) "The topic itself is useful. I just wondered what the OP meant by "alternative" and why it was posted on a classical education high school board. I asked, but never got a straight answer from the OP. [b']And then, after reading others' stories, I decided that some of the topic applied to me and my family, so I decided to join the conversation about the article, and its spinoff rabbit trails.[/b]" (end quote)

 

In the 2nd post after your question about what "alternative" meant she wrote:

 

"A number of us on the boards have such children' date=' who resist top-down instruction and are adamantly determined to forge their own paths to knowledge. I thought the article would be both reassuring and enlightening for those people."

 

I thought that was a good answer.[/quote']

 

But it's not an answer that made sense to *me,* and since I was the one asking, it doesn't matter that you thought it was a good answer. I did read that part back when it was first posted. I still didn't understand how that answer was related back to, from the OP, "...seeking, or finding themselves unexpectedly taking, an alternative educational path."

 

Also, please note the second part of what I said, that I bolded above. THAT is my answer to your question, after I addressed your incorrect idea (that people who are not interested in the topic are posting - this is not true of me, and I don't believe it's true of many others in this thread, based on their assertions about this point).

 

So why shouldn't this thread be posted here?

 

Colleen, this is the 2nd time you've posted agreement with this, and yet you claim to see nothing inherently contradictory about "classical education" and differently-wired kids, so what exactly is your point?

 

If that's not a conversation you're interested in, then you don't have to participate in it.

 

I will just refer you back to my entire train of posts on this and the other thread, where you will hopefully be able to see that I am indeed interested in this conversation, and so you can see exactly what my points are.

 

(and I'm not sure where the heck people are coming from that are implying that this discussion doesn't "belong" here.

 

If I am one of the people you are referring to, I ask you to go back and read my first few posts in this thread, because I am not trying to imply this.

 

cheerier things to follow in another post...

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I feel as though you and Jackie keep lumping us all in with PS, and I just don't get it.

 

This is something I thought, too. So, KarenAnne, I'm glad you posted this to justamouse:

 

I don't lump you in with public schooling in my mind; I found one public school-related example that I felt was relevant not because of the particular institution it was attached to, but because the core issue seems to be the same as what you expressed: expectations that the onus of understanding and "communicating" necessarily should fall on the one who gets labeled "different." That was the focus of connection, the stance I understood you to also espouse in your post; the public school part of the story was simply context. Sorry if that was confusing.

 

Thanks. It helps me to understand a bit more about where you are coming from.

 

I regret explaining modes of processing and thinking to dd in terms of her own "differences." The more I read, the more I talk to psychologists and follow research, the less I think that is the case.

 

Well, let me qualify: she is VERY different in a number of ways, as I've said. I'm not going back on that. But the VSL part of her learning, the visual way she learns to spell, the intuitive leaping (tesseract) way she solves mathematical problems, the need for engagement and connection before she can process and retain -- those things are not necessarily "different" in that MOST other people think in a "normal" way and she is not normal. Even as I tried to get away from the "not normal" connotations of "different" when I discussed this with her, I think she still perceived it that way, and that isn't some quirk or misunderstanding on her part. Different in our culture does usually mean "not normal" in a way that is not neutral. I don't know quite how to explain this.

 

Anyway, I wish I'd simply used other labels, such as explaining to her that the spelling program we began with that didn't work for her was created by and for linear, sequential, phonetic, parts-to-whole spellers and not for the visual speller that she is. I didn't realize the mismatch for a while; not, "Your mind is different."

 

The whole problem of who thinks up terms to define someone ELSE'S processing mode as "different" automatically makes the definer the norm, the arbiter, and the judge. It just carries baggage, at least for me and dd.

 

I now know that I want to use another word when talking about her mind's operations and leave "different" behind us, at least in these specific contexts.

 

It's a bit late; I'm now going to have to undo what I've done in using the word "different."

 

We do talk quite a bit about "what works for you." But I think in the long run, some type of specific label is going to be useful for this particular child, because it will make things less personal and more part of a recognized continuum, using language that is common to people who work with gifted and 2E kids as well as with VSL thinkers.

 

I've still got dd's very real other differences to deal with, some of which can be talked about using the terms this thread has been using, some not. This whole discussion has been truly useful in prompting me to think more deeply about the issue.

 

KarenAnne,

 

These two posts have given me MUCH clearer insight into how you talk about your dd. Because you very often here on the boards use the words "differences" and "different" and "won't" and "refuses" and "resists" and "adamantly" and "alternative" about your daughter, I have had this image of a girl who wouldn't do things that I know other aspies/autistic kids can do (on their own timelines). And when I read specific examples by you, I could not see what was so "different" about the troubles (for just a couple of examples of what you've said: spelling, a certain type of writing in grade 8 - that wasn't something my upcoming 8th grader can do yet, either!) - those troubles seem to be talked about and coped with quite often amongst homeschoolers here, and that's why I basically thought, "well, that's why we homeschool" and didn't think they were such unique troubles. I've also seen all those types of troubles talked about here, by Moms of kids with a huge variety of ways of learning. So I couldn't understand the seeming "narrowed with an already narrow message board" posting. Please bear with me and give me grace while I explain - my educational lack dictates that I have to put a LOT of thought into how I word things here because it's difficult for me and yet I like to try and be precise (interpreting and then writing is just plain old hard for me, esp. here on the internet among 32,000 other participants). I know you have dealt extensively with people's misunderstandings. But here on the internet, for me to read these words over and over gave me an image, though you apparently did not intend to communicate that image. (and yes, I also recall that you've also said to please just accept what you tell us about your daughter, because we can't see everything. I do. It's just hard *for me* to understand some statements or words, without some kind of concrete example or brief word definition.)

