Saturday, August 29, 2015

Homeschooling and Overexcitabilities

This month's Hoagies blog hop is about Overexcitiblites, something I have mentioned several times before on my blog. Both Builder Boy and Early Bird demonstrate various overexcitabilities (here after shortened to OE's) and that has both hampered and helped our homeschooling efforts.



(I have also posted about Overexcitabilities portrayed in film here.)

To explain overexcitabilities I will refer you to SENG's article here and Jade Rivera's excellent series which begins here.

Using SENG's definition, the five overexcitabilities are

  • Emotional – experiencing things deeply
  • Imaginational – capacity to visualize, invent, and create
  • Intellectual – inquisitive and reflective
  • Psychomotor – a surplus of energy
  • Sensual (Sensory) – intense responsiveness to sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell


Emotional Overexcitabilities: experiencing things deeply actually affects the rest of our lives more than our schooling time. Based on what I learned from my own childhood, we operate fairly well with an attitude of mutual respect. I respect their right to feel and don't require perfect behavior. They in return recognize that I have bad days, too, and they forgive my own emotional outbursts when I ask for forgiveness. We have not yet had a school time since we've had it that we needed to break out the Inside Out Emotions Tool Box yet. But it's there if we need it and on the days where it really is too much we take the rest of the day off.

Imaginational Overexcitiabilities: a strong imagination can be very helpful in a time-limitless homeschool environment. And it's not hard to adapt and teach a fruit bat or armadillo or a Roman general instead of your student. Sure, *animal noise* "answer" *animal noise* gets tiresome after a while but being able to swap out the kangaroo disk for a sloth dish in their Creature Power Suit so they'll stop bounding around and slow down for five minutes is well worth it. The main "problem" with imaginational OE that I have encountered is the rabbit trails. One thing I say leads to a thought about something else which leads to a thought about something else and no, I don't want to know about a power up in Ninja Kingdom, I'm trying to teach you vocabulary!

Magic Wand during Spelling
The worst for my desperate-to-be-on-a-schedule self is the 30 minute spelling test. The boys are working on the same level of All About Spelling. Every Monday they are given ten new words and every Friday they are tested on them. Their tests have to be taken separately because they process out loud the rules and how to spell the word, and I don't want them hearing each other but I won't take away the coping skill they need right now to do their best. Also, Early Bird either dictates the words to me or uses the letter tiles, and I don't want Builder Boy getting the answers from him. So that doubles the time it "should" take. But what really drags it out are the sample sentences. I say the spelling word, then come up with a sentence that uses the word, and then the word again. With out fail, no matter what the sentence, it either makes them think of something that they just have to share or they have an even better sentence to use that word for, this is it, this is why, and what was the word again? 10 seconds writing the word, 1;20 talking about it. (This could also be categorized as Intellectual OEs.)

Intellectual Overexcitabilities: are both a boon and a curse. When your child is interested it the topic they can learn so much, so fast, with great retention. But if they are interested in something other than what you are trying to teach, it is not so much fun. Child led learning is great, and this school year I feel comfortable completely unschooling science because of what they pick up on their own and are interested in. We need the prime seated learning time for the topic that we struggle with the most; writing. Over all, Intellectual OEs can lead to a wonderful attitude towards homeschool time and learning. Just make sure you don't bore them with too much stuff they already know with nothing new added in.

Psychomotor Overexcitabilities: I am unsure if Builder Boy and Early Bird have these or are just little boys in an echoy house without a playroom anymore and with a mama who is sensitive to too much noise and craziness. We have an American Ninja Warrior obstacle course (for kids) outside and a mini trampoline inside for those times when sitting still for a lesson just won't happen. It doesn't solve all problems, but it helps.

Obstacle Course


Sensual/Sensory Overexcitabilities: this is another area where the OE affects the rest of our lives more than homeschooling time. (Especially dinner time, but that's a different blog post.) For homeschooling this means that sometimes we need to stop in the middle of a lesson for Early Bird to change clothes or get partly naked because a piece of his clothing is bothering him and he can't focus without it being removed. Sometimes it means using a specific writing instrument because all others feel wrong and it's not good trying to write with anything else. Or the workbook needs to be arranged just so. Forcing a kid with sensory issues to "just deal with it" is not reasonable or productive. It will just lead to a meltdown and even less learning. No, my kids isn't tantruming to get his way to "win" a battle with me. No, I'm not just making excuses for him. (Yes, I've been told that to my face.) It doesn't take that much time to adjust the necessary and optimal condition so he can focus and then we're back to what we are learning.

One of the reasons I love homeschooling is because I can take a gentle, respectful approach with my children's OEs instead of having them try to force themselves to conform to the necessary restrictions and uniformity of public school. We have the time to talk theology that was sparked by a handwriting prompt or let them experiment with magnets while they listen to a reading section. Recess is when it's needed, not something that has to be waited for while productive learning has ceased but a bell hasn't rung yet. Not all kids need accommodations, and its not practical for large groups of kids. No knocking on public school; they are what they have to be. But for kids who's brains and bodies work differently than regular kids, homeschooling can be great. As long as the parent/homeschool teacher's OE's don't get in the way!

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_overexcitabilities.htm
Check out the rest of the posts in this blog hop here!







  • Emotional – experiencing things deeply
  • Imaginational – capacity to visualize, invent, and create
  • Intellectual – inquisitive and reflective
  • Psychomotor – a surplus of energy
  • Sensual (Sensory) – intense responsiveness to sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell
  • - See more at: http://sengifted.org/archives/articles/getting-over-overexcitabilities-effectively-managing-family-interactions-when-family-members-have-different-overexcitabilities#sthash.rRx1WkZ5.dpuf

    4 comments:

    1. You have accommodated their OEs well and integrated them into your homeschooling. Great job!

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    2. Great Post:) there's so much out there explaining What OE's Are, but not enough on how we actually integrate and accommodate for it... Personally, I am SO sick of hearing :"Just put her in a normal school" nevermind that she Was in a normal school for four years and that led to anxiety and diminished confidence because mediocre minded children and adults tried to force her to conform. Stick to it, and don't let the "main-streamers" bring you down, you are doing Great!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Thank you! I'm sorry you've got people questioning your choices instead of supporting. Non-conformists unite!.....in different ways. ;)

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