Just a few simple shifts can make all the difference.
More parents are homeschooling than ever before. Using a Child Whisperer approach will make it more enjoyable for everyone!
In this episode, Carol and Anne are joined by a homeschooling guest, with tips for the Type 1 fun-loving child and the Type 2 sensitive child. Listen for specific tips to help set up your homeschooling schedule and environment to best support your child’s unique needs.
This episode’s Parenting Practice
Listen to this episode and examine your own approach to your Type 1 or Type 2 child (or your approach as a Type 1 or Type 2 parent). What one thing can you switch up that will be more honoring of their nature (or your nature) to create a more successful at-home learning experience? Try it this week.
Transcript of podcast episode
Carol: Welcome to The Child Whisperer Podcast. I’m your host, Carol Tuttle, author of the best-selling parenting book, The Child Whisperer. I’m with my co-host, Anne Tuttle Brown. We’re recording this podcast during the year 2020 when we’ve been dealing with a pandemic, and we’re entering our school year, and it looks different for everyone here in the United States.
We’ve got children that are going back into the classroom yet they have restrictions and guidelines with mass, and just class loads and numbers of students in their rooms. We’ve got at-home learning options where some students are doing both. They’re in the classroom, they’re at home. We’ve got more parents doing homeschooling than ever before. And so today we’re going to talk about your Type 1 and your Type 2 children and how you can better support them in their at-home learning experience.
Whether or not you are really dedicated homeschooler or you are just moving through this phase and having to do more learning at home and supporting your children. Wherever you’re at, we trust you’re doing what’s correct for you and we know these tips will be a great help to you and pay attention as well because if you’re a Type 1 or a Type 2 parent I know you’re going to get some insights as well for yourself.
And I’m so thrilled to have both my daughters join me. Anne, who’s my co-host here on The Child Whisperer Podcast is joining in, her daughter is going back into the classroom. And then my oldest daughter who is a Type 1, Jennifer, is a mother of four boys. They have all 4 Types in their family in that sequence oldest to youngest 4, 3, 2, 1.
Jenny made a decision that it was correct for her boys to have a homeschooling experience and to bring their learning and education into the home and that was the year before. She started that in 2019, which really then helped her, learn a lot and prepare for a situation now where that’s being required of a lot of parents, so she’ll have a lot of great insights for us.
Anne: And first, I want to preface this conversation that there’s so much information when it comes to homeschool: different curriculums, different tips for the Mom on how to approach. And so we’re speaking just solely to the Types of the child and you can add this to what you’re learning, to help you.
Carol: To me it’s foundational.
Anne: Yeah. And I think it’s a great lens to look through as you’re sorting through the different curriculums and the different approaches that this will really support you in moving forward and give you really a head start in this approach. So like you said, Type 1 is the fun-loving social child. They have an upward, light movement. So you’ve got to remember that. You’ve got to keep it light and fun. Think how can I make this a game, making up songs to remember stuff.
Jenny, I know you’ve actually we were Marco Polo on video chat and you were sharing some songs that you’ve made up to help your kids remember. So just in your own Type 1 nature that was something that you were drawn to and I love that approach. So do you want to speak a little bit to that, about making it a game and or making fun?
Jennifer: Yeah, like just speaking to what something that Mom said, and then I’ll speak more specifically about Type 1, just the fact that the kids will bring their movement naturally to the home. And it’s just, that’s so true. I see that so distinctly in each one of my kids. That they each move about the day in their own style, their own way.
And this morning with Teddy, I love for my kids to get their, what we call first-things-first things done by themselves, independently. And we’re not there yet. Like my 13-year-old is thankfully showering and brushing his teeth and doing all those things on his own.
Because I’ve worked to train him in that. But my youngest, Teddy, he wants me to be by his side. And just thinking about how when… I like doing things as a group. Like that’s something that I really enjoy, just being a part of a team. And so I’ve realized today, it’s okay. I need to take the time not only is he five and he needs that extra support, but he probably just wants to not be by himself.