 

Just so you know...;) these two posts above (you can call me dense - I have read your other posts in the past, and have tried to understand, but just couldn't up until I read these two posts) have given me a picture that, I think, lines up much more with what you hope to communicate to people.

 

Can you see now why I didn't quite understand why you posted such a blog post where you posted it, given my understanding because of your frequent word choices, and apparently our differing understandings of the words (that equivocal terms thing Martha mentioned on the other thread)? I thought, "Well, she says 'won't', but she might really mean 'can't,' so maybe the 'can't/won't' is something related to the Asperger's - the Special Needs board really does seem to me to be somewhere that would be more relevant for this blog post IF she is narrowing down her audience with this OP in this thread," plus the fact that I know you do post on the SN board quite often, with some very helpful posts (I went and looked recently). (yes, yes, everyone, I heard you on the "but many of us are interested, too!" - please try to hear the gist of my entire post here.)

 

Lest anyone say "But KarenAnne doesn't owe you any particular explanation about her dd or about her statements about other things - I understand what she's saying, and she explains herself over and over!", I know that. Believe me, please, when I say that in general, I do enjoy these types of discussions/blog posts; and that I have gotten a lot of good insight from this thread in general about thinking patterns (and learned a few things about myself and my kids, and want to go back and read some of that in more detail). My questions arose mostly from the plain old nature of internet discussion, where people do ask questions for clarity, esp. when visual people like me can't see facial expressions or body language, or easily get lost in a sea of words (which is why every so often on the boards I mention my use of diagraming - I do have to work hard with words). And yes, there were some statements or words that I didn't agree with, but that's normal in internet discussions. I haven't tried to be rude in my disagreement.

 

But anyway, KarenAnne, thank you for "putting yourself out there" with these two posts. I am very worried that this is going to come across all offensive (because I am in a rush now, and can't put any more time into trying to be careful now), but please mostly hear "I think I 'get' your perspective better now." And please, if I say I disagree with something, or if I ask a question for clarity, can you give me the benefit of the doubt in the future, that I am not trying to be argumentative? I'm just trying to participate in YES WHAT IS INTERESTING TO ME :D - I just might not always understand or agree. But I. am. not. trying. to. be. difficult. :D

 

And as to the actual content of your two posts above - way to go for realizing about the word use with her. I wish you well in working with her. I'm a firm believer in "it's never too late to undo what you've done." What you want to undo is so minor in comparison to having to undo, say, physical abuse (just to use an extreme example). You have your relationship with her, and a good relationship can help the undoing go more smoothly.

 

He does that sort of stuff all the time and spends hours building crazy zome constructions. (He just stopped and is building something else, but after reading Flatland, he was trying to construct a 3D representation of the 5th dimension. :lol:)

 

OK, this is something I am going to have to look into. Sounds like it would be well-loved in my household.

 

Or maybe it is simply a matter of disagreement. Some of us do have VSLs and do actually understand what you are talking about.

 

I may show my friend this thread and ask her what she thinks about the output issue.

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now I know why when it comes to spelling sometimes instead of answering me orally she asks to write it first and then read that

 

As a VSL I have to write down a word to see if it is correctly spelled. I don't know how people can do it otherwise. And phonics? I still can't make sense of it. The International Phonetic Alphabet and it's application was rather easy to learn though.

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I'm the exact opposite! Even if I have a map, I have to write the directions down, with street names and which direction to turn. And then when I'm coming back, I have to write those directions as well, because I can't just mentally go "backwards" through the original directions, switching the turns in my head.

 

I have a lot of "crow" traits, including being visual (but only in 2 dimensions), but I'm really quite spatially inept. On IQ tests as a kid I was always 99th% in everything except those rotational shape things, which I completely bombed. :tongue_smilie:

 

Jackie

This is totally me too! My artist friend is always trying to get me to see things, and I just cannot...:D:tongue_smilie:

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I have a lot of "crow" traits, including being visual (but only in 2 dimensions), but I'm really quite spatially inept. On IQ tests as a kid I was always 99th% in everything except those rotational shape things, which I completely bombed. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

This has made me remember a particular test in dd's neuropsych evaluation, in which kids are given a handful of blocks with various geometric designs/images on each face in red and white. The task is to replicate a design the tester lays out on the table in front of them.

 

This is one test that resulted in a low speed processing score for dd. As I think about it now, it seems so obvious why: the tester gives verbal instructions to "Make a design that's just like this one." She doesn't say, "Make a design so that the top faces are the same as this one." Most people simply assume that's is what's wanted.

 

I remember now dd afterwards telling me she was trying to replicate ALL the faces, including sides, and although of course this is impossible because she couldn't see it, the bottom! She told me afterwards, somewhat sadly, "I don't know if the bottom matched hers, though."

