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Keeping your Teen Current with Current Events

As my teen gets older and will have to face today’s issues in the world, I want him to be informed and practice formulating, discussing, and supporting his opinions. He will soon have to do this when he goes off to college and I want him to be able to stand on his own two feet without anyone else’s support and assistance in forming his stance on certain issues.

Part of homeschooling and most involved parents in families who don’t homeschool share their moral and spiritual, as well as political, beliefs with their children. If you were to survey most kids in the classroom and ask them to decide if they were republican, democrat, or something else, most children will choose the party that reflects one or both parents’ preferences.

As my son’s high school teacher, not only do I wish to instruct and facilitate his learning in history, government, and political science, but I want guide him toward looking at today’s current issues and relate them to these subject areas. I plan on coaxing him toward higher level thinking and analysis of what has he learned in history that helped bring us to this point today. How do his personal beliefs weigh in on these issues and what is his place in this situation?

Surveys taken of homeschoolers as adults point to the fact that adult homeschoolers, overall, are more civic-minded than non-homeschoolers. I think part of that is not only that a number of homeschoolers teach worldview when looking at literature and history and they involve their children in community service through a number of different organizations and their churches, but they recognize the importance of preparing their children to step out into the world as a “thinking individual who can have an impact on issues important to them when they become involved.”

To this end, I’ve scoured the internet to find some online sources that I’ve linked in my sidebar to the right to share with you. I debated about ordering one of those “classroom magazines” but felt that the information in them was very watered down. I want to help train my son’s brain to read more detailed information, analyze it, summarize it, and form a more sophisticated opinion – not just regurgitate facts written at the sixth grade level (at which most news articles are written.)

The other challenge was finding something that did not cater to the “teen pop culture” and use that just because it was termed “teen current news and events”. I came across a number of those and I would not want my son wasting his time on these “articles”.

The link to the New York Times Learning Network is a neat site if you wish to tie lesson plans into the headlines. The World News Network site is also unique in that it has many different articles contributed by many different news sources around the world. I like that idea very much because when I went to Europe I quickly learned of the totally different viewpoints other countries have of the United States and our actions around the world. Until you really hear it from average citizens, you really don’t understand the extent of world opinion of our government and its leaders.

Hope you enjoy these links and can use them in your homeschool. If you know of any valuable resources that can help in this endeavor, please feel free to share them!

Gregorc Thinking Styles

We’ve discussed in a previous post about learning styles. This post discusses something called “thinking styles.” Do you ever wonder why members of your family seem to do things or process information and then act on it in a certain way? Well, looking at the Gregorc  theories for thinking styles will help to answer some of your questions about why your kids act in a certain manner when accomplishing tasks.

The Gregorc thinking style theory is based on 4 quadrants, with people falling into certain quadrants as their dominant thinking style. The four quadrants are called concrete sequential, concrete random, abstract random, and abstract sequential. Below are descriptions of each style:

Concrete Sequential: This thinker thinks in concrete, factual terms in an ordered and sequential manner – from a to z or 1 – 2 – 3. These are your more “very structured” people who keep their desks clean with everything in its place and a place for everything.

Concrete Random: This thinker thinks in concrete factual terms but they like to experiment and see what happens. These are your scientists who are grounded in scientific facts, but they can be a bit like absent minded professors.

Abstract Random: This thinker thinks creatively and abstractly. These thinkers are more unorganized and move from one thing to the next as the “feeling” moves them. They act intuitively and based on feeling. These are your “people persons”.

Abstract Sequential: This thinker thinks in theories and philosophies. They love ideas and discussing them, but in a more orderly and logical fashion. These are your logic and philosophy majors.

To give you an example of real life, we can look at how does someone in your family attack cleaning a closet. Your “concrete sequential” will think ahead, maybe even draw a diagram, of where everything will be placed in the closet when it is put back in and organized. There will be 3 distinct piles of “keep”, “give away”, “garage sale”. After everything is taken out of the closet, everything will be placed in its assigned new home one by one.

Your “abstract random” will take everything out of the closet so that everything is spread out all over the room. The room and project will look worse than when this thinker started out on his cleaning project. As this thinker takes everything out or looks at everything he has spread out all over the room, he will decide one by one what to do with it – but, not before looking at it, reading it, playing with it, or remembering the memories connected with it and deciding if it should go or stay based upon its sentimental value. The placement of each item back into the closet is decided as each item is about to be placed into the closet, not before.

From personal experience, I can tell you that life is interesting when these two people are married. I’ve had to build structure for myself and my husband has had to loosen up a bit. So we tend to balance one another out now. It can be quite entertaining to sit back and watch.

Here are some links for your review to help you determine what thinking style you are and those styles of members of your family. The first link has a survey you can answer to help make this determination.




http://www.bownet.org/BESGifted/learning_styles.htm (this one offers homework helper ideas for the different styles)

http://www.ehow.com/about_5449795_anthony-gregorc-learning-styles.html (this one gives examples of learning environments suited for each style)

http://iweb.tntech.edu/rclougherty/workshop/page1/page4/page4.html (detailed description of each style)

This should get you started in understanding how your day goes with the members of your family during your homeschool day.


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