Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How Our Family Learns

Last week, I did a learning styles assessment with Eastin from this awesome book. It is SO fascinating to study learning styles in my family! This particular very detailed assessment starts with an evaluation of your "learning disposition". They list five: Performing, Producing, Inventing, Relating/Inspiring, and Thinking/Creating.

So, everyone in our family scores high on Thinking/Creating -- it was hubby's and my highest scores, the girls' second highest. This is about ideas . . . imagination . . . philosophizing . . . daydreaming. I was way high here -- I've told you all that I live in my own brain too much.

My second highest? "Producing" -- which is about finding or creating order, sequence, pattern, organizing, schedules. I tend to outline information, even if it's just in my head. The book says a lot of people score false highs in this category because these are skills that are highly valued in our school system and society, so people learn to do these things whether they come naturally to them or not. My score wasn't a false high. And my eldest's low score here was genuine, too. :)

Hubby's second highest score: Inventing. This is about questioning, discovering, experimenting. This explains a lot. He used to get so frustrated with me when I'd ask him how to do something. "If you just spent a few minutes messing around with it, you'd figure it out on your own -- and then you'd remember it better because you figured it out on your own!" No, I probably wouldn't. You might, but that's how you learn. Experimenting frustrates me -- one reason I hate teaching science.

Even more interesting was the highest score for both of my daughters: Performing. Learning by moving, acting, doing. This isn't that surprising for them; what's surprising is my score in this category. -4. Yes, that's a negative score for the drama mama. See, I do love to perform, but I don't like to learn that way. When I'm studying or learning, I just want to sit and think. I don't want to have to get up and do anything -- that's a distraction. So, I had to really force myself to come up with active projects to do with the girls in homeschool.

The Relating/Inspiring category is about learning through interacting with others -- small group work and such. Only the youngest scored medium-high in this one. The rest of us hate groupwork. It has occurred to me, because of this characteristic of the young 'un, that she may need more public school time than the big 'un. We'll see . . .

I love this book! I recommend it to every homeschooler I know when they start out because it makes such a difference in your homeschool when you know how your kid learns. I wish schools could figure out how to make better use of this kind of information.

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