My experiences as a creative person, tutor of children, and teacher of creative writing

Friday, July 24, 2009

Helping "Orderly" Children Learn

The first type is what I call “Orderly Souls”. According to learning styles research, these make up about 38% of the average classroom. As adults, they dominate the business world. As children, these are the “ideal” students. They crave security, routine, and the approval of adults. They actually enjoy
completing math problems, reading aloud, spelling tests, and memorizing history facts. They thrive on preforming routine details, repetition, drill, rote recitation, answering rhetorical questions, having set procedures, the completion of well-structured tasks, answering the questions at the back of the book, filling in workbook pages, lectures with examples of how this concept should be applied, and step-by-step demonstrations.
These students enjoy logical, detailed, organized presentations preferably with a written outline to follow as they listen. They value good study habits, and strive to complete their school assignments on time. They love having any responsibility . This is the child who proudly announces he is “Chalk Monitor!!!”.
If this is your child, count yourself lucky! All you need to do is to help monitor their work, so they can complete each project correctly, and on time. Doing what “should” be done is extremely important to this child. Start early with planning sheets or books; they will bless you. Requests of a person in authority are rarely questioned, but they do prefer that all rules be fair and consistent. They want to see everything in writing, so post those rules! These children also
appreciate written instructions at home as well as at school. They must have a text book so they can “see it in black and white”.
They need you, as an adult, to notice and give your approval to their work. Having a bulletin board (the refrigerator will do) where their hard work can be displayed is a must. A structured environment with a set time and place for their homework, preferable a formal table and chair, gives them a sense of security. They value order, wanting desks in school in neat rows facing the teacher. Logically sequenced computer programs are revered. These programs also allow them the time they need to throughly digest each detail carefully before having to proceed. So allow plenty of time for their careful study.
The “Orderly” child might need help keeping a social and recreational balance in their lives. This is the child who might need help identifying their feelings and expressing them. They might also need your help in becoming more aware of others feelings, and how their actions affect other people. They can become so focused on one project, spending hours and hours getting it perfect, that they forget they have three other things which are also due the next day. You can help them see the “whole picture”, and set seasonable limits. They may need encouragement to stop working, and relax. You may find that they enjoy making collections or completing crafts. Set family traditions. These children need the security they provide.
Since most teachers (about 2/3) are also this “Orderly” type, your child should do well in school. Watch out for the higher grades. These children may have difficulty with long term independent projects, needing your help in breaking them down into manageable segments with projected completion dates, of course! When asked to do “un-orderly” tasks such as speculate, invent or create, they may balk!