 

And of course, in a testing situation like this, the tester isn't allowed to ask questions to help the child clarify, or sometimes, isn't even allowed to respond to a child's questions (grrr).

 

So dd was perceiving and thinking in a whole bunch of different dimensions, which enormously complicated the task she thought was being set for her.

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Output: I'm having a thought about proofs and the importance of writing things out (in a relatively linear, traditional fashion). I'm not sure where I'm going with this yet, so bear with me. I disliked proofs in high school. But years later, when I was trying to write briefs, as soon as I figured out that the argument was really like a proof, everything clicked, and the language - while still a lot of effort - started falling into place. LOL, after a few years of writing daily I was able finally to sit down at the keyboard and pound out a brief straight through (and then go back and edit of course, but much less so than in the early days).

 

Thinking about it all these years later, the connection between the writing and proofs was really just about logic (duh :tongue_smilie:). The question is: what do you all do with your VSLs for logic, and might that help with the translation of multidimensional ideas and concepts into a more linear form that can be communicated?

 

Lately I've been looking into doing some mathematical logic with dd - it makes a lot more sense to me to have visual symbols to illustrate the relationship between things. My general idea is that once she can understand logic in math, maybe it will translate over to language (if that connection is explicitly explained, of course). I'm considering trying Suppes' First Course in Mathematical Logic with dd in another couple years. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree. Wherever I'm going with this, outlining will have a major organizational role on the language side.

 

I'm feeling quite certain that going back to figure out the logical steps to an answer that one has intuited VS-style (whether in a language or a math situation) is critical, not only for the answer of the moment, but also because I think extensive practice in this area can improve the weaknesses. How to figure out the logical steps is another question, and probably involves a lot of thinking time, but when one finds the way, practice practice practice.

 

Until we're able to communicate not only pictures, but three-dimensional connections from our brains, to others, any sort of rapid communication from one person to another is, for the most part, in a linear fashion. Drawing pictures is a baby step, and computer images are another matter. Maybe one day the VSLs will find a way to hook a computer up to brains to extract the information :)

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Wapiti, do you think it was that the briefs you were writing were logical or that they followed a pattern/formula/routine? Logic to writing does of course create it's own structure. I'm asking if the briefs followed the same structure every time, allowing you to get better at imitating it.

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However, teaching to construct words from morphemes.....that connected to his way of thinking. It was building with bases vs. sound. His spelling improved dramatically. He still isn't a perfect speller by any stretch of the imagination, but it is so drastically better that it makes his few errors now not impact his writing so negatively.

 

Please share how you went about teaching spelling with morphemes.

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Honestly, I thought MCT would be perfect because of the whole-to-parts, but after I printed out the samples, I realized it's just not for me (let alone dd - I showed them to her and she wasn't interested).

 

I tried out MCT with my son. He is not a VSL, but he does tend to be a whole to parts learner. It pretty much bombed with him. He seems to prefer sequential methods when it comes to some aspects of language arts. I teach in whole-to-parts too. I can't help it. Tangents are my friend. I have yet to try MCT with my VSL. Maybe next year. I have a great hands-on grammar set-up for him this coming year.

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Please share how you went about teaching spelling with morphemes.

 

:bigear:

 

I remember her talking about this a few years ago, and would like to hear more details now, if she can spare the time.

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Wapiti, do you think it was that the briefs you were writing were logical or that they followed a pattern/formula/routine? Logic to writing does of course create it's own structure. I'm asking if the briefs followed the same structure every time, allowing you to get better at imitating it.

 

That's a good question, and actually the answer is both.

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I just combed through this whole thread, looking for things I had wanted to join in on, so here goes. Oh, and in combing through, my thinking, that I must be more of a visual/spatial learner (though I'm not sure here about equivocal terms...sorry) than I thought, is reinforced.

 

BTW, The Secrets of Mental Math is a great set from TTC, very helpful, but wait for the sale.

 

I saw this a few months ago in TTC catalog, and noted to myself that it was something I'd like to buy sometime, for me.

 

I often need to create a mental image to go with what someone is telling me in order to remember it, which is why I usually ask people to spell their names for me when I meet them... then I can 'draw' the word in my head and have a better chance of later recall.

 

... I did very well in school, largely helped by the fact that I was always good at taking tests. But that's because I figured out how to manage my short term memory using a more visual bent; I would write notes for what I needed to study and then, at the last minute, would look through the notes and create a picture of everything. Then, during the test, I would pull up those images and read through my notes mentally so that I could grab the right answer. Afterwards, unless there was some reason the information was useful/meaningful for me, I promptly forgot it all. So even though I figured out how to work within the system I was presented with, I honestly fail to see what it gained me, or why I would feel my own kids would ever need to be set up to work in such a way.

 

I totally identify with all of this. It's a big reason why I homeschool. It's why I like a lot of the learning methods in the WTM book, because those methods helped me learn how to study in a meaningful way, instead of *just* doing things like memorizing random history facts for a test. THAT was part of the system I was in. So I'm teaching my kids to "study" with these methods, and I am pretty confident that these methods (study patterns, really) will serve them well when they go to university to study things they enjoy studying, as well as the things they must study in order to accomplish what they want to accomplish.

