20 April 2009

Jumpstart Learning Styles Quiz & "The Freedom To Be Me"

JumpStart put up this really cute interactive Learning Styles Quiz today... or rather they tweeted about it today. The kids and I headed over to try it out. Now let me stop to tell you to turn on your speakers when you head over, the JumpStart characters talk to you. I did not have the speakers on when I headed over there, and I did not want the distraction of everyone coming over to see what I was doing, so I did not turn them on. But we did figure out how to use it, and found that you could choose up to your top three answers to every question. If you only choose your top result, rather than your top three, your results may be quite different. 
I am thrilled to say it works in Chrome!

I tried it out on J-Man first. With his top result only, he matched up with Frankie (interpersonal intelligence) first and Hopsalot (logical, mathematical intelligence) second. That seems to fit with him pretty well. Likes to work with others, a good leader, a problem solver, and very logical, sorts things into categories, keeps things neat, likes puzzles.

Then we realized you could do the top three choices and came up with different results. His first match was with Casey (bodily-kinesthetic intelligence), and second with Hopsalot (logical, mathematical intelligence). Really I get the logical, mathematical aspect, but kinesthetic? He is always attached to the computer, or sitting quietly having his "alone time", working on building something or reading a book.... where's the kinesthetic? (Kinesthetic is the learning style that needs to move, that needs to feel everything... the ones that drive people like me absolutely nuts! I know, I have two of them!) 

Ber and I started discussing where his kinesthetic side came in, and realized that as a baby and a toddler, that described him perfectly... but this is where Dad's PTSD comes in... "kids are to be kept quiet and out of the way." Somewhere in J-Man's defenses he built in this Visual Kinesthetic style to fit into the structure that Dad needed when he was home. He explored everything, could touch everything in his quiet "alone time". He could sit still and be quiet when Dad was home as he played on the computer. He became withdrawn sort-of, as much as he could with his overbearing, outgoing, bodily-kinesthetic little brother always around him!

J-Man has always been so much like me that I had to take a look at myself. I saw so much of the same thing in myself, and now I have to theorize that this Visual-Kinesthetic is an adaptation of Bodily-Kinesthetic. mind you, I claim only empirical research here. 

For me, it was public school. I was taught to be quiet, sit still at my desk, and only speak when I was asked a question. I turned into quite a meek little person. But in my mind, I found freedom. I turned to books as an escape. Sometimes it was a nature book that helped me escape to the wild, and in it I petted animals and explored their habitat. Other times it was a history book that carried me off to another place and time, where I could taste the dust that the wagon kicked up as the pioneers headed west. My favorites were the sci-fi/fantasy books, where I found ultimate freedom as I could experience being no longer bound by the shackles of servitude. I found the freedom to explore and do things they way I wanted to, I found the freedom to learn what I wanted and how I wanted... can you tell they empowered me?!

Perhaps this is what I wanted to create when I started homeschooling. With Life Learning, I believe I have been able to create what I always searched for as a child... "the freedom to be me" for each of my children.

1 comment:

Erin from JumpStart said...

Very insightful post. I'm glad the learning styles quiz was able to spark such an interesting discussion for your family.