Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday Catch-All: Nurture By Nature, Polyphemus Moth

There have been quite a few things over the last little while that I've thought, "I really should write about that!" And then busyness (and quite possibly perfectionism) gets in the way, and the things pile up.

Nurture By Nature
Nurture by Nature by Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger applies Myers Briggs personality typing to children. Brandy Vencel at Afterthoughts recommended this book back in January, and I borrowed it at our library. She has already written an excellent review, including advice on how to use it, so I will refer you to that and not add too much here. 

One of the most valuable things I gained from this book was a deeper understanding of the personalities of my children who are the most unlike me. Their strengths and weaknesses are so different from mine that I tend to see their weaknesses as greater than they are and at the same time not appreciate their strengths as I should. I understand my oldest child quite well. While he does not have the same personality type as I do, he is very similar to me in many ways. (He's a textbook ISTJ, I'm ISFJ.) However, I know I'm going to have to refer to this book again as my third child (probably ESFP) grows older, as he is so very different from me.

It has been interesting to try to consider this information from a Christian perspective (The parenting advice in the book itself is very secular.). If a child is born with a certain personality and keeps that same personality throughout his life, it is reasonable to assume that that personality is God-given (however difficult the personality may seem from our perspective!), and more, reflects the image of God. Of course, our fallenness plays into this too.

This book has sparked so many ideas and questions in me. How are our spiritual gifts related to our personalities? How can we accept and respect a child's basic personality while still working to overcome weaknesses? I also considered how so many other concepts are included in personality types, particularly "love languages" and learning styles. I found this book well worth reading (despite disagreeing with some of the parenting advice in it), and will be reading it again in a couple of years.

Nature Study
What happens when you pick bugs for your nature study focus?

Amazing bugs come to you, that's what. A beautiful Polyphemus Moth was on our screen all day today. Its wingspan was five inches (125 mm), quite an unusual size for a moth around here.

We also saw a viceroy butterfly this week, and another moth I haven't identified yet.

HEMS Conference
It has been almost a month since I went over to Nova Scotia for the homeschooling conference there. I went with several ladies from PEI, and we had a wonderful time. I've been wanting to do the conference justice with a real post, but since that hasn't happened yet, I think I'm going to mention it here and let it go. Sonya Shafer from Simply Charlotte Mason was the main speaker at the conference. She is a very engaging speaker, much better in real life than I had expected from seeing her videos. I especially appreciated how she incorporated demonstrations of several of Charlotte Mason's methods into her talks: picture study, narration, copywork, studied dictation. 

The most important insight I came away with from her talks was something I already thought I knew. Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life. Simple, right? But as Sonya Shafer introduced these concepts once again, I realized that I had been focusing more and more on "life," and less and less on "atmosphere" and "discipline" in our first year of homeschooling. It's time for me to adjust a little once again. 

If you ever have a chance to go hear Sonya Shafer speak, do so. It will be worth it, I promise you!