 

(Just like my Aspie has zero context in judging social situations, he can be taught to look for certain facial expressions and body language and taught what they mean. He doesn't have to be left w/o any way to function even though he does not possess the normal mental process. Communicating certain steps and skills can be taught and mastered in a similar fashion.)

 

Interesting - this is what my friend with her autistic son seems to think, too.

 

I finally memorized my times tables. FINALLY. Freaking finally. Phone numbers forget about it. I just try to get them in asap. I still get my new one wrong and I've lived here a year and yes, for my Aunt's, Dr and parents phone # I memorized the pattern and though I know it, I rely on the pattern. When I recall a phone # I recall the pattern, not the #s.

 

Weird, so do I! I never thought about the phone number pattern, but I can "see" patterns on the key pad. Same with when I'm punching in various codes/PINs on my computer number pad!

 

But over time I've developed those skills more.

 

Memorizing the parts of speech and what questions they ask. Proper punctuation. Because I teach the kids and the day after day work of asking them the questions made me memorize it.

 

Me, too, ever since starting to use ideas from WTM for homeschooling - before that, things were random to me. I LIKE patterns, that's why I like much of what I glean from WTM. I remember a few years ago, when I first realized that even the learning of art or crafts could be patternized. I was ecstatic to figure out that for art: 1. you play around with materials, 2. you learn drawing techniques, or learning how to "see" two-dimensionally, 3. you then learn to paint (glorified drawing), and 4. you then learn to sculpt (3-D drawing skills, so really, 3-D "seeing" skills). And then I figured out that there is sort of a basic system for learning crafts. I was so excited to figure this out that I wrote up a thread here about it a few years ago, and people confirmed that I wasn't crazy. :D

 

Anyway, so yeah, figuring out over the past 7 years or so that things can be learned in patterns has made memory work more palatable and easier for me. Sure, I got some things memorized because of working with my kids (when I was blindly but trustfully following WTM instructions because somehow they made sense to me), but I truly do see the use now for getting that list of prepositions memorized (very handy for my previously mentioned diagraming skill), math facts, history lists (as opposed to random facts) to "hang" info. on in the memory or on the timeline (see, visual - I like the creating-a-timeline-as-we-go-along idea), laws of science (to refer back to in the memory as we read through science or do experiments). I do start my kids on these things as early as I think they are ready, instead of waiting for them to ask, because I think the more they can relatively painlessly get memorized, the more mental structure (see, pictures again) they will have to call upon later. And since ds was just asking today if he had to write out the steps to his algebra problem (a point I know that has come up on regentrude's physics thread), I thought about it and said, "yes you do." You know why? Not only so that he could get the practice in "outputting," but I am realizing now as I am talking about pictures/sentence diagraming and remembering what regentrude said about how diagrams are necessary in her college physics class, that for ds to write out those steps is *actually a form of drawing a picture." So in my mind, the process is linear, but it's also pictorial. Huh! I never realized that until now. I'll have to explain that to him - he likes it when I tell him WHY I tell him to do something (even when he still tried to talk me out of it later :lol:). Also, it's not as though we give him lots of problems in which to do this every day - we spread the book out over time, as opposed to sticking to "lessons" - the suggested lessons are laid out for a time frame that we do not follow. Although I will explain that by the time he goes to university, he will have to go by what the professor says. I think he'll be ready by then, though. As long as we do the "nibbled to death by ducks" approach now, I'm hoping he will have the thorough grounding to be able to speed it up and jump through hoops when necessary. Same goes for my dd, with regards to all her studies and how I work with her.

 

And as a sidetrack from that train of thought: how many of you with VSL kids or kids who are differently wired in any way discuss that wiring with your kids? How do you talk about it? How do your kids understand the workings of their own minds, or the problems that can occur when they come up against the demands of systems based on different thinking patterns or processing modes than their own?

 

I hope I'm understanding your meaning of your terms here, so to answer your question - I do talk with my kids about how they think. Basically, if I see one of them is having a problem with understanding something I want them to learn (say, in the grammar book or the math book), I start asking questions. Now this is hard for me sometimes, because I don't always know where to start, but I might start off with something like, "So, what don't you understand?" "I dunno." "OK, what part don't you get?" "I'm not sure." "OK, tell me what you do understand so far, so we can find the part you don't get." And then if we find that part, I then start grasping around in my mind for ways to get that thing across to that child. It could be me drawing a picture, or going through the sentence diagram process ("OK, what's the simple predicate? OK, now who or what did that action?" "Alright, did it/they do that thing to something?" and so on to maybe locate the adjectives in the sentence so we could refresh ourselves on what an adjective is in case the adjective definition isn't making sense, or maybe to simply refresh on what the sentence parts are or whatever), or grabbing some popsicle sticks to make a game to demonstrate a math concept such as carrying. So anyway, with the intial problem-finding, I start dreaming up questions and different phrasings of questions in my mind, to try out on them to see what works to communicate with them.

