You may recall that we did a series last year on the Nine Types of Learners. As part of our story-based approach, understanding that students are remarkably different in their approaches to life, learning and motivation helps teachers enormously when designing engaging experiences in the classroom.
But now, we are learning from home, and while the content is still being provided by our teachers, much of the motivational and practical help is being provided by parents and carers.
This is a tough situation to be in, particularly where you are trying to make ends meet by working from home or juggling many different schedules, workloads and needs of multiple children. You may feel that trying to help your child get through their work is a little like banging your head against a wall, and let’s face it, teachers are able to be that bit more patient when dealing with our kids because it is their job.
So don’t beat yourself up if things are a struggle right now. It’s okay. You aren’t meant to be able to morph into the role of the perfect tutor in a global health crisis.
But there might be some new things to try, particularly if your current method isn’t producing the kind of outcomes you’d like.
What Type of Learner is Your Child?
We have identified nine types of learners. What this means is that each child has a different way of going about learning due to the fact that they are driven by unique fears and motivations. When we understand this – when we can clearly articulate why they do what they do – we are much better placed to be able to help them move forward.
Is your child a Perfectionist? Do they thrive when following a logical, step-by-step approach, become motivated by deadlines and appreciate schedules? Are they often hard on themselves (and others)?
Perhaps you have a Helper who learns through close connection with those around them, looking for empathetic role models and shared experiences? These types of students constantly take in emotional cues and aim to please.
Do you have an Achiever? A child who really struggles with failure, but who is competitive and hard-working to be the best in their class?
Is your child a Creative – constantly trying to take a unique approach in order to distinguish themselves? Are they unafraid of deep topics or emotions and often ruled by their current feelings?
Perhaps you have an Investigator. A child who eats up books and information – becoming a virtual expert in a particular area of knowledge.
Do you have a Questioner? One who sees life in terms of worst case scenarios, seeking safety in information and authority figures to make sense of this chaotic world.
Is your child an Enthusiast – a quick thinking, hands on learner who loves to plan and experiment, but becomes bored or overwhelmed by repetitive or hard work?
Perhaps you have a Challenger? A provocative, independent student who thrives when engaged in the pursuit of their goals, but quickly becomes disruptive to all around them when they aren’t.
Do you have a Peacemaker? One who requires routine and structure to keep them moving, thriving when they learn through movement and physical experience?
What Do They Need?
Using a ‘one size fits all’ approach for your kids might seem easier in the moment, but in the long run, when you have to cajole or reason with them to keep going, it can often lead to exhaustion and misunderstanding for both parties.
When we see the child in front of us as unique and wired to receive information differently, we are better able to respond to their actual needs and package their tasks in ways that speak to them.
So, take a moment to read through the linked articles and write down your thoughts of which type you suspect your children might be. Then, observe them in the following week, implementing some of the strategies in the relevant article and watch whether these shifts make a difference.
A Pep Talk
This might seem overwhelming now, particularly if you are new to this idea, but even if you take the time to just observe your children and the ways that they interact with the world, you will come to understand them with so much more insight.
And, whether applied to learning or simply loving the child you have, the end result can only be positive.
So, as we continue in this unusual time in history, let us be open to new ways of doing things, dedicated to celebrating the uniqueness of our kids and moving towards an ultimate sense of hope.
*All photos sourced from Pexels.