Saturday, January 12, 2008

Different ways of learning.

I was reading this post on one of my favorite blogs and really enjoyed it.

It's been obvious to me since Ainsley was only a few months old that my two girls are very different in their learning styles. They may be young, but the differences are clear.

Using the two classifications in the post above, Hannah is clearly a story-teller. Our day is filled with stories, singing and dancing. Toys are merely props in her stories. Every person or toy in the room is likely to get roped into the story in some way. The stories can be elaborate ones that go on for months or quick, short ones done in a few minutes. Car rides are filled with requests for "Diego stories" and bedtimes are a chance for Daddy/Daughter bonding over daddy's stories. Her imagination is amazing and seems to be growing by leaps and bounds as she gets older. I noticed the other day for the first time that she incorporates what she is learning into her stories to more fully incorporate the knowledge. It's fascinating to watch.

Picture below: Hannah introducing one of her 'old' horses, Female, to her newest horse, Flowerboy (Breyer's War Admiral - how the mighty have fallen. She wanted a horse to name Flowergirl, but his anatomy didn't make the name seem right, hence Flowerboy.). At this exact moment he'd told Female that he was a race horse and Female had said, in a rather snotty tone, "You're kind of small for a race horse aren't you?". He was responding with "Oh, REALLY? Well you don't have a TAIL!" Which made Female start to run away to cry and he went after her to say he was sorry. Funny stuff. And very similar to something that had happened in Hannah's own little world a few weeks back.

Ainsley is an engineer type. Since she was a few months old and conciously grasping, she's been grasping at anything and everything within reach. We'd gotten rid of most of our toys after Hannah since she'd had no interest in them. Now we're replenishing our toys. Easy shape puzzles, magnadoodles, stacking toys, ball and hammer toys, noisy electronic toys, push along toys, marble toys, she loves them all. It's equally fascinating watching Ainsley take something she learned after hours of play with her toys and use it in a "real-life" situation as it is watching Hannah work out emotional situations in her own life using her horses.

Ainsley playing with a puzzle we had for Hannah as a baby that Hannah still, to this day, has no interest in.

They are similar in a few ways, places where they cross the divide. Both are voracious readers and unstoppable dancers. (Ainsley dances constantly. Any music, from Hannah humming to a cell-phone ringing, gets her moving.) Also, one of Ainsley's favorite types of toys are baby dolls. She carries them around, nurses them, potties them, cuddles them, feeds them. Hannah's forays into the "engineering" side are timid but increasing. I'll post soon about her experience with Ainsley's rainbow stacking toy. Also, she's really enjoying horse and unicorn puzzles that I've gotten for her and she has been playing with the dominoes a lot lately, using their colors or numbers to arrange them, or just making interesting designs with them. One of Hannah's favorite pasttimes is going through my patterns and fabrics and picking out something for me to make for her. Trips to the fabric store are filled with her touching different fabrics and wondering out loud if "this would be a pretty dress".

It would be nice to have all of our children be the same "type" of learner, so that I could just use the same strategies, but these children are definitely different in their learning styles.

Hannah using all of the My Little Ponies to tell a story.


Blessed Wife and Mother said...

You have beautiful children! I think its neat that you are noticing learning style in your children at such a young age!

Pichinde said...

I don't think I'd notice the learning styles if A) I wasn't planning on unschooling and B) they weren't so drastically different!