And so he just said, “Mom, can you go turn on the water and grab my clothes?” And I’ve been kind of working all summer to be like, “No, just do it yourself. Do it yourself.” And I’m like, “No, that’s okay. I can do those things to support you,” you know.
Anne: And he likes that social interaction.
Carol: He likes talking to you while you’re doing it, showing you things, pointing things out, you know?
Jennifer: Yeah. And it’s just more fun with people. And so with him, making things like you said, a together experience and more of a game definitely just gets him excited about…
Carol: And he’s kindergarten, correct?
Jennifer: That’s right.
Carol: So he’s sort of formally, he’s done some. He’s been incorporated into your homeschooling experience yet now he’s moving into kind of the official first year of school.
Carol: Is he excited about that?
Jennifer: He’s really excited. He really wanted to get on the bus and go to kindergarten. And so it was kind of a sad thing. And I was going to actually put him in kindergarten this year just for that experience. And then just felt…
Carol: Well, that’s because when your boys were in, he saw his brothers getting on the bus every day. So, that’s something he was looking forward to.
Jennifer: He would love that. But that’s not going to be his experience so I’m just trusting that there’s the experience that is ahead is going to be good for him and a good match for him. Even though it’s not what I… I went to kindergarten. I loved it, you know, so it’s been something I’ve had to personally mourn a little bit.
Anne: And I think there’s been a lot of that. So many things to mourn in 2020, it’s like, oh, okay.
Carol: Because in Colorado, you…there the schools aren’t open. They didn’t have classroom option, correct?
Jennifer: No, they do. So they…
Carol: Oh, they did.
Jennifer: They’re starting online for the first two weeks and then arguing that the plan is to go into the classroom, which would be great. But since we are homeschooling, it’s nice with my older kids, and I just opted to keep them all integrated in the homeschool way.
Carol: So remember, if a child is… I think there’s another keep it light that always doesn’t look like everything’s playful and games. As you know, Jenny, they need structure and they need to follow through, and they need to learn to be responsible for their learning and assignments.
And that it is If it’s not, how can you help a Type 1 child kind of break up? What’s a dip? What’s their learning look like that might be different than a Type 4 that really thrives on sitting stills in a focused, structured environment.
Anne: And on more of a track.
Carol: Yeah, more of a track. Do you have shorter period–? You know, do you? A little more movement in their learning style?
Jennifer: I would say it’s something to look forward to. So you say, okay, we’re going to do…making everything fun, but I hoped, I try to do that already, because that’s just my personality. But just trying to make whatever material I get really interesting for them. And then just encouraging them through it and having maybe like a work, fun, work, fun, work, fun type routine for my Type 1 and 3s.
But whereas my Type 4 is like, “I just want to get my work done, and then I’ll have some fun,” if that makes sense. So mixing it up a little bit more.
Carol: Bring it to you just lock in, zone in, get it done. Okay, so mixing it up and then noticing when they’re feeling stressed. Stress in a child is a sign of either it could be sleep, lack of sleep, diet, or the environment’s not supportive to their true nature. And a good word to remind yourself as a parent of a Type 1 child is, is this light enough in it, the approach we’re taking?
Anne: I would even say, how can I lighten up? Ask yourself as a parent because like I know sometimes I’m just like, just get it done. Like “I’ve told you what to do, just do it.” But it’s like, okay, how can I make this more fun, more interactive? How can I be a little more silly? And when I can make that switch and lighten up, their response is so much better?
Carol: So ask yourself, I just ask… – Ask your child, too. What feels heavy to you?
Anne: Or you could even say, how can we make this more fun for you?
Jennifer: Well, and there’s like to draw on what Mom said about their, every child needs to learn and there needs to be structure. And so something I try to teach and then we try to implement as a family is there’s a time and season for everything. And so sitting down and practicing their piano may not be one of my child’s favorite things.
