As Homeschool parents we all get to that stage of trying to define what kind of learner our child is. Are they visual learners, or do they learn best with workbooks? Do you have a verbal learner or a kinesthetic learner?
We explore learning styles, learning methods, look at our children's strengths and weaknesses and our teaching strengths and weaknesses as well. We decide if we are classical homeschoolers, unschoolers, or fit somewhere in between.
However most of us, especially those of us with children with disabilities, learning disorders or on the Autism Spectrum, overlook another option / explanation / style which might just explain a LOT and open the door for learning. I think for many of us, we just assume that because our children are different, that we need to modify the styles that are already out there, or combine many. That our child's learning style is just a modification of the others out there. We stop looking.
Have you ever heard of an Indigo Child ?
I had heard the term but never bothered to look into it.
Well today I was prompted to look into what an Indigo Child is.
I was looking for ways to help my son and explain some things to him. I had been up through the night easing his worries and wiping his tears as yet again he had been upset while dreaming of what he describes as himself in the past in another body. You see my son has always been highly spiritual, always had a strong identity, an old soul who spoke like someone with lifetimes of experience, would talk about his past lives (often in great detail) and dream about them often, is highly imaginative, he talks about his spirit visitors, is very empathetic and sensitive.
I often need to look outside the square when trying to help him. Now I totally get him and we are very in tune BUT I am his mother and I learned a long time ago that this special kid of mine was one who needed research to help explain things. I was quite surprised to find my research (children who talk of reincarnation) led me to Indigo Children and described my child so very well! And for once it was nice to research something other than medical/special needs topics. Through this research I have found myself rethinking our learning style, my teaching style, confirming why we do some of the things we do and recognising what kind of learner my son is.
I read a lot of articles and blogs on the subject. Some were rather left of centre and parts of the articles I disregarded as many drifted into the realm of strange LOL, but there were parts I identified with completely. I read one blog post by Pia's Heart called "Indigo Children and Aspergers" that had a paragraph which described my child so well (who has Aspergers), even down to his high light sensitivity! Pia writes,
"Indigos have above average intelligence, are emotionally sensitive, intuitive or even psychic, and generally feel different from those around them. They have an aversion to bright lights, and are highly sensitive to sounds, pain, and extreme temperatures. They know they belong here just as they are , and they expect you to know so as well. They are born knowing and feeling that they are special, and they want to be revered. Indigo children have a higher sense of self-worth and confidence. They do not work well with rigid authority and archaic systems; they believe everything should be given creative thought. Indigo children are very focused on matters of spirituality and things of metaphysical nature. They are considered system-busters, because they often have insightful and better methods than those in place for years now."
It made me look further into the topic and I then found the website:
This is based on a classroom approach but can be easily adapted for homeschooling. This site lists profile characteristics as well as teaching methods in the "Mind" section, it explains health, learning disorders and the physical side in the "Body" section and then lists the some amazing insights in the "Spirit" section which really helps understand these children so very well. If you are keen to learn more then please check out this website, I highly recommend it and it is one that I have now bookmarked on my favourites list. There is a sources section and a book review on "Empowering Your Indigo Child" pictured below.
Characteristics of an Indigo Child:
Listed below from http://www.mindopenerz.com/are-you-an-indigo-11-traits-of-indigo-children/
- May be strong willed independent thinkers who prefer to do their own thing rather than comply with authority figures/parents.
- Have a wisdom and level of caring beyond their youthful experience.
- Traditional Parenting and discipline strategies don’t appear effective with these children. If you try to force an issue, a power struggle is the typical outcome.
- Energetically, Indigos are vibrating at a much higher frequency so they can get scrambled by negative energy (human or machine)
- Emotionally they can be reactive and may have problems with anxieties, depression or temper rages if not energetically balanced
- Are creative right brain thinkers, may struggle to learn in a traditional left brain school system
- Often Indigos are diagnosed with ADD and ADHD since they appear impulsive (their brain can process information faster) and they require movement to help keep them better focused
- Indigos are very intuitive, and may see, hear or know things that seem unexplainable.
