Although he has never been diagnosed, I suspect that my 4 year old son is hyperactive. He’s always moving and fidgeting, and trying to feed him at dinner is like trying to hit a constantly moving target. It’s chaotic for us as he spins through the house like the Tazmanian devil, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
While his behavior appears to be erratic, he is in fact aware and absorbing information. In one of his weekly classes there is a singing/storytelling portion. I noticed that whenever the students are instructed to sit, he is usually still wandering. I have also noticed the sideway glances my son and the other wandering children receive from some of the nannies and parents. I used to be self-conscious about this because I thought my son was being disruptive and he wasn’t listening. That was until one night he described all the activities in his class and he even sang the song for me. He was listening, just in his own way and I had to learn to be okay with this, regardless of what others thought.
Fidget Toys Aren’t Just Hype
This article from Scientific American highlights my point of letting kids learn in their own way. Spinners and fidget toys are all the rage right now and there are vendors selling them like hotcakes in the streets of NYC. Kids and teenagers are walking around spinning them all over the NYC streets. At first glance, they seem ridiculous or unnecessary, but they are serving a purpose. I’ve noticed fewer kids buried in their cell phones and none of these kids are smoking. When I was in high school, it was common to see kids many from school smoking. Scientific American discusses school teachers seeing these devices as a distraction, which in some cases they probably are, but there are definitely kids benefiting from having devices like these. I know for a fact my son, if he were old enough, would benefit from something like this, and I would encourage him to use it if it helped him to focus and learn.
My wife and I are homeschooling our kids because we understand that teachers have an immense amount of pressure and responsibility, which at times makes it difficult to cater to each individual child’s needs. I believe that this is a shining example where in order to maintain control in a classroom; a school must ban these types of devices even though they could greatly benefit some students. Not all people learn the same way, and it’s unfortunate that this is not always taken into consideration when it comes to finding the best way to educate our children.