As you’ve no doubt figured out by now I have some very active learners. Or as I sometimes refer to them, wiggle worms.
Signs you have an active learner
You might have an active learner if:
- They cannot sit still in a chair. My kids are incapable of just SITTING. They stick their foot up on the table, they change positions, they stand. They fall out of the chair. But they do not sit.
- They prefer to stand while they work. Batman spends most of his school time standing. I’ve even moved the chair out of his way so he didn’t knock it over In his moving back and forth.
- They talk with their hands. We all know THAT person, the one who’s accidentally hit the person next to them as they talked. I’m that person, so I’m familiar with it.
- They can’t concentrate unless they are moving. This is the person who paces when they talk on the phone.
Well, you get the picture, this is the kid (or adult) who just doesn’t sit still.
Start your active learner’s day with exercise
The days we start with some exercise work better. I think it’s because they’ve burned some of their endless energy and can sit still for a few minutes. Though still is a relative term. I mean I taught one lesson with my son upside down, seriously he was balancing his legs in the air in some yoga pose.
Exercises we’ve tried:
- crab walk across the room 10 times
- bear walk across the room 10 times
- skip around the room
- hopping, jumping, or running around the room
- Sit-ups, pull-ups, general stretches
Get your active learner an exercise ball
Our reading lessons go so much better now that my kids have Exercise Balls (affiliate link). Princess bounces up and down as she reads vocabulary words. The boys balance all sorts of ways as they read (I may do the same as I listen, seriously I’m a horrible example for sitting still).
Exercise balls also have the benefit of helping build up core muscles, which are important for posture, stability, and almost every exercise you do later in life.
Set a time limit for your active learner
Buy a red line timer (affiliate link, and I LOVE this), and use it for everything. Set short times of work, and when it’s done stop.
I don’t care how well the work is going, just stop. Because I know the temptation to keep going because it’s going well, but you will pay for it. Oh, how you will pay. Trust me stop when the timer goes off.
Then take a break, just a short one, say 5 or 10 minutes, but take a break and move. Do some jumping jacks, move around.
Let your active learner sit how they want
Your active learner will not sit at a desk, or at least not well. Let them sit how they want when possible. You can teach them to sit appropriately for meals and such, but give them leeway when you can. My kids have certainly embraced sitting how they want for reading (the picture right above is one of several from the post).
Bring movement into your lessons
Your active learner is going to love you when you add movement to your lessons. Have your kids find words around the room, or say math facts while doing jumping jacks, make flash cards and have the kids run to them. Just get them moving.
Dangle the carrot for your active learner
Let them know once the “sitting down” stuff is done, that you’ll go to the park, or swimming. Give them incentive to get it done so they can play.
Do you have any other suggestions for active learners? I’d love to hear them.
This is part of iHomeschool Network’s Learning Styles and Personalities.