- Indigos have more problems with food and environmental sensitivities, since their system is more finely tuned
- When their needs are not met, these children seem self centered and demanding, although this is not their true nature.
- These children have incredible gifts and potential, but they may be shut down when not properly nurtured and accepted
Some random information I found and thought was good to share is that the term 'Indigo' references a few things, one of which is that it is the colour of the Brow Chakra, which is said to be the centre for thought (well duh LOL), vision and psychic knowledge.
If, after looking at the links I have listed, you feel you are an Indigo child or have an Indigo child, the following link will help explain the type you are depending on your generation / year of birth.
My son belongs to the Omega Generation:
Children born from 1998 to 2008 belong to the so-called Omega indigo generation. Supposedly this is the last “pure” indigo generation. Children born in the Delta and Omega period, are also called Crystal Children because of a particularly bright, crystal color in their aura.
These children are particularly vulnerable to various dermatology problems, allergies and diseases (especially to those of upper respiratory tract due to high environmental pollution).
Also a large proportion of them is characterized as autistic or suffers from the Asperger syndrome. Autism in children is a way of self protection from attack and neurosis of the outside world."
The fact my son has a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome as well as ADHD and a multitude of learning disorders, all which are mentioned in articles for Indigo children, really makes you stop and think about the bigger picture.
So after much thought (and reconnecting with my own spiritual side) I have come up with a new learning plan for us. I call it:
- Allowing my child the freedom to do the work the way he feels works best for him. For example when he does Mathematics he often goes outside the square to work out a problem and doesn't follow the 'method'. He always gets things right and always makes a lot of sense but I've always insisted he 'follow the rules' and it frustrates him and we end up at a stand still. So long as his working makes sense and is right, I am letting go of some control.
- Give positive 'Do' list rather than a 'Do not' list as they are sensitive and will dwell on negatives.
- At the start of work, give examples of required outcomes (visual) or detailed explanations (verbal or written) to alleviate anxiety.
- Explain rather than tell.
- As they are perceptive and intuitive, there is no trying to convince them or pull the wool over their eyes to get them to do something when they don't want to. So either re visit it later, re work it into a way they do want to learn it or take on board the child's views. They are stubborn and value respect and integrity. If you approach them with those things then 'instruction' should go more smoothly.
- Allow them to deviate from the plan. Let them use their intuition and if that takes them in a different direction, then see where it goes. For example we have found that during his music lessons he likes to use part of the sessions to create and write music rather than learning to play the instruments. When he writes, he does not write with lyrics (or with them in mind) and instead creates a feeling in the music. So we will re structure his lessons to allow him some more freedom with this to express himself.
- Let them explore their dreams with dream diaries. Much like a Nature Journal but something for recording dreams, either with art or writing.
- Use History lessons as tools to embrace their memories. As most 'Indigo' children experience and believe in reincarnation, allow them to embrace it and what better subject than History to facilitate that. Indigo children usually have a love of history, they feel their connect with certain times and places so also give them some scope in choosing what eras of history to study.
- Follow a Right Brain Learning approach. See my previous blog post on Right Brain Learning here.
- Give the child some control over choices of topics or time schedules and encourage mutual respect.
I love learning new things about my child and myself. While I have always been spiritual myself, I have always overlooked that in terms of learning and our homeschooling. Thinking about it now I am not sure why, but I did. Maybe it was because we are not religious and so did not choose curriculum that was religious, picking secular materials and common core / Australian Curriculum materials instead. However learning about Indigo Children today and knowing how effected my son is, I think it's worth pursuing and adapting our homeschooling plan.
I am looking forward to learning more about Indigo children and implementing a new 'Intuitive Learning' approach to our homeschooling. I will be sure to let you all know how we go in the coming months.