Teaching Indigo Children

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Working with the mind of an Indigo student is an exercise in judgement, timing and impeccable integrity that builds trust between the teacher and the student, and the parent and their child. The suggestions listed below are good teaching practices but also include the student's participation in the decision-making, that surrounds their own learning.

  • Try not to impose your own agenda on the Indigo because that is how it has always been done. These children will perceive quickly a worn out method.

  • Be flexible and ready to change lesson plans. Trust your instincts that flexibility is more useful than rigid plans. The focus is still the completion of the goal but resist the method of only teaching to complete the pre-set goal. There may be other things to learn along the way.

  • Talk everything over with the Indigo student. Begin when they are small babies and continue including them in your conversations as they get older. They like to verbalize also. Getting them invested in their education will also set guidelines for them. If they are not convinced about what is being discussed, then ask them what they would change to achieve the objective. Using this strategy will help them meet the challenge head-on!

  • Computer activities can be absorbing, educational and also time-consuming. The Indigo Conceptual will lead you in the computer with their intuitive skills yet may not have clear boundaries in regards to ethics and copyright laws. This is a teaching moment for teacher and student. The computer is a tool and a medium of expression that most Indigos have readily embraced. Parents can profit most by:

    1. "Selling" time or bartering with their children for computer usage. 2. Planning websites by students made for their family, for a teacher or for informational usage. 3. Allowing the Indigo student to research on computers. 4. Establishing boundaries for appropriate usage of the Internet.

  • Establish positive expectations and guidelines for each student; a class can also do this as a group activity. Leave out the "do nots" in the expectations. The Indigo Mind will appreciate the positive approach.

    geometric image painted by Carol Mackiewicz, 2001

  • I often ask my students when we begin a new semester what they want to get out of the class. If they have no answer, I explain what is offered and ask them what appeals to them. Sounds like a tedious process but eventually we all agree on what they are going to learn that semester. It is similar to asking your child what they want on their sandwich, they actually participate in the decision-making process.

  • Interaction with animals, art, music, drama, nature, even the martial arts will instill in the young and old Indigo student a bond with the outside world that helps them to construct a reality based on what they already know. All books and computers may not help to recharge the sensitive Indigo mind.

  • Cater to the student's learning style and mutiple intelligences and not yours. Many of my Indigo students are verbal/visual learners with diagnosed ADD and ADHD. I am a global learner: visual, verbal, and tactile. Occassionally my learning style compliments that of my students. There are several websites that explain in more detail about learning styles and multiple intellgences and how to distinguish them. I recommend that parents and teachers explore these sites and work with these concepts on their students. It is my opinion, that ALL learners should know their personal learning style. A highly informative and useful site that will also have links to other sites regarding learning styles and multiple intelligences is The Education Coalition

  • For very young Indigo students show them an example of a possible outcome for projects or richly describe the final outcome. Allow these young learners to experiment and even get frustrated but try not to impose your beliefs on them early in the process. If allowed to try their own methods, new methods of thinking and design may emerge. Before the young Indigos or any young student are completely frustrated, suggest a change of pace and remind them that there will be a tomorrow. Do not let the Indigo feel that they are completely blocked by their frustrated endeavors. They will appreciate your honoring their boundaries and limitiations.

  • For older Indigo students, present the scenario and proposed outcome. Provide the guidelines and training and allow the Indigo student room to experiment, fail and finalize their processes. It has been my experience with technology, that more than one method will achieve the final outcome. Encourage the Indigo student to show you what they created.

  • The assessment of Indigo student schoolwork or any other product of the student, should meet the teacher's proposed outcomes. However, if it does not, give the Indigo student a chance to explain their process upon completion. Often they like showing off how something was made instead of the final product. When the product does not meet the proposed outcome guidelines, invest the time in finding out. Chances are the student stumbled across something of great personal interest and did not move along fast enough.

    For example, when I was giving instructions to one class on Excel spreadsheets, I had one Indigo writing macros for the data instead of making the actual charts for the datas. He explored this area on his own and earned my respect for his adventure. He was given extra time to complete the assignment. I agree that this is not the normal procedure in most schools but it works when used in a manner that honors the child.


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Created and maintained by Diana T. Mackiewicz, M.Ed July 2002. Last updated Summer 2012.