 

I guess I just hope that by all this thinking-in-various ways practice, and regular-though-not-jammed-down-throats practice in "outputting" (via the gradually incremental narration or outlining we've been doing all along, or writing out math problems, etc.), that my kids will learn how to come up against and deal with any obstacles they encounter within systems they will be a part of in the future.

 

Say grammar. I remember the first time I saw a sentence diagram. Eureka! Heaven! Someone wrote out the whole word family tree for me and I get it, in the instant I see that glorious mess. I see the relationships between the words. Someone may thing diagramming a sentence to be rote drill, but from there I was able to go backwards and understand grammar.

 

Hello!

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Those on the spectrum who have written about their own perceptions of this wonder, and I would say rightfully so, why it is that others do not share an equal responsibility for learning about the autistic self and the autistic world.

 

It means we learn how to respond to people on the spectrum without inappropriate negative judgments, perhaps gain some understanding as to what they cannot do no matter how much they would wish to, learn to work with them in families, schools, and workplaces just as they learn to work, as much as they can, within the expectations of the "norm." The goal is mutual understanding and respect, and a realization that what we assume is the norm is not in fact the only way to do things.

 

I do agree with this, esp. for when people interact IRL. Anyway, with my friend with the autistic son, it has been very interesting for me to be around him and to hear from her about what it's like to mother him. She has given me, just by talking about him, clues as to how to interact with him. For example, he would suddenly bombard me with a hug, when he didn't even know me! :lol: But I realized, he's a 12 (at the time) year old kid, he means no harm, and wow how sweet of him to give some lady at church a hug! His Mom explained that he just randomly does this and why, so that's an example of my learning to understand him. I took my kids to this boy's birthday party a few months ago, and there was a Mom there whom I got talking with, and it turns out her 9yob was also autistic! I said, "no wonder he's been so friendly to me and focused when he talks to me!" I enjoy learning how to interact with people who don't think like I do.

 

As far as the ethics you mentioned, that's a tough question. On one hand, I do think that by university and adulthood, there needs to be the capability to meet expectations of where a person is choosing to be (classes, work, etc.), and that preparation for that should start at a younger age. On the other hand, I also believe more generally that, if interacting in real life with someone different than us, the responsibility is there for both to seek to understand the other.

 

Only one year of "regular" school had my dd convinced she was "stupid" because she was so different from the others. There she learned to go from being a fluent reader to reading one.word.at.a.time. so she could sound like the others when she read.

 

For a couple of years' date=' I tutored other kids in reading and spelling, and seethed when I heard stories like this. I loved taking those kids on as students, just to prove to them that they weren't stupid. I will never forget the very quick-minded girl who, in five months jumped up three grade levels in her spelling, when she (jaw hanging open) said to me at her last spelling test on which she saw this jump, "I thought I was so stupid!"

 

Sal Khan

 

I just discovered this guy's videos and love them! I now understand borrowing, in a way I never did before, in arithmetic!

 

In other words, if a VSL kid is struggling with grammar and writing in 3rd grade, they assume that means the child needs more practice and more output to remediate their "weaknesses."

 

I have seen this advice given on these boards occasionally, and I always think, "No, I can't see that working for my kids." For my former struggling writer, consistency was better. Consistency in that 2-3 sentence narrations a few times per week that I had him do for a period of time, once he could do it without hand pain. I also didn't think of it as a "weakness" for my 8/9/10 year old. It was simply a skill to train him in, at his own pace.

 

On the other hand, I am very spatial. I can not follow US/UK style knitting instructions (okay, I adamantly refuse, and get a visceral reaction so that I can't stand even looking at them) - I like Continental ones with a chart. I feel like those US ones I'm being led blind through a maze and supposed to trust it. With a chart I can see where I'm going.

 

A friend of mine recently pointed out that some crochet pattern books have those chart things. I had never noticed them before - maybe they weren't in the older books I was checking out from the library? The ones where I had to read through the instructions (and by the way, I have ripped out my previously referred to ball panel knitting thing four times now. This morning I FINALLY figured out what I was reading incorrectly - and it was fuzzy - and it was the second instruction. So I was messing up from the very beginning....anyway, I finally almost have a ball panel properly made). Anyway, she showed me pattern charts and I thought, "Wow! Cool! I could follow this!" The thing is, I just don't wanna learn what the symbols mean right now in my life, so I am relying on my other acquired skill of picking through words/phrases/sentences in order to knit or crochet. :lol: But yeah, those charts are neat!

 

We'll be trying WWS.

 

This has a chart in it, used for learning writing skills. I can't wait to learn more about it, as it will add to my arsenal of tools for teaching my kids in various ways how to "output." I think the chart helps in the "translation" from the brain into sentences on paper.

 

Memorization is necessary in the real world. It is necessary in college. It is necessary in a job. It just takes longer. For the times where it is not absolutely necessary I write things down and refer to what I have written.

 

:iagree: and this is my experience, too. I keep pen and paper at my desk so I can immediately write down phone messages or things like a birthday party date and time a friend of mine was dictating to me on the phone yesterday. If I do not write it down right away, I will never remember. My auditory musician husband always remembers things you tell him, though. Still, I ask him to write things on the calendar if he books things for us. And I know I don't have to write things down for him when I'm telling him something, because he will remember through his ears. It's how he also memorizes music to teach his guitar students.

