About Me

I am a Christian mother of five, and our highest goal as a family is to serve God in every aspect of our lives. Jesus promised His disciples 'life in all its abundance' (John 10:10) - that has been our story, a rich life, not devoid of challenges, but certainly abundant. Previously writing at www.homeeducationnovice.blogspot.com, we have come to realise that education is just one area where our faith shapes our choices and direction in life. This blog seeks to share our adventure.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Discovering and embracing learning styles

I was reflecting on my last post, where I discussed the merits of understanding more about teaching and learning styles, and developing an individualised approach containing elements of active learning. However, I also wanted to make it clear that you don't need to have undertaken lots of qualifications or be working as an academic to be able to do this; rather my point was the irony that after apparent success in a mainstream, secular education system, it was only during my doctorate that I felt I learnt how to learn.

There are many resources available which help you determine the dominant learning style your child may have. I quickly browsed a few sites, and found this one, consisting of an overview, some sources to help you determine your child's individual strengths and then links to helpful homeschooling resources for all 'categories' to give a good introduction:

http://trixishomeed.blogspot.co.uk/p/learning-styles.html

It is interesting to note that although some children clearly do thrive under the classical, sit at a desk and learn type model, there are others who risk being mislabelled as having special educational needs because this is not helpful for them. I note there is a comment on the 'fine line between kinaesthetic learners and ADHD'. Without being dismissive of children who truly struggle with behavioural and learning disorders, and without entering into a full discussion of these, I am concerned by the number of friends I have whose children (especially boys) are acquiring 'labels' which categorise them as having special educational needs. Some of them seem to be very healthy, very lively boys who need a good balance of physical activity interspersed with more focussed learning activities; ideally the two would be combined, through field trips (which could be as simple as a walk in the park or beside a river) and practical/ experimental work. This tendancy among boys might also underpin the evidence arising from Scandinavian countries that formal education has no particular benefit in children under the age of seven, and that boys in particular benefit from a much freer childhood (in direct contrast to the UK government agenda which seems to seek to formalise education from an ever younger age).

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