And it might be someone else’s favorite thing. But right, so they all have the things they dread and the things they don’t mind. But if it’s a priority for your family, for them to do whatever it is you expect your child to do that day, you just talk them through it. And you just talk about how, you know, little by little it’ll lead to good things. It might be hard right now but it’ll be okay. And so you can just lend some support in those areas even if they are kind of fighting back. So there’s that. There’s time for that where you just say, it’s time to do your piano and then we’ll get up and we’re going to go have a popsicle, or then we’ll go outside and jump on the scooters. So there’s that type of thing.
And then there’s times where you are, maybe you picked a curriculum or there’s a particular class, or it is piano, and you’re like, “This is too much for them and it’s too much for me.” And you just take it off your plate. So you have to be discerning as the parent to know what you’re going to work through, kind of like pick your battles, you know, and we’re going to make, they’re going to be okay, they’ll get through it, it’ll get easier. And we’re going to just walk away from that. So I don’t know if that’s helpful or not.
Anne: Those are great tips, yeah. Definitely.
Carol: Yeah, it’s really good.
Anne: Always good reminders and thank you. So, well, one more tip before we move to Type 2 is in line with the social aspect of fun-loving movement the Type 1 children have is creating, having a learning buddy because… So in your case, Jenny, you have one Type 1 in the house. He’s the youngest, he’s going to be doing his own curriculum. That could look a little bit lonely, solo.
But you said and you can share this story that he’s had set up some stuffed animals and read to them, or maybe have an older sibling come over and help. So it’s not always on you as the parent to have to be that buddy to them. Do you have any examples?
Jennifer: Yeah, we had him one time where he wasn’t getting the social interaction with his peers at the beginning of the shutdown of schools because my kids, although they were homeschooled they still had activities that they would attend and sports and he was in preschool and he was with people his own age, and he didn’t, he was missing out on that creative play.
And so we gathered up all his favorite stuffed animals and I just started to talk to Teddy as if I were the bear or whatnot. And he started to, you know, come alive and get connected with his little stuffed animals. And we made a cozy corner in his bedroom where he set up his stuffed animals and his pillows.
And I put a bunch of books out and he would… It became his special spot where he could kind of go and read and feel like he can talk to his friends, you know? It worked for that time when we really weren’t…when he wasn’t able to connect with people in person. Now that we’re able to see people more, I’m looking at getting just like a younger middle school or excuse me, high school-type student to come and be his learning buddy and read with him, and help him with his spelling, and just kind of bring some variety to his learning experience.
Carol: It’s a good idea. I had the pleasure of being read to in his cozy corner with his stuffed animals. It was really sweet. He was so endeared by it all, you know. He loved that little spot. Does he still have it up?
Jennifer: We moved it. He has a tent now and so…
Carol: Oh, nice.
Anne: That’s good though. You’ve got to keep it… You’ve got to switch it up every couple of months.
Jennifer: Yeah, that’ll happen for sure at our house.
Anne: Yeah, and that’s awesome. We’ve got more Child Whisperer coming up right after this brief message.
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Carol: A Type 2 child is our sensitive child and they lead with an emotional connection to our world, and they have a more soft, relaxed. The word calm comes up but they’re not always calm. So that parents misunderstand that and think they can get loud.
They can be throw fits, they’re not…
Anne: A bit sneaky.
Carol: …calm all the time.
Anne: Causing trouble.
Carol: When they are in balance, their presence is calming to others. They have a need for connection. And they’re aware of details in the bigger picture. And what’s all the details playing out without necessarily making you aware of that. There’s a lot they’re taking in and there’s a lot that they take in emotionally that can cause stress.
And so this…a Type 2 child when the family is more together and more at home, and they’re in a position now to learn from a home experience they may not let you know ’til it’s gone too far. And now they’re stressed, and they’re crying and whining and difficult, because they have to be taught how to verbalize what they’re feeling and that they’re starting to feel pressure and misunderstood or overlooked.
And you both have Type 2 children and, Anne, you are a Type 2 yourself. So, just knowing that nature of a Type 2 child, what adaptations have you made?
