Wiggly Willy

copyright 2023 Cathy Duffy (Excerpted from 103 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. Do not copy or reproduce.)

Wiggly Willys are those children who learn best by doing—the hands-on learners. They like to be free to move around and act spontaneously.  Do you have a little boy who just seems to fall off his chair if he has tried to stay put for more than ten minutes? That’s typical for a Wiggly Willy.

They have short attention spans most of the time, although it’s interesting to see how their attention span lengthens when they get into something of their own choosing! These children are usually not interested in deep thinking or analysis if it means sitting still very long.

On the other hand, they generally do very well with hands-on projects. They can be very creative and imaginative.

These are carefree children who live for the moment. However, they can be difficult to motivate. Wiggly Willys hate being bored. They’ll create “interesting moments” to break the boredom.

They don’t think ahead about consequences, positive or negative. You cannot usually motivate them with: “Study hard and get good grades so you can get into a good college ten years from now.” Ten years from now is a non-existent concept for them, so why on earth would they sacrifice present pleasure for that? These children need short-term goals and immediate rewards.

Wiggly Willys can be disruptive in groups. Sometimes these children are labeled as having attention deficit disorder (a disorder that I do believe is real), although the actual problem is that, because of their age and temperament, they really need to be moving around more than is allowed in a typical classroom.

For more information about learning styles, read chapter 4 in either 103 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum or How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum.

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