 

On the driving directions, I find it easier to visualize myself driving the route as the directions are being told to me. Still, if the sequence is long and being spoken too quickly, I'll struggle.

 

I visualize, too, if someone is sitting with me giving me instructions as needed.

 

For short distances, verbal sequences are OK (as in: tunr right here and go leftat thefirst traffic light)

But for anything longer than a two-step process, I don't like just getting verbal directions and much prefer maps, too.

 

yup. or written directions, that I have written down myself. Which means I usually have to interrupt the direction-giver, so I can clarify what they are telling me, so that I can translate it into words onto my paper.

 

As a VSL I have to write down a word to see if it is correctly spelled. I don't know how people can do it otherwise. And phonics? I still can't make sense of it.

 

You know, I am not really sure what phonics even is. I vaguely remember "doing phonics" in first grade or so, and I am vaguely aware that it's not quite the same as what I've used to teach my kids (WRTR, with its phonograms and analyzing words for the phonogram sounds and spelling rules). But you know what - before I learned the WRTR system, I was a visual speller who usually spelled words correctly after seeing them once. But if something was tricky like "beginning," I had to write it down to see if it "looked" correct. Now I know something about the pattern in it, so I have that analytical tool. I realize that WRTR is not perfect and doesn't work for everyone, but it took me further than just memorizing how to spell words or seeing if a word looked correct.

 

So anyway, does anyone know the difference between "phonics" and something like WRTR, and which ones might apply to various learning styles?

 

one more post to follow - I've had to keep breaking this up!:D

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The question is: what do you all do with your VSLs for logic, and might that help with the translation of multidimensional ideas and concepts into a more linear form that can be communicated?

 

I don't know if this will exactly answer your question, but here goes. We just went through a particular skill textbook this past year. New skill for me, completely new. Overwhelming. But not to my seeming more linear thinking boy (or maybe just that he's younger while learning this, and more easily absorbs it). So I struggled through, while he mostly understood it. One day, I took that book and went through it to pick out the main points and highlighted them (I suppose this is my acquired linear skill that I was relying on). Then, I took some pieces of paper, stapled them together lengthwise, and started *charting* the info. I had highlighted. I had to *see* it all charted out and organized and grouped. And because I've been learning how to outline information the past few years, too, the chart was what I called an "outline chart." So, pictorial, but sort of organized like a R&S-style outline (traditional, maybe? I don't know). THAT made things make more sense to me. If I wanted to, I could take that "outline chart" and translate it into paragraphs of my own wording, that would help me to further cement the material, as well as make it demonstrate to someone else what I understood. I suppose that's the same thing that an outline does for an essay. It's something that I, as a visual learner, definitely need to have in my toolbox for receiving info., processing info., and putting it back out there. The thing is, this is yet another reason why I like WTM methods. They have all helped me, the visual learner, to learn how to acquire information, process it, and spit it back out in a linear fashion. This must be why I am so adamant about teaching my kids (flexibly) this way, because I see it as a way to learn how to communicate linearly, even if linear-ness is not instinctive or intuitive for one or more of us (me, so far). It's something I was never able to do well when I was in school. I was one who bluffed my way through book reports, putting words and making my cursive words big on the page so it looked like it met the page number requirement. I never really felt I knew what I was doing when I was writing.

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Please share how you went about teaching spelling with morphemes.

 

I had never heard of morpheme instruction before Ottakee (I think that is the correct spelling :lol:) on the special needs boards talked about Apples and Pears. I was desperate b/c I had kids that spell like those signs you see on the side of the road that make you cringe.

 

I am so glad that I followed through with investigating the approach. It made a world of difference. You can view the entire Apples and Pears curriculum online so you know exactly what you are getting. You need to see the tm and the student's book simultaneously to understand how it works. (2 computers side by side makes it a lot easier.)

 

http://www.prometheantrust.org/usshop.htm

 

(FWIW, if you search my name and spelling, OG, phonograms, morphemes, etc (if the search is working), you'll find way more info on spelling from my POV than you care to know!!)

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Output: I'm having a thought about proofs and the importance of writing things out (in a relatively linear, traditional fashion). I'm not sure where I'm going with this yet, so bear with me. I disliked proofs in high school. But years later, when I was trying to write briefs, as soon as I figured out that the argument was really like a proof, everything clicked, and the language - while still a lot of effort - started falling into place. LOL, after a few years of writing daily I was able finally to sit down at the keyboard and pound out a brief straight through (and then go back and edit of course, but much less so than in the early days).

 

Thinking about it all these years later, the connection between the writing and proofs was really just about logic (duh :tongue_smilie:). The question is: what do you all do with your VSLs for logic, and might that help with the translation of multidimensional ideas and concepts into a more linear form that can be communicated?

 

Lately I've been looking into doing some mathematical logic with dd - it makes a lot more sense to me to have visual symbols to illustrate the relationship between things. My general idea is that once she can understand logic in math, maybe it will translate over to language (if that connection is explicitly explained, of course). I'm considering trying Suppes' First Course in Mathematical Logic with dd in another couple years. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree. Wherever I'm going with this, outlining will have a major organizational role on the language side.

