Friday, April 3, 2009

"His Wonderous Ball"

Many of you know that my husband, Doug, gave me a poem for Christmas. In it, he describes the relationship between our son, AH, and me. In it he mentions "his wonderous ball" which references the exersize ball that is key to AH's learning. I've promised to write about it, so here goes.

I was sitting with a group of homeschool parents at an indoor soccer center during our weekly indoor play afternoon almost 2 years ago. I was new. New to it all: homeschooling, education, the group. They were so very welcoming and inclusive. Somehow the conversation turned to the differences between the way boys learn and how girls learn. Someone mentioned that she had read an article about a study done in this area. She mentioned some boys learned more effectively by moving. This peaked my interest because my son, I had noticed since starting to homeschool, moved constantly. It drove me crazy. She mentioned that in the study they had given the boys exersize balls to sit on during school and their schoolwork had improved dramatically. Okay, I thought. I've already gone over the edge by homeschooling, why not try this idea, too?
I've never doubted that decision.
Well, that is not completely true. One afternoon about a month after we got him the ball, we were studying the revolutionary war and listening to Johnny Tremain on CD. AH was moving more than ever, doing flips on the ball, jumping on then off again (yes, it is possible to do that) and basically driving me insane. I was sure he wasn't listening at all. I stormed to the stereo, hit pause and asked him what was happening in the story. The answer I recieved was a calm and precise narration of the recent events of the story. I was shocked. He had never before given me such a detailed and articulate response in my requests for information. I sheepishly walked back to the stereo, pressed play, and I have kept my irritation to myself! It can still drive me crazy at times, but I know it works for him and I know my comfort cannot be the deciding factor in this issue.
Here are some pictures of AH on his wonderous ball, none of which do justice to the skill and coordination he has mastered! He's usually not this active when we are learning, but it's pretty cool what he can do!


Sue VanHattum said...

Hi Barbara,

I just found your site after adding the 'followers' gadget to my own site, and seeing you there. :> Thanks for visiting.

The school my son goes to has lots of active boys. I think I want to try a lesson with them on balls!

Thanks for this intriguing post.

home handymum said...

Cool. Another idea to sock away for potential use in the future. Neither of my girls are kinaesthetic learners, but we're expecting a third baby and you never know...

I remember hearing years ago of the success a school classroom had with their boys when they simply removed all the chairs - the boys found that the jiggling and wiggling freedom of standing for everything worked.

The ball looks even better :)

Sue VanHattum said...

Hi Barbara, I don't see how to contact you personally, so I'll post this here. I just found an interesting article, linked to this issue. Try this link:

If it doesn't work, write me at suevanhattum at, and I'll send you the info.