Anne: I think because of that connected nature kind of like the same as Type 1 but for different needs, needing to be a little bit closer as a parent to be reassuring like, “I’m here. Let’s get started on your work. Let’s go through,” but can also be a challenge because of that slow movement. And you might just want to be like let’s just dive into it now and get it done and just go do it by yourself. So, Jenny, why don’t you share what you’ve done with Neil and maybe talk about the challenges that you have had.
Carol: Is he, he’s second grade?
Jennifer: Yeah. He’ll be third.
Carol: Third grade?
Jennifer: Yeah, just listening to your opener about the movement of a Type 2 child. So I was just soaking it in and learning. I’ve got a lot to learn with how to communicate and work with his personality, because…just a couple of funny stories. When you said that they need to be taught how to use their words, I was like, “Oh, that makes sense,” because our oldest will say, “I’m going to talk in Neil language.” And he’ll just mock him. And I think, you know, and then he’ll run out of the room, except he’ll run out of the room. And I’m like, come on. I’m just demonstrating his communication pattern. It’s not very effective.
Anne: Now that’s Sam the other day was reaching up on the counter. And I said specifically to Sam, “Eh, eh, eh. I said, “I don’t know what you need right now because I don’t hear any words. Use your words.” That’s something I’ve had to teach him a lot. Use your words, use your words. Obviously, I could tell he wanted the water bottle but I’m not going to respond to that or that’s the behavior I’ll continue to get.
Carol: Well, Neil is in a…when you have a Type 2 child that is sort of the middle child that’s another little bit of a…it creates a little more complexity in that they now have the siblings on both sides.
Anne: They are overlooked.
Carol: Yeah, then that overlooked.
Anne: Yeah, definitely.
Carol: Are not as independent as their older siblings because they just take a little more time to develop that kind of confidence in who they are.
Jennifer: Right. Because, my husband will stop and he’ll go to him, and he’ll talk, and he’ll take the time to connect. And to just say, “Tell me how you feel.” And so I’ve been trying to follow that example, you know, tell the big brothers back off and give him his space. It’s something I’m trying to teach all my kids. Give each other space to be, space to be who they are and to and to change, you know? Anyway, so with…
Carol: How’s he adapted to learning at home? How is that going for him?
Jennifer: With learning at home, I was really wanting him to do certain things at a certain time. And he became overwhelmed and just turned into kind of a floppy fish saying, “Oh, I can’t do it. I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this,” and really stressed. And so it was a really, really difficult experience for me.
And I just was so fed up because I’m like, “I know you can do this but you just won’t and you refuse to.” So this year…
Carol: And that is a trait, especially his secondary’s a four. And when they feel either strong about something or so pushed and overwhelmed, they don’t budge.
Anne: It’s like that cow in the middle of the road.
Carol: Yeah, they’re like, not moving.
Anne: It’s so funny because Jenny said, Neil gets like floppy fish and my Type 2 will do the same thing, where he just flops on the ground. We call him dead man Sam because he won’t move a muscle. It’s like do everything.
Carol: Learning all these.
Anne: I know. I’m curious for your view.
Carol: What you call your kids.
Anne: You listeners out there. You have Type 2s who do that where it’s just like…
Carol: But you’re not to move it into a shaming experience for them.
Anne: Oh, now he thinks that’s funny because he literally can’t move any muscle in his body. So that’s a really nice try to make it a game to like move him through it a little bit faster. So yeah, that’s just like… – Back to Jenny’s experience. He was responding favorably, cooperatively.
Jennifer: I realized that I was setting him up for a stressful experience and saying just putting out pressure on him, as soon as he felt that stress he just disengaged and he just felt defeated immediately. And so what I’m going to try to do this coming learning year is have him have one hour set aside, whether that’s one hour of you know, straight or two 30-minute blocks, where I say to the other kids, “I’m working with Neil now. Don’t interrupt me,” and make sure they have something else to do. It’s our time. And then if that time goes to him learning, great. If it goes to him showing me stuff, great, but we’re going to… I’m going to start…
Carol: So that’s creating the connecting he needs?