 

I'm feeling quite certain that going back to figure out the logical steps to an answer that one has intuited VS-style (whether in a language or a math situation) is critical, not only for the answer of the moment, but also because I think extensive practice in this area can improve the weaknesses. How to figure out the logical steps is another question, and probably involves a lot of thinking time, but when one finds the way, practice practice practice.

 

Until we're able to communicate not only pictures, but three-dimensional connections from our brains, to others, any sort of rapid communication from one person to another is, for the most part, in a linear fashion. Drawing pictures is a baby step, and computer images are another matter. Maybe one day the VSLs will find a way to hook a computer up to brains to extract the information :)

 

My VSL is incredibly logical, so I am not sure whether it is b/c of life here or simply who he is.

 

FWIW, here are some of the things I think help my kids with logical thinking that are not directly academic in nature.

 

First and foremost, I think it is all of the strategy games we play. We play all the time. I think having to constantly plan multiple steps ahead really does build logical thinking. (It drives my kids crazy to play games with kids that play randomly. You can definitely "see" logical/strategic/ordered playing of games.)

 

Construction activities: legos, zometools, fischertechnik,

 

Academically, we are very math-oriented here. So I think math is definitely one route. I can't say we do mathematical logic, though. But, ds does do proof-heavy math. (AoPS is proof-oriented,, so are most math camp applications!)

 

We do spend a lot of time on learning the process of writing itself. My kids write 1 paper/wk every wk starting in about 3-4th grade (basically when they are on a solid 4th grade+ reading level, but not before 3rd grade even if they learned to read at a young age.) We follow the same pattern every single week from 3-12th grade. :tongue_smilie:

 

They learn initially from breaking down writing from examples I find. They have to learn to find the topic sentence and supporting details. Sometimes I cut copied paragraphs into pieces and they have to reassemble them into logical order. I give them details and they have to come up with a topic sentence or I give them a topic sentence and they have to come up with the details. We work side by side together doing this until they can construct a paragraph independently.

 

Once they are writing somewhat on their own, the pattern is writing assignment given on Mon. They have to research their topic, collect notes, and write their contention. Tues and Wed are rough draft days. Thursday we revise and improve together (Thursday is a high instruction day......revising and editing is one of the main ways I teach my kids), Friday final copy due.

 

I have no idea if any of that is helpful or not. :tongue_smilie:

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The thing is, this is yet another reason why I like WTM methods. They have all helped me, the visual learner, to learn how to acquire information, process it, and spit it back out in a linear fashion.

Colleen, this above comment gives me a jumping off point for what I've been thinking as I've been mulling over this thread some more. I am learning that I am somewhere in the middle as far as learning styles go, but I feel as if my own education failed to help me strengthen my visual/spatial tendencies and left me sort of lopsided in a way that hasn't served me well. So I see the benefit in strengthening a variety of input/output methods, not just the linear/sequential, for all styles of learners. I think this is where the article in the OP is valuable to everyone, and not just something to be considered by VSLs (meaning those on the extreme end of the VS spectrum).

 

It seems rather easy in our current educational landscape to find ways to strengthen the linear/sequential mode of learning because just about everything you come across is laid out that way. Finding ways to play to visual/spatial skills is something I think will serve my children well, and while I don't think it will change much of what we do right now as they're still quite young, I'm going to move forward with an eye toward that goal as they get older.

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My VSL is incredibly logical, so I am not sure whether it is b/c of life here or simply who he is.

 

FWIW, here are some of the things I think help my kids with logical thinking that are not directly academic in nature.

 

First and foremost, I think it is all of the strategy games we play. We play all the time. I think having to constantly plan multiple steps ahead really does build logical thinking. (It drives my kids crazy to play games with kids that play randomly. You can definitely "see" logical/strategic/ordered playing of games.)

 

Construction activities: legos, zometools, fischertechnik,

 

Academically, we are very math-oriented here. So I think math is definitely one route. I can't say we do mathematical logic, though. But, ds does do proof-heavy math. (AoPS is proof-oriented,, so are most math camp applications!)

 

We do spend a lot of time on learning the process of writing itself. My kids write 1 paper/wk every wk starting in about 3-4th grade (basically when they are on a solid 4th grade+ reading level, but not before 3rd grade even if they learned to read at a young age.) We follow the same pattern every single week from 3-12th grade. :tongue_smilie:

 

They learn initially from breaking down writing from examples I find. They have to learn to find the topic sentence and supporting details. Sometimes I cut copied paragraphs into pieces and they have to reassemble them into logical order. I give them details and they have to come up with a topic sentence or I give them a topic sentence and they have to come up with the details. We work side by side together doing this until they can construct a paragraph independently.

 

Once they are writing somewhat on their own, the pattern is writing assignment given on Mon. They have to research their topic, collect notes, and write their contention. Tues and Wed are rough draft days. Thursday we revise and improve together (Thursday is a high instruction day......revising and editing is one of the main ways I teach my kids), Friday final copy due.

 

I have no idea if any of that is helpful or not. :tongue_smilie:

 

That's helpful to me!

 

Joan

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If I could rewrite the educational standards I would boil it down to two things.

 

1) Students should excel at something that they are good at.

 

2) Students should overcome a challenge.

