Wiggle Worm

I’ve spent some frustrated time trying to keep my son still while he learns something.  His whole life he’s been a squirmy, bouncy, impulsive kid – and I am a  quiet, still, focused, impatient old lady.   So, like all things, I started researching and reading.  I was intrigued with the concept that “busy hands reduce fidget and increase focus”.  There is also a lot of information to help recognize (and accomodate) learning styles.   Nicholas is a combination Kinesthetic/Auditory learner:


  • move all the time
  • touch and feel everything, rubs hands on walls, hallways, door frames as he moves
  • thumps buddies
  • can take an item apart and put it back together
  • enjoys doing things with his hands
  • is well coordinated
  • frequently uses fists (held crayons in fist when he was small)
  • may make paper airplanes
  • needs to use concrete objects as learning aids
  • cannot rote count or sequence material without aids (has learned this better)
  • has difficulty establishing one-to-one relationships in number value (needs visuals)
  • after age 6.5 is generally classed as an underachiever
  • often described as a child who can’t keep his hands to himself
  • needs to explore his environment more than average for this age
  • is often considered hyperactive


  • never stops talking
  • tells jokes and tries to be funny
  • can win spelling bee if taught “say-spell-say” method
  • is a good story teller – they get taller and taller
  • has poor handwriting, a history of reversals
  • can remember what is said to him and repeat it accurately
  • makes a good boss
  • likes records, folk dances, rhythmic activities
  • has ten excuses for everything
  • knows all the words to all the songs
  • can memorize easily
  • has a poor performance on group intelligence tests
  • seems brighter than group tests reveal
  • has poor perception of time and space

To channel this energy so we can have a productive day, we allow plenty of time for movement.  Taking frequent breaks he jumps on a trampoline or bounces on a pilates ball, rides his bike or skateboard or plays his guitar.  Motion or rythm both help him to be able to come back and refocus.

During class time, we use a lot of manipulatives.  Keeping his hands busy helps him maintain focus.  He draws while listening to CDs or when I read aloud.   I took these pictures this morning of him while he was discussing a research project he was working on.  He is unaware that his fingers are in never-ending motion as he twists pipe cleaners.

If you have a child who struggles with learning in traditional ways – determine his/her learning style and make a few tweaks.  The results can be amazing!  Tapping into the way God made them is so much more productive than keeping a mindset that learning has to be accomplished in a certain way.


2 responses to “Wiggle Worm

  1. He’s so handsome. He is looking more and more like a young man every day.

  2. My gosh, you have just described my granson perfectly. Thanks for this – I will definitely follow up on this.

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