Homeschooling Learning Styles

Learning using visual mnemonics

I have been pondering lately about our homeschooling learning styles.

My mother loves to take me to stately homes. She loves to begin at the first room and examine it in detail. When she has understood everything about that room, she is ready to move onto the next.

Going to stately homes with my mother is excruciating!! As a child she was forever trying to interest me in this tablecloth or that picture. She wanted me to learn all about the room with her - and I was BORED! I wanted to zip through that house at top speed. I wanted to get a feel for the whole place - understand the relationships of the rooms, get a feel for the decor, get an overall effect -because only then can I begin to formulate questions about the details. Only then will I want to go back and look at something specific.

A valid learning approach

Years later I took a psychometric test for a job, and came out as high in strategy, and low in attention to detail. It was then I realised that my approach to stately homes is perfectly valid - for me!! It was years later still before I could understand that my mother NEEDS to approach stately homes the way she does because that is how she learns - and not because she deliberately wants to bore and exasperate me!!

And what a leap of faith it would have been for my mother when I was a child to understand that letting me zip through the place at top speed was BENEFICIAL to my learning experience and not detrimental. To see that I actually needed to do things this way in order to learn better - despite the fact that it to her it felt COMPLETELY WRONG!! And that I could never learn anything this way.

Are you getting in the way?

I think this is a big lesson for us in dealing with our children. We all learn in different ways. And the more you try to push your way of learning on someone, the more they will resist!! In homeschooling my children I still need to see the big picture. I am forever trying to ‘tie things together’ or ‘wrap up’ a project. They like to dive in at seemingly random points and immerse themselves in details without ever seeming to need to see the ‘big picture’. They are happy to learn ‘this particular thing, now’ without needing any context. It is a big leap of faith for me to accept that this doesn’t mean they are not learning PROPERLY - they are simply learning in a way that is acceptable to them.

How do you like to learn? And your children? Are your preconceptions about what learning is getting in the way of actual learning? Is your child bored and frustrated because you are trying to fit them into your mould? Can you take a leap of faith - can you let them try out a learning style for themselves? Sometimes we just need to ‘get out of the way’ for learning to occur. In homeschooling, learning can take place in the most wonderful ways - if we let it!

Homeschooling Learning Article

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