The Way We Learn

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I attended a homeschooling conference two weeks ago thanks to Fonda who kindly babysit the boys. One important lesson I learned was about Learning Style. I read Cynthia Tobias' book: The Way They Learn on the past so I thought I am familiar with this but turned out I only knew the surface or I may have forgotten what I read. =P Each individual learns in different and unique way. We need to figure out how other people learn or process information so we can understand them better and communicate effectively. As homeschooling parents or teacher, we need to implement this knowledge on regular basis in order to see the blessing.
I wish I knew this sooner there would be less frustrating moments when I try to communicate with others. Below are my notes from the workshop the ones in *Italic is my personal notes.

"For You have formed my inward parts;
You have covered me in my mother's womb
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." Psalm 139: 13-15

Learning Style
A. Different Learning Modalities:
1. Visual: those who need to see things written down or draw out in order to understand. There are two types of visual learner:
    a. Prints: some one who like words and books and
    b. Pictures: some one who can like images, diagram, videos, or pictures books.
* Both Chris and I are visual learners but up to that day I don't realize there are two kind of visual learners. While he is a visual picture, I am more of a visual print learner. I love reading books and following direction on recipes while Chris prefers to browse youtube to find recipe. I prefer reading than watching movies while he prefer the opposite.  

2. Audio: ones who need to hear it to get it. There are two types:
   a. Listening: tapes
   b. Verbal: talk themselves through things, do well in discussion
* I enjoy discussion or talking things through as I learn while Chris prefer being by himself and quietness while working or learning.

3. Tactile- Kinesthetics: Hands-on, Whole Body, Sketching, Writing, those who needs to move or do something in order learn. They likes to take thing apart, draw, build blocks,
* While I like to write to untangle my thought, Chris and my second boy are the hands-on ones who like to build and take things apart.

B. We also need to take into consideration individual dispositions/traits in order to better understand, motivate, and help facilitate learning
a. Producing: type A, have order, get things done, like order, organized, goals, structure, rules, diligence
b. Inventing: like to experiment/ invent, brainstorm, debate, field trip, explore, being independent
c. Relating/ Inspiring/ Feeler: caring, people person, kind, thoughtful, coorperate with others
d. Thinking/ Creating: creative, observant, spontaneous, artistic, need for quiet/ alone time
e. Performing: spontaneous, playful, like choices, high energy, like challenge, games, hands-on

C. The Environment Factors:
Understand and be aware when the kid's energy level is high, food, color, time, position, lighting, interaction with others and so on.

4 Stages of Learning
1. Introduction/ Acquaintance - this usually entails multiple exposures
2. Recognize - the student knows it when he sees it. Multiple-choice tests assess this level of knowledge.
3. Recall - Students can retrieve from memory with some effort. Fill in the blank tests assess this level of knowledge
4. Fluency - Subject matter is committed to long term memory and student knows it well enough to explain it to someone else

Some Important Notes:
There will probably be some overlap.
Don't over schedule! Play time/ self space is very important.
The best is when we can help student to discover and combine their Talent  + Interest

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