Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Right Brained vs. Left Brained

I'm currently reading the book RIGHT BRAINED CHILDREN in a LEFT BRAINED WORLD, Unlocking the Potential of your ADD Child, by Jeffrey Freed, M.A.T., and Laurie Parsons. I decided to give this book a read because of my DS. He is such a boy! My husband and I elected to homeschool our kids, and every day I realize more and more that it's the right thing to do. If my DS were in public school he would be labeled ADD or ADHD, and would constantly be in trouble. I've no doubt about it. However, having him home and being the one responsible for his education is not an easy task. It's up to me to keep him focused and make sure he completes his work. Some days I feel like hitting my head against a wall. My DS is an awesome person. He is caring, sharing, smart, giving, and is eager to please. He is also easily distracted, bored with paper work (he acts like it is torture) and he can't write eligibly to save his life. So what's a mom to do? Well, I'm reading this book to try and figure him out. I want to know what's going on and on and on and on in that mind of his. So far he does fall into the category of those who are labeled ADD/ADHD, which according to this book simply means he is a right brained thinker/learner. I think that for the most part I am also, according to the short quiz given. So why can't I understand him? I think it's because I'm still far too attached to the way we are 'supposed' to learn, which according to the public school belief system, is books, worksheets, memorization then regurgitation. That just doesn't cut it for my DS. He wants to DO things. I have yet to get to the chapter in the book that will supposedly give me ways to work with my DS. I sincerely hope that I will be enlightened and able to better connect with him on a day to day basis.


Fyodor said...


It's cool you are checking into what's going on with your son. As a teacher, I think too many kids are labeled ADD or ADHD before really looking at other non-conventional ways to help. Once you tap into that world he is in and figure out what helps him learn, you'll be amazed. It's great you guys decided to follow God's leading on home school. Just imagine what medications he'd be on if you hadn't... and don't get me started with that one! :)


Christy said...

Julie, it's awesome to hear from you! Thanks for your comment. I hope to hear from you again in the future. I'm keeping up with you and your family. Love to all.

Brenda said...

You sound like an awesome mom! You must have incredible patience. Not sure if homeschooling would have worked for my son. Helping with homework or projects sometimes turned ugly! Glad it's working for you guys though. Your kids are probably getting a great education.

How sad for some kids that have to sit all day long in a classroom and feel like they are going to explode because they have so much creative energy that is being held back.

Rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob said...

When I was a kid I was diagnosed with ADD - this was before our doctors began over prescribing Ridlin. I did fine in school until the 5th grade; that is when I discovered that I wasn't at all interested in math and for the first time I began doing poorly. My scholastic success was directly related to how interested I was in the topic at hand. I spent many noon recesses in detention for not doing my homework - and my poor math grades were a regular source of dispute for my parents and me. Even in high school I struggled through math and neglected the majority of my homework; I relied on tests and exams to give me the grades I needed to get through by doing as little work as possible.

Whatever. Now I'm a fourth year university student. Though I did poorly in school as a kid and didn't shine much as a teenager I did get a lot out of school. I certainly benefited from the experiences I had with my friends, enemies and mentors, just like any other kid. One thing I can't deny is the importance of social skills, and all these skills are relative to one's social environment. Without being in that environment one doesn't develop the skills.

Hearing the words, "home school" makes me anxious. A phrase that we heard in my school is. "weird home school kid". We were just kids so expect an amount of cruelty, imagination and general lack of reasoning. Though at the same time we would come away from interactions with home school kids thinking, "that person is a odd, and kinda weird." In one of my child psychology courses we discussed how children evaluate each other socially, and social skills are a major determining factor.

I know some people who were at some point home schooled, usually only for part of elementary school, and there isn't any difference between them and anyone else. But I remember, and so do my friends, kids in our high school graduation ceremonies who none of us knew and whom we discovered to be home school kids (from K to 12.) Nobody has met, or even heard of these kids since.

I'm not trying to scare you off of home schooling but I think there are significant things you must consider. Developing social skills in one thing, and it's not as though it's impossible to do outside of school, but children also benefit from learning with other children. Studies have shown that in typical classrooms child interaction and participation (amongst each other) is important and cannot be discounted in the learning experience.

For many children home schooling in the early years of elementary is the right decision for his/her parents to make. But at some point a kid has to enter society, an environment dominated by his/her peers. Essentially I believe childhood and adolescence has traumatized us all in our own unique ways - most of us come off generally benefiting from those experiences. Putting a kid, who has been home schooled for six years, into open society might be like throwing him/her to the lions.

Be careful of books; they are static and they don't know your kids.

Anyway . . . I hope I've added something to the conversation, I believe you will make the best decision.