Homeschool Advice for covid: What is your learning style!

Hello, ladies and gents.  We are in an unprecedented time in which many, many parents are being asked to homeschool their kids for a while.  We started homeschooling our son in kindergarten and although we didn't plan on it, continued all the way through until he graduated from high school.  I won't say it was easy, but you really get to know your child, his learning abilities, his interests, and yes, the things he hates.  I decided to share a bit from our years of homeschooling in hopes it will help you, if even a tiny bit.  This is a repost from 2007.  

What is your Learning Style? 

The ladies and gentlemen (yes, there are stay at home dads) from the Well Trained Mind forums are a font of information. Some had been home schooling their children for a couple years to eighteen years. Yes, some people do home school their kids from kindergarten to High School. They guided me to so many different books to read about learning styles and everything else imaginable.

One of the first things I thought about was James learning style? Did I know my learning style? Once again with God as our guide and leading us down this home school path, I read Dreamers, Discoverers and Dynamo’s by Lucy Palidino.

According to Psychologist Lucy Jo Palladino:

“20 percent of children have what she calls the Edison trait: dazzling intelligence, an active imagination, a free-spirited approach to life, and the ability to drive everyone around them crazy. She named the trait after Thomas Edison, who flunked out of school despite his obvious brilliance. Edison-trait children think divergently, while school is geared to children who think convergently (one idea at a time).”

“He was a boy who learned only by doing. At age six, he had to see how fire worked and accidentally burned his father's barn to the ground. The next fall he began school, where he alternated between letting his mind travel to distant places and keeping his body in perpetual motion in his seat. Because he was distracted and restless, he did not last long in a formal classroom. His teacher called him "addled." Eventually, his mother had to home-school him. As an adult he would recall: "My father thought I was stupid and I almost decided I must be a dunce."

Who was this boy? Thomas Edison!

The book asks these questions:

"If your child is a Dreamer
1. Does he get absorbed or intensely involved in his own ideas much of the time?
2. Is he prone to saying things out of the blue?
3. Does he procrastinate to an extreme?
4. Are his interests and activities eclectic?
5. Does he start at least three projects for every one he finishes?

If your child is a Discoverer
1. Is he easily attracted to sights and sounds around him?
2. Is it vital for him to express his opinion?
3. Does he crave novelty, power, and excitement?
4. Is he always ready to speak, especially if you're talking?
5. When he wants his own way - which is almost always - is he relentless?

Or, if your child is a Dynamo
1. Does he get aggressive or intensely emotional about his own ideas much of the time?
2. Is some part of his body always in motion?
3. Are chances to run and climb as vital as the air he breathes?
4. Does he have boundless energy, enough for about three children his age?
5. Do you find yourself wondering if he lacks common sense?"

Remind you of anyone you know? Hubby and James have a combination of all three.

“It is a natural human tendency to assume that all minds work the same way. We tacitly agree that all minds should naturally be able to follow through on one idea at a time, from beginning to end, with attention to detail. We call convergent thinking the norm and we presume it's what comes naturally if a brain is "normal." Divergent thinkers are viewed as having "attentional problems."

”We label convergent thinking as right and divergent thinking as wrong. We base the methods we use to train our children on this premise. We expect children to focus in a linear fashion for as long as we say they should. This is true at home and at school. And at school, as class sizes get larger and children get more diverse, a teacher's tolerance for a student's divergent thinking necessarily diminishes. The same curriculum gets taught to all students in the same way and at the same pace.”

”The brains of Edison-trait children are misunderstood, not inferior. As students they are attentionally disadvantaged because we punish, and fail to appreciate, their unique creative slant. They get blamed for not completing desk work in the allotted time. They are scolded for not staying in their seats until recess. They are forced to work at an unsuitable tempo, and then get graded down for poor handwriting, and errors in grammar, spelling, and math facts. These outcomes are inevitable artifacts of a mismatched approach.”

”We teach to their weaknesses, not to their strengths. We insist that they see things our way, but we won't see things theirs. These children are stunningly divergent. They are on a quest for discovery, exploration, and stimulation. Surely we can be flexible and accommodate their style. They can and will develop convergent skins, but only if their desire to learn is protected and kindled with success.”

Excerpted from Dreamers, Discoverers and Dynamos by Lucy Jo Palladino

James is a divergent thinker. So, homeschooling allows us the flexibility to cater to James learning style. We have discovered that I am a divergent thinker and hubby is a convergent thinker.

Then someone told me about Upside Down Brilliance: The Visual Spatial Learner by Dr. Linda Silverman. Amazing, awesome book because I discovered something about myself, I am a visual spatial learner.

“Do you know things without being able to explain how or why?”
“Do you solve problems in unusual ways? “
“Do you think in pictures rather than in words?”

“Dr. Linda Silverman coined the term “visual-spatial learner” in 1981 to describe the unique gifts of people who think in images. They get the big picture because they see the world through artists’ eyes. 

