And even though it’s only mid-July and we’re not starting school until around Labor Day, it’s that time when I start the initial preparations for the upcoming year.
This year, things are different than they have been in years past.
First, my hard drive failed in my computer. In trying to back up all my photos, documents and other important files, I didn’t get around to saving all my Internet bookmarks before it croaked completely. Yep, you guessed it – I lost them all.
So I decided that since I had to start fresh this year, that we would really start fresh. We’ve been winging it to see what works to help my kids learn effectively, but today we did a learning styles test. I actually anticipated that they would each have a different learning style and that to be truly effective, I’d have to devise completely different ways of teaching each of them. I was willing to do that, but not looking forward to it.
I was actually quite pleased to discover they do have the same learning style. They are both tactile learners, though to different degrees. The test we did assigns percentages to each of the learning styles. One son got 45% for tactile, the other 55%. And where one scored 30% in visual, the other had only 15%.
This has been very helpful, however. I’ve figured out that what my kids need to really, truly learn is to DO stuff. Not filling out a ton of worksheets, not listening to me lecture or read or explain – but to be doing something that helps them get it.
So now I’m not only looking for websites that will have games and other “doables” that they can use to learn, I’m also coming up with a plethora of ideas for things I can create for them that I hope will help them grasp some of the things they’ve continued to struggle with.
I’m also looking for sites that can provide the information and resources needed to teach the various subjects. Wanting to do a project about the American Revolution is all well and good, but the desire is useless if I have nothing with which to tell them what it was all about.
I’m taking my time to pick and choose those sites and resources that I think will truly help, rather than simply bookmarking anything I like. That led to me having countless sites I planned to “eventually get around” to using, and then being unable to find them later. I’m hoping by choosing the ones I believe will actually be useful and used, it will make it easier to remember them, should catastrophe strike again.
Of course, I also plan to regularly export and save my bookmarks, too. lol
The great thing about starting now is that there’s not a lot of pressure to hurry up and get things done. School isn’t coming up all that quickly (although it is coming more quickly than I’d like), so I can relax and take the time to plan, to research, and to organize.
I’m hoping that, by determining my kids’ learning styles and implementing methods of working with those styles, things will go even more smoothly this year than they have in the past, and that they’ll not only learn more effectively, but also retain more.
Wish us luck!