So, here I am again as a life-long learner and enjoying all the discoveries as I look at how to define a learner.
Sure, a learner is a person who is finding out about a subject or how to do something. But it is so much more. There are many nuances to learning and a vast variety of ways in which we can learn. Can we get bogged down learning all we can about learning and learners? Yes. But can it also be helpful as we watch our children learn and best support them in how they learn best.
In the last video, Define a Learner: Part One, I looked at 5 different types of learners, and I honestly found them fascinating, even if I only briefly described them.
As I said in the last video, my heart is that my girls are active in their learning. And I would love it to be life-long. But how can I, as I homeschool them, keep their learning active?
WHAT IS ACTIVE LEARNING?
Active learning is where children engage in their learning by thinking, discussing, investigating, and creating. Children need to be doing more than just listen in order to learn. It is not passive. But in order to be active in learning our children need to be empowered to learn.
EMPOWERING THE LEARNER
When learners are empowered they become motivated, work harder and strive to do well. For our children, when they feel empowered, then learning is going to be more fun and they will be happier. That is true not only in learning, but in all aspects of life.
How can we empower our children in their learning? These can be done at school and also in homeschooling.
- Help them find their passion
- Personalize lessons
- Encourage critical thinking, debate and expressing ideas
- Encourage problem solving
- Find opportunities to use leadership skills
HOW TO DEVELOP AN ENGAGED LEARNER
An engaged learner is a teacher’s dream. If you are homeschooling, it is wonderful to see your children participating well in what they are learning. It can be easy to bog children down with unnecessary stuff that can drain their motivation.
How we can engage learners:
- Set goals. You can do this together, especially if your child is older. When expectations are known, it is easier to keep attention and motivation.
- Make learning favorable for your child. Look at how much time is realistically needed each day, and work in smaller chunks. Allow for breaks.
- Choose a curriculum that interests your child. Feel free to not use curriculum or draw from a variety. Use online curriculum as well as paper ones.
- Give rewards. Met a goal? Reward! Working ahead of schedule? Reward! There are many different types of rewards, from some time off or screen time, or a tangible something they have been wanting
So, in essence there are many different kinds of learners. Please note that I did not look at the learning styles of kinesthetic, auditory and visual. You can check out other videos I have on those styles and how we can support our children in their learning within those styles.
When we know how our children learn best, we can help our children achieve educational success, and (hopefully) become life-long active learners.
I would encourage you to explore what your child’s learning style is, as well as what kind of learner they are. It will help you to define them as a learner. This will empower both them and you. It will be freeing to shake off expectations and frustrations.
Here is the first post in this series.
Just a reminder, if you don’t know your main learning style, here is a quiz that can help you with defining that part of you.