They remember what they see, but forget what they hear. They’re disorganized, can’t spell and have no sense of time, but they have an infectious sense of humor, wild imaginations and can lose themselves completely in the joy of the moment. Visual-spatial brilliance created the computer and the Internet, the vivid displays at the Olympics, and the International Space Station.”

Oh My Gosh!
 Doesn’t everyone think in pictures? I have always thought in pictures and didn’t realize that it was different. No wonder I was bored by literature that was poorly written. While reading I literally see and get into the story. No wonder I had been so darned bored by classroom lectures.

When ever hubby would go into a long explanation of a new electronic gadget, I would catch about half of it, then my mind would wonder off because I couldn’t picture what he was talking about. Now, when he describes a gadget, I have him draw a picture of it and I see what he is talking about.

James is like me in so many ways and is also a visual spatial learner. So these books were real eye openers. I discovered something new about myself and was actual able to make changes in my life to improve it. Life is so full of discovery and changes and no matter how old you get, you need to be open to it. Father and I dove in Home schooling without knowing how much it would change our lives. All I can say is hang on for the ride, because it is amazing what you learn and discover about yourself along the way.

There are many books out there that will help you determine not only your learning style, but your child as well which will help you figure out how best to teach them. 

Good luck and stay safe.

A to Z Poetry - Paper and Pen

"I write on paper with a dipped pen and ink and type on a manual typewriter in order to have three dimensional activities with my hands- but again and again, I discover how far words are capable of going, both in the world and on the page. " ~ Susan Minot.

Paper and Pen
dipped in ink.
Rambling and disjointed,
a tale told and retold.
Torn apart;
thoughts and plans
like the tide.
elements of life
Ideas flow.
Lessons to learn,
Time to think.
Paper and pen
dipped in ink.

2020 First quarter writing Wrap Up

Hey! Tomorrow is the first of April  which means it's a new quarter and time to revisit the goals I set for myself for Quarter one.  I persevered in writing almost every single day, some of which I posted. I pretty much failed with my current WIP-RT.  I did print it out and put it in a notebook, but other than that no progress.  Lent arrived and I concentrated on free writing.  

I'm still reading "A Year of Writing Dangerously: 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement by Barbara Abercrombie. I've been forging ahead, reading a few entries at a time, quotes and conversations inspiring me or full of synchronicity.  Such as

"It's the imagination that gives us poetry...You have to follow where the poem leads. And it will surprise you.  It will say things you didn't expect to say. And you look at the poem and you realize; that is truly what I felt. That is truly what I saw." ~ Philip Levine. 

I don't consider myself a poet and there are very few poets I read unless doing research for the next 52 Books sunday post.  However, I'm writing more and more poetry along with snippets of conversations with myself and characters and the universe, a few story scenes. Whatever comes to mind.  I'm  tempted to commit to A to Z poetry and post a poem every day for the month of April.    I'm also tempted to do the A to Z writing challenge.  However, I know I wouldn't be able to keep up with it. I'm unofficially setting a goal to continue writing every day during the month of April as I have been for the first quarter, diligently for Lent and after Easter as well. And if I happen to come up with enough poems to post everyday, that will be just groovy. I'm not going to force it though and we'll see what happens. 

I filled my first quarter goals with my eyes are bigger than my stomach syndrome and planned way too much.   I gave up on Crafting the Personal Essay and Dinty Moore's Flash Fiction as neither inspired me.  Both were books I'd used before and for some reason, once I'm done with a book, I don't like to go back.  I have several writing books on my shelves, including Barbara Abercrombie's Kicking in the Wall as well as Anne Bernay's What If, which  I have yet to utilize so I'll be drawing on them for a variety of reasons which includes helping me finish revising WIP-RT. 

I have a tendency to quit writing when I'm stressed and I'm trying hard not to let the stress of the day stop me.   

I'm following the KISS method this time!


Guest Post -James M's review of IDW Sonic issue 27 (Guest guest starring some Zeti)

Greetings again, people.
Today, we're looking at issue 27 of IDW Sonic, the last issue of the series before the comic goes on temporary hiatus due to the coronavirus causing comic book companies to close down thanks to the infamous aforementioned disease.
We're in the home stretch at last, the nightmare of a saga's almost over.

When we last left off, Sonic and his friends devised a plan to defeat the Deadly Six and rid the world of the Metal Virus threat once and for all in order to save the world and Silver's future. The heroes have used the Warp Topaz to go after the members of the Deadly Six simultaneously only for things to go a bit south for the likes of Cream, Espio and the Babylon Rogues.
Lets see what happens in this story...

