Wednesday With Words: Personality & Learning – Simply Convivial

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This week in reading…

Current favorites at our house

We started Mystery of the Periodic Table in Elementary Lessons this week and as a narration, copied Aristotle’s formulation (“table”) of the elements (hot, cold, moist, dry) and bodies (fire, water, earth, air). Our word of the week is incorrigible, and they are having fun with that one. By the end of the two hours we had Martin Luther as an incorrigible preacher (prompted by a timeline sentence), Henry VII as an incorrigible money (prompted by our history reading), and my oldest as an incorrigible candy-lover (I told him I still had hoped of his reformation, so it didn’t count).

Knox has selected Fritz and the Beautiful Horses as his favorite read – to read himself – this week.

Ilse has finished reading First Steps and has moved on to the Pathway First Grade Primer, Days Go By. I think she likes that these are the size and heft of the boys’ “real” books. Plus, of course, they are sweet stories.

Unfortunately, a LEGO magazine (cough worthless desire-creating marketing drivel) hit our house and people saw it before I could slip it underneath the raw meat wrapping, empty milk jug, and dirty diapers in the garbage (top-level garbage being still visible to curious eyes). So, that’s what Hans & Jaeger will be studying and learning inside and out this week. sigh

My Book Bag

Only the introduction was about preaching to yourself, which is the topic I picked it up for. The rest of the book are short letters he wrote as examples of what this might look like. It’s ok, but not outstanding. By the look and feel of the book, it’s definitely marketed to millennials: black and red and that weird-coated paperback.

This one turned out to be a history book, and after reading the introduction, I decided it wasn’t going to be worth my time. Bait-and-switch and loosely-conceived unclever connections seems to be their (yes, two authors) plan for the book and the introduction gave me little hope that it’d be any good.

This is in my bag, but I haven’t opened it yet.

Almost done! And then I could start again – lots to think about. I’ll be making some notes, but then I do have another personality book on the docket. Because, yes, I am obsessed.

I’m getting the feeling this is going to get depressing and perhaps even not the greatest thing to have on the house speakers…it’s a premonition. Things are about to get ugly; I don’t know how ugly, but it’s coming. It might have to become a headphones-during-laundry audiobook instead of a dinner-preparations audiobook.

Week’s Words

Today I get to merge two hobbies: personality typing and education. Thanks for humoring me.

Isabel Myers sees personality at the root of “learning styles.” Interestingly, she spends about half the chapter on why phonics (she doesn’t use that word as it was not yet in vogue – she calls it “learning to decode symbols and their sounds” as opposed to “look-say”) is the best approach for both sensing and intuitive students. She also says that it is intuitives who tend to score higher on intelligence tests, but that is because their minds make connections faster and speed rather than actual intelligence is what the tests favor. If time limits are removed from the tests and the sensing types have enough time to “make sure” of their answers (their strength, she says) then the scores even out across the types and no longer favor intuitives.

While an intuitives speedily “translate words into meaning,” sensing types rely “on soundness of understanding instead of quickness of understanding,” which she says is “part of their strength and something to be respected rather than discouraged.”

However a subject is taught, students tend to remember only the parts that capture their attention and interest. Theoretical presentations and assignments are likely to bore the sensing students. The practical side without the theory tends to bore the intuitives. A fifty-fifty mixture can be expected to bore everybody half the time.

But then I loved the way the chapter ended:

What is urged here is the use of interest as an aid to learning useful things, but never the acceptance of a lack of interest as an excuse for not learning things that need to be learned. […] When students are not interested in something that they must learn, they have two options. One is sheer application, which is not as prestigious as aptitude or as stimulating as interest, but it gets the job done. Application is most often used by J types, who run their outer lives with their judgment rather than their perception. […] The other option was recommended to me at the age of four, in a conversation I remember word for word:

“Mother, what can I do?”
“Your closet needs to be straightened up.”
“But I’m not interested in my closet.”
“Well, get interested!”



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5 Responses

  1. dawn
    | Reply

    Too much to love! ‘Get interested!’, ‘Just do it’, Tolkein and Lewis shelf.

    At our house, the unfortunate catalog is American Girl. Boo.

  2. Karen @ Candid Diversions
    | Reply

    Oooh, love that shelf. I wish I had all those Wodehouse copies. I have one or two on Kindle, one paperback and that’s it.

  3. Lisa H.
    | Reply

    “Get interested!” is heard a lot around here. I also use the wrestling paradigm: Wrestle with that chemistry problem, and your mind gets stronger…. wrestle through a huge sinkful of dinner dishes, and you’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll tackle it the next time. And then, there’s always, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…” That last one doesn’t always work without a dramatic display of a child acting out his last breath. But, hey, it earns him drama points. I tell them to save it ’til we do “Hamlet!”
    Thanks! Good post!

  4. Amy @ Hope Is the Word
    | Reply

    Excellent commentary on determination and personality! Her ideas about personality resonate with me. I’m intuitive and a good test taker–I “test” smarter than I really am, I think.

    The derailing catalog around here is the American Girl one (came this week–sigh).

    Love the shelfie! I need to do that!

  5. Lena
    | Reply

    I also have personality and education as hobbies, thanks for the recommendation. Myers book is definitely different than others on personality. Also thanks for the heads up on Note to Self, I used to be interested to read it…How good is the Calvin prayer book?

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