When I was growing up I always found it difficult to read a book – especially without any pictures. I would try, but was easily distracted and my mind would wander off as my eyes glazed over. However, when I was in the classroom I was captivated by listening to the teacher and by any graphics. I toughed it out with the reading, but had to work really hard to understand the material and retain the information to keep my grades up. I couldn’t understand it when some kids would describe the good book they had just finished reading. I would tell them about the cool TV show that I saw and felt guilty for not being more scholarly. Only later I came to realize that my preferred method of absorbing information is through auditory and visual-spatial media. If I had only known that you can learn easier by knowing your style I think I could have had a much easier time back then.
Knowing My Style
Now that I better understand my preferred style I can absorb a lot more information in a shorter amount of time and actually ENJOY doing it. I have a half hour commute to my job, and I take advantage of every minute. If I’m not listening to music and singing, I’m probably listening to a non-fiction personal-growth audio book on a topic of interest to me. I love it. Sometimes I’ll listen to an audio book more than once to grab all that I can. When I was in a church Christmas production a while back, I read my lines into my computer and recorded them. Then I listened to them over and over until I had them down. It was easy. If you have a preference to the read/write style, memorizing lines by repetitious listening probably sounds like pulling teeth to you. You’d probably have an easier time reading your lines over and over.
Knowing Other’s Styles
We all have preferences when it comes to learning, and while it can be a real blessing to understand your own, it also helps to know the styles of those around you. My wife and I home school our children. To be honest, it’s been a struggle for them to get through their work this year. We suspected part of the reason was that we may have selected curriculum that didn’t match their preferred learning styles. We recently had them take a free online learning style assessment. It was interesting to see that their styles both prefer visual-spatial or kinesthetic (hands-on) learning, with read/write and auditory in last place. Knowing this, we can lean toward selecting curriculum for the upcoming year that is more aligned with their preferred learning styles. We hope this takes some stress off of both them and us, and helps them to get their school work done in record times, by choosing curriculum that suits them.
Learn Your Style
The fact is that when you learn consistently with your style, learning is easier and can be a lot of fun. It also becomes apparent that you might have to work a bit harder when faced with the challenge of needing to absorb material in the form of your least favored style, knowing your no less smart than anyone else. As you enjoy absorbing greater amounts of material, your confidence will soar and you’ll be able to go further faster. So take a free learning styles assessment at the following link to find out your preferred style(s) – no registration required. http://www.vark-learn.com/english/index.asp