Starting on Tails and Amy's side, the battle with Zomom the fat one has already begun and they're trying not to get squished by that gluttonous Zeti. Tails' attempts to trick Zomom fail as the Zeti only gets "hangry" and declares, "YOU WON'T LIKE IT WHEN I'M HANGRY!" Has this guy been reading Hulk comics or chatting with Bruce Banner? Anyways, he sends Zombots after them. However, Tails and Amy manage to gain the upper hand and trap Zomom beneath a gate and snatch the blue Chaos Emerald from him, leaving Zomom at the mercy of the Zombots. Take that, fat one!

Zomom | Sonic News Network | Fandom


Me: You!


Me: Can I finish this review please?

Zomom: Uh, I guess.

Me: Thank you...

Where were we before that guy showed up? Oh yes, Tails and Amy beat Zomom. Meanwhile, Cream is seemingly at a Zeena-controlled Gemerl's mercy, however, the robot manages to break free from Zeena's control. Cream attacks Zeena angrily, spin dashing the female Zeti before shouting that she hates fighting and meanies like her. Zeena hurts Cream and offers her to the Zombots only for Gemerl to turn the tables and, together, the robot and Cream get Zeena's Chaos Emerald and Zeena ends up getting infected by the Zombots.

Zeena | Sonic News Network | Fandom

Zeena: Really humiliating.

Me: Hey, what are you doing here?

Zeena: It wasn't my idea, it was Zazz' idea.

Me: Oh cr*p...

Zazz | Sonic News Network | Fandom



(Zazz, Zomom and Zeena shriek and run away)

Ok, time to finish up. After Zeena goes down, it turns out Cream got the Metal Virus. Gemerl takes pity on the 6 year old and vows to protect her, look after her until its all over. As for the chaos emerald they got from Zeena? They throw it through the portal, now the heroes have two Chaos Emeralds. SCORE for the good guys.

Bad News. On Angel Island, Sonic and Eggman spot the Faceship approaching. This means one thing, the heroes are out of time and Zavok has found them. DUN DUN DUN!

This issue is quite something, it's definitely all uphill for the heroes with a bit of struggle for them as they fight the Deadly Six and as Zavok approaches the island. But its gonna be awhile before we see issues 28 through 30 with the finale of the Metal Virus saga, again, due to the coronavirus crisis. IDW Sonic issue 27 gets a 10/10 for its epic storytelling, Ian Flynn sure is delivering an impactful final act to a long story arc that has been happening since Year 2.

See you next time, hopefully IDW Sonic is not cancelled. Who wants SEGA to revoke the license and give it to somebody else? IDW must keep going, we can't have another Archie Sonic loss just like in 2017. Who wants the comic to die again?

-James M

A to Z Poetry: Nature's Washing Machine

Nature’s Washing Machine 

If you could stop the world
for a moment, a day, or a lifetime, 
would you’d sit on the shore
and contemplate the view, the moment,
the past, or the present?

A word or sentence or phrase comes to mind,
speaks to you, leads you, 
raises a question, demands an answer,
literally and figuratively.  

You sit down on the beach
and count the grains of sand. 
Impossible… maybe.  
Fragments shift across your palm,
hot and parched, some moist and cold. 

It flows through your fingers,
grains adhere to the lines and 
wrinkles of your palm.
between your fingers, under your fingernails, 
Sparkling, shiny bits of dust. 
All shapes and sizes: rough or smooth,
large or small, hard or soft.  
Just like your thoughts.  
Hard edges, soft moments.  
You can hold on or brush them away.
Countless grains, 
Particles of life.  

Is it possible to catch the thoughts 
of the person who sat here before you,
when they ran their hands scooped up the sand 
and let it drift through their fingers?   

So many grains of sand, 
so many thoughts left behind.  
Where do they all go?
You reflect and imagine   
they tumble out to sea in a wash of waves.
Cleansed and returned, 
with the flow of the tides,
full of peace, full of quiet power. 

A to Z Poetry: Present

Courtesy Dimitri Otis 

This poem was prompted by something hubby said the other day, when once again kiddo was analyzing past actions.  I'm a stay present, learn from the past and move on, optimistic, glass half full, type of gal. But both my guys love to analyze, reminisce, and discuss over and over again which I've learned not to let it drive me too crazy.  His analogy.  I ride the waves, balanced, living in the present, focused on the day.   If I look back, I'll lose my focus and fall off and the negativity makes me cranky because I can't do anything about it.  I don't look too far forward, because again loss of focus and because it annoys me to worry about something that has yet to happen.


ride the waves, 
you don't look back,
Nor tilt too far forward.
Balance precarious, you
arms reach, knees flex, 
toes grip the board.  
An ever cresting wave 
surges beneath your feet.
There is no fear in failure, 
only lessons to 
and gather in your heart
and teach you to be bold. 
Waves; large, small, fast or slow
You plow through the tunnels
and climb on the crest. 
There's not time to 
But if you fall, 
an option you can't avoid, 
Waves may wipe you out, 
But you'll never be destroyed. 
Our failures are our teachers
us to our core.
So you'll climb back on
and ride the rail some more. 
You balance, ever present to
life's demands and