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Celebrate Cerebrodiversity!

Men are from _______ , Women are from _______ . That boy just can't sit _______. Are you _______ to me? Keep your _______ on the board, young lady.

Venus, Mars, still, listening, eyes. Each of these phrases represents a concept in education and brain research called cerebrodiversity. It's the recognition that each of our brains is unique and may process information differently.

The traditional classroom caters to the visual/auditory learner. Write this down, listen to this, can you see the example, let me hear your answers. These brain types typically do well in school. They fit the method. But we were each created distinctly. While one child may recite complex Shakespearean sonnets, another may just look at a piece of electronics and know and see the missed electrical connection.

We are all smart in some way. A school setting generally rewards one type of learning. If you don't learn that way, is your "performance" the result of a disability or an environment that doesn't accommodate diversity?

As the parent of a couple of kiddos with learning issues, I struggled with the diagnosis/labeling issue. On one hand, having a label for our struggles opened a door for reaching the child – we learned to teach to strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses. On the other hand, a label is a label.

But now, we have a new descriptor! Children who learn differently are examples of cerebrodiversity! I love the word because it provides another perfect reason for homeschooling. A parent can say, "I homeschool my child because we honor cerebrodiversity."

If your child is a different kind of learner, consider these points:

1. Don't panic or fret. Weaknesses in one area are often counterbalanced by strengths in another area. Do what you need to strengthen the weakness, and celebrate and honor the strengths.

2. Recognize that assembly line learning, common standards and evaluating success by traditional testing may not be the best choice for your child.

3. Educate yourself on your child's differences. You are their champion and their advocate. The more you know about your situation, whether it's dyslexia or ADHD, the better position you are in to reach them.

4. Finally, celebrate cerebrodiversity!

In homeschooling, there is no failure – only progress in the direction of their path.



By Christine Field

1 comment to Celebrate Cerebrodiversity!

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