As most folks who read my blog know, right-brained learning is a topic about which I talk a fair amount. Mainly because understanding right-brained learners has made a huge difference in how I approach homeschooling my boys. I was first pointed in the direction of this learning style by my dear friend and mentor Cindy Gaddis. I can not tell you how much her knowledge and friendship has helped me over the years.
Needless to say, I am incredibly thrilled that her book on right-brained learners, The Right Side of Normal, has been published and is available for purchase! This has truly been a labor of love for Cindy and I am so excited that she is able to share her knowledge and passion with the rest of the world.
I will admit that after having known Cindy for eight years now and having had countless late night phone calls talking about our creative kids, not to mention all the discussions we have had with other homeschool parents on the Homeschooling Creatively email list, I figured that I would enjoy her book, but did not really expect to learn too much that was new...boy was I wrong.
Cindy does such a great job in providing much more background as well as connecting the dots and fleshing out of subjects that we have talked a lot about...I had tons of "Aha!" and "Yes, that's it!" moments while reading it. Even if you have seen Cindy speak or have been on her email list for awhile, you will still want to get this book...I was lucky to get an early copy and was amazed at how Cindy pulled everything together so coherently and how much I learned!
Clocking in at over 450 pages, this is an incredibly meaty book (you can check out the Table of Contents here). One of Cindy's many strengths is her ability to synthesize information. She is a master of observation and decided to assume that if her kids were doing something, there was a valid reason for it. So instead of correcting them or teaching them "the right way," she started to look at the "why" behind what they were doing.
She decided to trust the process and because of this, started to see emerging patterns for her right-brained children. These patterns led to the development of her Collaborative Learning Process, which embraces our creative kids' different learning style and timetable. In her book, she takes these observations and delves into them at an even deeper level. For example, I love how she compares and contrasts the developmental stages for right and left brained kids in The Natural Learning Development of Right-Brained Learners...focusing not just on when kids naturally start learning to read and write, but also what subjects they tend to naturally gravitate to at different ages.
Cindy not only connects the dots from her observations and what she has learned from her years spent engaging with other homeschool parents (through her active email list as well as her talking engagements) in more detail, but she also synthesizes these observations with the latest research from various areas....neuroscience, dyslexia and other disability research as well as homeschooling.
What is fascinating to me is how much of child development (the labeling of things as "normal" or as a "disability") is geared to how children do when taught in one particular way, on one particular timetable...that found in school. There has been virtually no research done on children who function outside of the school model. She asks the question, "What would happen if we took the school approach and timetable out of the picture and let kids develop on their own natural timetable?" How would that affect what we view as "normal"? An interesting question, no?
I am sure that I will write more about The Right Side of Normal (is that a perfect name for a book on right-brained learners or what?) but I wanted to at least let folks know that it is out there.
The Right Side of Normal is available to purchase on The Right Side of Normal website, on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble. Cindy is currently running a limited time offer (more details can be found on her website):
The Buy One E-Book/Get One Free deal is my contribution to helping families receive support by giving you permission to give the free copy to a concerned family member or school personnel in order to get everyone on the same page.
This same free E-Book copy is good with the purchase of my print book through Booklocker (see link below) for the same purpose of giving families support by giving you permission to give the free copy to a concerned family member or school personnel in order to get everyone on the same page.