Troubleshooting: Strategies for the Kinesthetic Child

Recently Barbara asked about her kinesthetic daughter on the Preschoolers and Peace Facebook page. Anyone else out there have a very active learner? I thought so. :)

I need some other homeschooling mom's advice. I'm hoping lots of mothers will comment here, in my mess of a mind dump.

I asked a question a while ago about having kinesthetic learners and you mentioned you have 2. You also mentioned you don't make curriculum adjustments, but let them do math on the trampoline, etc. My oldest is seven and is a TOTAL kinesthetic learner. It's cold here in Tennessee and we have been cooped up in the house for days (going on weeks) on end.

We use Rod & Staff, which my husband and I love, but is not geared at ALL for her learning style. In second grade we (oh, and I mean "we" because this affects me as well! lol) have approx 11 written worksheets daily-- complete worksheets to be written, as well as all the reading that goes along with it. She's incredibly bright & knows the answers most of the time, it's just the actual getting them on the paper in such mass quantities that seems daunting to her.

I'm doing all I know to do for such a learner (breaks, Leslie Sansone walking dvd's, etc.) but she's still worn out. And so am I. Is this normal for 2nd grade, this level of rote activity? I'm wanting to switch curriculum for next year, but my husband doesn't. I'm happy to submit, but I still need to meet her where she's at. He feels as if college isn't going to cater to her so why should we. I feel as if I have 11 years to help her be prepared for a college setting. She's come a really long way but this is still taking a lot of discipline for a seven-year-old.

Should I base my schedule off of the needer-of-all-the-breaks or the busy almost-two-year-old? Then fill in the gaps with the other two homeschoolers (pre-k & 1st grade)?

Any other moms with Kinesthic learners who have some advice as to what worked for you? We're starting to have more & more days of struggle & I want to fix this before it gets worse.


Barbara, yes I have had two highly active students so far. The first is my now-17-year-old, who still needs a lot of physical activity in his day and who paces the house restlessly when he doesn't get it. He has learned to do his studying in shorter spurts, and he will probably want to keep in mind his physical needs when he goes on to schedule his life. He'll be the guy who runs a mile on his lunch break. Interestingly, he does recognize this about himself and alternates between wanting to pursue his love of music and guitar and/or studying medicine so he can have an adrenaline-charged career in medical missions.

The other is my eight-year-old daughter, who is a 2nd/3rd grader (December birthday). She is a quick learner, but two pages of her Rod and Staff math book makes her crazy. Makes me crazy, too, because it means she's up and down in her chair, in and out of the room, talking to her sister, listening to ambient noises, and singing Christmas carols, usually all at once.

We've devised a little system for Annesley, wherein she completes a page and then runs to the top of the stairs. Sometimes, we have to do something after EVERY problem (there's a video there- click play):


Kendra Fletcher - Math from Ukulele Monkey Studios on Vimeo.



Sometimes, we just have to look for other approaches. Instead of pages of math, we might pull out the math facts puzzle, or a math game, or even a math video. How about cooking as math, or shopping as math, or a nature walk that encompasses some math?



Sometimes I think we feel bound by the curriculum we purchase, but we always have to remember to use it and not the other way around. If worksheets are burrying you, then by all means give yourself permission to take a different approach, if only interspersed between the worksheets. Here are some of our favorites for the younger elementary set:




More favorite board games here.