April 24, 2008

Thinking again about learning styles...

Today during bible study, we were about 15 or 20 minutes into our time and the leader had us stop and write everything we could remember, that had happened since she had said, "good morning ladies". The lesson was meant to show us about the different accounts of Jesus and how they all match up and how it was not of man but through the Holy Spirit that they are the same. Amazing when you think about it!

I found that I had not heard much of anything for the first few minutes and then they had done a short skit. The skit was all that I could write about. I could picture the whole thing in my mind and I could tell you almost word for word what was said. Still can, even hours later. The lecture... well not so much!

That sums up a lot for me when I think about how I learn. I remember word pictures, descriptions I can see or relate to. Talks and lectures that don't include those are quickly forgotten. There is not even a file for them in my brain.

I listen when I draw. I often tell my friends (who think I am not listening if I am drawing or doodling) that if they see me sitting quietly and watching the speaker, I am probably miles away.

The lesson here is... how do I translate what works and doesn't work for me to what my visual learner needs in order to learn? I have one daughter that is very visual. If she is sitting and listening to me read, I am guessing she is not always there. She could be miles away in her mind and appear to be listening quietly.

If you are reading this and you have a visual learner can I suggest a few ideas?

Let your visual learner draw or doodle while they listen. Don't show them a bunch of documentaries thinking that it is visual, but instead have them illustrate what they hear. Show them pictures. Have them keep a notebook. These are all ways that they will learn.

We primarily use Sonlight curriculum. I love it! It works great for my son and it appears that it is working for my younger daughter. However, as we get farther along I am thinking it will not work for my visual learner. We may be switching things out a little more next year. I am not willing to give up what is working for one (probably two) but at the same time I have to find something that will fit everyone.


Paula Bauer said...

this learning style emphasis is a good thing for me to revisit. When favorite son was small, he would roll around on the floor during reading time. I was convince he wasn't listening, so I would pop questions on him about what I had just read. Imagine my surprise when he would rattle off the answer without a blink! By Golly! He WAS listening after all...even while turning summersaults!
He scores 12 on physical now and highest on aural (16). Which leads me to the question...why do I tell him the same thing over and over and he never seems to 'get it'??!! Must not be speaking his language or something. :)

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