 

I would argue that if a child can do each of these things then everything else will fall into place.

 

I like this summary a lot - and it can apply to all different kinds of learners.

 

 

So I suppose as a mom of a VSL you would have this obligation. But I am not sure I would say everyone needs to. I think it's a great thing to learn, just not an obligation.

 

I'm not sure that "obligation" is the right word as it sounds somewhat negative. It seems that it will enrich anyone's life to be able to better understand people who are thinking differently than themselves in many ways. To me it would be part of being "mature" and would greatly enhance communication in families and groups of any kind.

 

I do agree with all your other examples though.

 

Joan

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I'm not sure that "obligation" is the right word as it sounds somewhat negative. It seems that it will enrich anyone's life to be able to better understand people who are thinking differently than themselves in many ways. To me it would be part of being "mature" and would greatly enhance communication in families and groups of any kind.

 

 

This actually closer to what I meant than what I actually wrote. Thanks.:)

 

They learn initially from breaking down writing from examples I find. They have to learn to find the topic sentence and supporting details. Sometimes I cut copied paragraphs into pieces and they have to reassemble them into logical order. I give them details and they have to come up with a topic sentence or I give them a topic sentence and they have to come up with the details. We work side by side together doing this until they can construct a paragraph independently.

 

Once they are writing somewhat on their own, the pattern is writing assignment given on Mon. They have to research their topic, collect notes, and write their contention. Tues and Wed are rough draft days. Thursday we revise and improve together (Thursday is a high instruction day......revising and editing is one of the main ways I teach my kids), Friday final copy due.

 

I have no idea if any of that is helpful or not. :tongue_smilie:

 

Oh yes for me it is.

 

The rest of your post was very similar to how we roll over here. Math geekiness galore. My son actually does study mathematical logic, but I can't report on it because it's not something we do. It's something he does on his own. But it's not just mathematical logic that has that formality of thought. Like you say AOPS classes are great for this too. Anything that inspires a high level of thought. If the material is hard enough it seems to encourage my son to be organized in his thinking and also in his corresponding output.

 

Writing is something I am still figuring out how to teach. I don't make explicit connections between mathematical writing/logic and writing and yet mathematical writing does seem to help his other writing. I think the reason for this is that my son's biggest struggle is just getting pen to paper. He could dictate a pretty amazing essay. It's the getting ideas on paper part that he has issues with. His biggest issue is that he often forgets to write down words/phrases. I thought that perhaps dictation might help but he can remember entire paragraphs from Dickens, so unfortunately I don't think dictation is really what he needs. From what I understand omissions are common in dyslexics. He has to edit by rereading everything out loud. When he writes math he has to concentrate on not leaving out ideas. I think this is why it helps him. I don't think this would be an issue for VSLs in general, it is more of a dyslexic thing. So perhaps this is peripheral to the discussion but I really enjoy hearing ideas about teaching writing and this is why.

 

The other thing I would love to hear about are out of the box ways that folks work on Science. What I would love to find is a science curriculum that is analogous to AOPS. Though I imagine if this existed someone would have mentioned it already. I want my son to be able to think and wonder and problem solve on his own before he reads about a Science topic. Since this thread started out talking about this type of inquiry I hope to hear more ideas on this. What I'd really love is to have Richard Feynman take my son on nature walks.

 

Ha, so I googled this idea and of course I found...

 

http://www.feynmanlectures.info/

 

Which has a list of great exercises. And the links page is great too.

 

What about Biology, Chemistry?

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It seems rather easy in our current educational landscape to find ways to strengthen the linear/sequential mode of learning because just about everything you come across is laid out that way. Finding ways to play to visual/spatial skills is something I think will serve my children well, and while I don't think it will change much of what we do right now as they're still quite young, I'm going to move forward with an eye toward that goal as they get older.

 

Yes. :iagree::iagree:

The response to this thread from VSLs and people with VSL kids who are all looking for ways to engage their children through other methods besides direct instruction and linear/sequential thinking shows there is a need for this. Our kids get plenty of linear/sequential practice, which was the point of the Eides video one poster linked. The intent of this thread was to provide a place to discuss VSL-friendly or otherwise nonlinear options, both philosophically and practically.

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Yes. :iagree::iagree:

The response to this thread from VSLs and people with VSL kids who are all looking for ways to engage their children through other methods besides direct instruction and linear/sequential thinking shows there is a need for this. Our kids get plenty of linear/sequential practice, which was the point of the Eides video one poster linked. The intent of this thread was to provide a place to discuss VSL-friendly or otherwise nonlinear options, both philosophically and practically.

 

I probably ought to start another thread - I don't mean to derail this one. In spite of there being plenty of linear/sequential practice, I worry that VSLs might not be getting the right kind of linear/sequential practice - or perhaps the problem is that there is a void in teaching some way to connect that linear practice with their VS multi-dimensional thinking - because it seems not uncommon for linear weaknesses, or weaknesses in translating their VS thinking into communication, to continue to cause trouble in late high school, college and during their careers. I'm looking for ways to help develop that connection, basically between the two sides of their brains. I'm just thinking out loud here :tongue_smilie:. That would be different than looking for ways to develop VS skills.

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