Jennifer: Yeah. I’m going to start the year off with this is what I want him to do and have that in mind. But if he needs to maybe just have that time to connect with me I think he’ll be successful not only over time as we get together, he’ll be more apt to do what I’m asking him to do during that Mommy and Neil time. But then I think he’ll also have that connection that he’s seeking so when it’s not me and him he can be more independent and kind of go forward having that cup filled, you know.
Carol: Yeah. That little bit of connection…the return on investment in it is huge because he will feel supported now and be individually motivated.
Jennifer: That’s like with the…
Carol: It’s not like you need to connect with him constantly. You might do 15 minutes some days.
Jennifer: There we go, yeah.
Carol: And I encourage for you being a Type 1 not to make it too regimented and say, you know, anywhere from even 10. 10 to 20, 30-minute blocks feeds a need they have that has a huge return of them not needing it anymore. You know what I’m saying?
Carol: That’s like, they don’t need it all the time. It’s just like nourishment for their being.
Anne: And him even hearing you say to the other children, “This is my time with Neil,” I think that will do a lot for him.
Carol: You make sure he hears you say that.
Anne: This is Mommy and Neil time.
Jennifer: And last year actually, guess what? We did do, we played a lot of games together where he has these big squash mellows or something, and we’d play hot potato. And it just, it was so delightful for him and for me to just connect playing these simple games, so we did have that last year.
I just need to now hold that type of feeling and connection into our learning time so the stress can be kind of extinguished. And because what happens is he gets that whininess and I just want to just get away from it, it’s so…
Carol: Yeah, feels heavy to you.
Jennifer: Like, “Oh, go away.” It was so sad.
Carol: This is a great reminder for parent of a Type 2. By giving them that connection time, that 10, 15, 20 minutes, I’m actually going to use less energy in that than if I don’t do it and have to deal with the side effect.
Anne: The constancy of the…
Jennifer: Wonderful reminder.
Carol: The side effects, you’re going to be more draining, they’re going to be require more of me. You know, do I really want to deal with that? And so that small time connection is… And them just hearing that, I mean, I know when I talked to him individually, he just lights up to have kind of the spotlight on him, you know? And that’s where, you know, being a sibling, a Type 2, they do feel like they don’t get that one on, you know, that connection time. They’re part of the group, you know.
Jennifer: That’s right.
Anne: One more tip for Type 2 is, obviously we love that connection of plan. And so how can they connect with the plan out of a detailed smaller scale and also at a bigger scale? Do they have like their own personal desk calendar? I think that would be really cool, a little day planner? Do they know what…
Carol: Well, get them anything they can use that’s a device or an electronic gadget.
Anne: Yes, cool gadgets. Now, Jenny…
Carol: Track things and [crosstalk].
Anne: Neil, when I talked with Neil earlier this week, he came and said he had found an old computer, and he sounded really excited about that. Is that something that he is going to be using in his home schooling? or have you seen the desk?
Jennifer: Well, yeah, the thing I reflected on, Anne. Anne and I have had some conversations about these things. And last year, I was just like, okay, we’re having homeschool. So I set up… So I interpreted that as school like school normally is at home. So I set up a classroom and made everything as if I were the teacher, and we’ll talk about this later in more detail.
But then I quickly realized that that doesn’t work very well. It’s home, and then your life at home.
Anne: When I’ve heard people say like, “Do not try to replicate school at school. Like homeschool is not school at home basically.
Jennifer: That’s right.
Anne: And it’s very different and the learning curves you must have experienced over this year, Jenny I’m sure have been tremendous.
Jennifer: Yeah, they have. And I think what Anne pointed out when she said, do you have your kids involved in the planning especially for your Type 2? And I was like, no. And it’s happened this year and they have. They’ve started, they set up their own little space in their desk. They found…
Carol: Oh, excellent. Well, they want their learning space then.
Jennifer: Yeah, and we’ve got, we still have some planning and organizing to do but it’ll be neat to see what it’s like to give them more ownership in terms of those details.
Carol: And the more you can…
Jennifer: Where you can give your child their responsibility with your support to, and then it takes it off of you. And the more they own it too.
Carol: I’m also thinking your boys all have tablets, and they have their Kindles. What apps could you get on those that are like task-oriented and tracking things? And you know Neil loves that.
Jennifer: That’s a good idea.
Carol: Or anything that’s like, you know, device, an electronic. And I’m sure there are child…there are apps for children that are like daily reminders and… – Well, you know, the watch you got him?
Jennifer: He’s been using that for…it has a little calendar on it and a timer. And so I’ll let him use that.
Carol: Yeah. And then if you can find an app where he has to the day before, you know, maybe put in what he has to accomplish that week or the next day in his schooling, then he gets to go in and you know, he has to put…he has to program it in and…
Jennifer: Good idea.
Carol: And put it in the app. So he’s using his writing skills. And he’s spelling and then he asked, then he gets to go back into it and check it off. I mean, I just think that he would love it.
Anne: That’s how I manage my life.
Carol: I know. Look at what you do as far as… but I just know Type 2s really they like…
Anne: No, I’m saying as a Type 2.
Carol: You’re blending this ability of them to create a plan, follow through on their plan with in his case and I would think it might be more the case of Type 2 boys but maybe not, maybe Type 2 girls would also like those…they like devices, they like gadgets, they like these little things.
Anne: Even more than, you know, narrowing it down to the gadgets but letting a Type 2 pick their like own binder. I loved school shopping. I loved getting my… Yeah, all those details. The desk set up, a little pencil organizer, my own little pencil sharpener. Like, creating and getting all those little things and I hope it hopefully it won’t wear off but I think it would, the excitement of creating your own space and giving yourself that responsibility.
Carol: Those are all details.
Jennifer: Yeah. And then maybe you could say there’s something that they really, really want, you know, a particular pencil box or maybe they can continue to work for those things, those little additions.
Anne: Yeah, by doing their homeschool, by doing what they’re expected to do throughout the day. And then of course making sure they have a cozy spot or you know, they’re feeling comfortable in the location that they’re at and you know, even have a special maybe homeschool buddy stuffed animal set or something just you’re thinking about how can I create that connection to that space and to their learning?
Carol: Great ideas.
Jennifer: You know what I think I’m going to try this time? Speaking of gear, and gadgets, and things. Neil always has his binoculars with him, maybe a walkie talkie, a compass, he’s always like…
Anne: So does Sam.
Jennifer: …all set up for, you know, adventure. And so those things can be a really big distraction because he’ll always have his pockets full when he comes to learning time. So I think I’ll have a basket where he can put them in there, and then maybe with like a fruit snack or something also in the basket and say okay, as soon as we’re done with this 20 minutes of math or whatever you can have your stuff back plus this snack. I think I might try that.
Anne: Yeah, and I’ve actually, I’ve found like, and so we have a bag that we take to church with a few little toys in it and they only get it at church. And so I would take the homeschool or the school things and be like, you only get this during that time. So it just creates a little bit more of a special quality and that’s what it’s associated with. And actually Sam yesterday say, “Why does everyone still always take my stuff?” And his Type 3, two-year-old brother always takes his toys…
Carol: Oh, good. He’s got the trait of, “I don’t take my stuff.”
Anne: So Jenny actually did this with her Type 4 and created a box called Seth’s Specials. And so yesterday I created a bin called Sam’s Specials and he can take it out when Roy naps and its stuff that only he can play with. So yeah, anyways, just speaking to that, like creating their own little things that can come really special and they connect within that at-home learning time.
Carol: Yeah. Your weekly parenting practices to examine your own approach to your Type 1 or Type 2 child, or maybe you’ve learned some things about yourself as a Type 1 or a Type 2 parent that you can modify. What one thing can you switch up that’s going to be more honoring of their nature or your nature to create a more successful at-home learning experience?
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