Learning Styles for Teens, and all ages

Having been a former elementary school teacher, it was stressed to us to present the material to our students in the ways that worked best for them. This may seem to be a "no-brainer" on an individual basis; however, in a classroom this was no easy task. Everyone has a different learning style and I found it so interesting as well as useful when, after teaching a lesson, a student may approach me privately and tell me they didn't understand it. Based on the way they learn best, according to their learning style, I was able to help the student in an individualized and personal manner, in their own learning style.

Totally confused? Don't be. http://www.metamath.com/lsweb/dvclearn.htm is the website I have used to best explain the concept.

Your learning style is the way you prefer to learn. It doesn't have anything to do with how intelligent you are or what skills you have learned. It has to do with how your brain works most efficiently to learn new information. Your learning style has been with you since you were born.

There's no such thing as a "good" learning style or a "bad" learning style. Success comes with many different learning styles. There is no "right" approach to learning. We all have our own particular way of learning new information. The important thing is to be aware of the nature of your learning style. If you are aware of how your brain best learns, you have a better chance of studying in a way that will pay off when it's time to take that dreaded exam.

Visual, Auditory, or Tactile/ Kinesthetic Learner.
To get you started thinking about your learning style, think about the way in which you remember a phone number. Do you see, in your mind's eye, how the numbers look on the phone? Or can you "see" the number on that piece of paper, picturing it exactly as you wrote it down? You might be a Visual Learner. Or, perhaps you can "hear" the number in the way that someone recited it to you. In this case, you might be an Auditory Learner. If you "let your fingers do the walking" on the phone, i.e. your fingers dial the number without looking at the phone, you may be a Tactile/ Kinesthetic Learner.

This way of looking at learning style uses the different channels of perception (seeing, hearing, touching/moving) as its model. This is a somewhat simplistic view of a very complicated subject (the human brain). However, looking at learning style from a perceptual point of view is a useful place to begin.

Match Your Learning Style and Strategies
While there is no "good" or "bad" learning style, there can be a good or bad match between the way you best learn and the way a particular course is taught. Suppose you are a Visual Learner enrolled in a traditional lecture course. You feel that the instructor drones on for hours and you can't pay attention or stay interested in the class. There's a mismatch here between your learning style and the instructional environment of the class. As soon as you understand this mismatch, you can find ways to adapt your style to ensure your success in the class. You might start tape recording the lectures so that you don't have to worry about missing important information. You might decide to draw diagrams that illustrate the ideas being presented in lecture. You might go to the Media Center and check out a video to help provide some additional information on course material you're not sure about. What you're doing is developing learning strategies that work for you because they are based on your knowledge of your own learning style.

Parents: Learning styles can best be applied in so many ways. Our children have a way that they best learn, and no matter what idea we are trying to get across to them, if we get that blank stare that kids can often give ;) before frustration hits all of us, think if we are communicating according to the way that they will best understand. It is so difficult to be in a situation, whether child or adult, where you are so lost that you don't even know what questions to ask! (been there!) Sometimes it's simple enough to fix just by changing the way you may present it. As teachers, we had to make sure, also, that we did not present things only in OUR learning style. The student is first, and it's easy to slip back into our own comfort zone. The same with our children.

Homeschooling and teachers: Teens, kids, adults all have a learning style. Do you find that you need to take copious notes? Do you learn best by listening? Combination of both? Do you need an experiment to make your science lesson come to life? Do you need an experiment to be done before you feel comfortable teaching? ALL different styles of learning and presenting.

I recommend all of us take the learning survey. If you are homeschooling, find out your child's learning style, as well as your own! Use them together so that your child can better understand your style as well. After all, we know he/she will not encounter people that only have their learning style. But to recognize it and be aware is enlightening for all. So on your leisure time (what?? ;) go to the website and enjoy finding out the ways your child best expresses herself. From early homeschool through teens, it can all be applied. Find your style also. Enjoy, and learn while knowing the style of those you live with, work with, and/or present to.

By the way: Before 50, that glazed look of one of my children might have driven me up one side of the wall and down the other (hah!) and now I can work with situations more effectively in dealing with them in the way that would better work for them. It doesn't come over night, but it works!


Another After 50 Lesson

Before 50, I seemed to be needing to just be on the move constantly. This could be literally or even in my head. Everything was racing. Now, things are calmer, even when I have the weight of the world on my shoulders with 1000 things to accomplish all at the same time. The world still goes on, and the sun still rises and sets. This simple concept has helped me listen better as well; yet, occasionally I miss something. When I do, it hits me and I can take time and think about what happened and go on. As Winston Churchill said "he who does not learn from the past is doomed to repeat it." I don't want to be in that category and probably won't because I tend to go to extremes in trying to figure out what happened.

In attempting to learn from the past with homeschooling, I asked both of my children what changes they would like to see in school as well as anything my husband or I may be able to change. They're teenagers, so I know upon asking this I am tempted to shrink in a corner ;) but I must stand tall. To my surprise, my oldest shocked me. (actually that, in itself should not be a surprise.) She usually would push me away when I went to see if she was on task with an assignment, etc. So when asked what she would like to be different this year, she immediately said "I want you to be more involved in what I'm doing." My initial reaction was to try to figure out who had abducted my daughter and given me a replacement that looks just like her on the outside. :)) That was ths absolute LAST response I would have expected, but I had a moment of pleasure as a mom, also. While I am working on granting her request, the all encompassing overwhelming feeling of being a mother of teens, working at home and homeschooling envelopes me. But it's a good thing, all of it. I want to look back and hope that God is speaking through my conscience and saying "well done."

However, I must look back and can't help but question....what did I miss? She seemed to push me away. Am I that out of it?? How can I avoid that from happening again?? Or, I may choose to attribute it to raging hormones (both hers and mine) and smile. I am after 50 now and respond to it differently. All of it.

How are you different now from your earlier youth, wherever you are at, in the way you respond and think of your circumstances?

Wishing you the best today-

Guest post---Organizing and Planning from another mom MT

Good morning- We can all get a little "picky", "obsessive", and all of the other buzz words about our plans and organization. Everyone, however, has different variables to work with as well, and needs to muster up the flexibility as well as the ability to prioritize. My good friend, Deanna, is coming on board today and other times in the future to share a little about her life and how she has to organize her day. She is also my BFF, :). I will share in a different post how we met, but trust me when I say that when she writes you will walk away knowing that you have become a little bit wiser, and are different after 50 than before 50. If you read this and you are before 50, you have gotten it that much sooner. :)

Working, homeschooling, mom, wife, mother, friend, all these titles we have and we wear them proudly. Another title I carry is caregiver. We just had, and we did not celebrate, the 9th anniversary of my daughter being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. People get this very confused with type 2. My daughter came down with the flu, and her body's immune system went haywire and decided that the ilets, that we all have and that produce insulin in our bodies, were the enemy bacteria/virus in her and it killed her ilets. Therefore, her body does not produce insulin and every day we have to give her at the least, 2 shots. Oral medication does not work for a type 1, the only medicine is insulin shots or the insulin pump.

Many parents have no idea where it comes from, they know of no one in their families that have this autoimmune disease. We, however, knew what this disease is, because my mom also was a type 1 diabetic. She was 16 when she was diagnosed, her granddaughter was 5.

So our day is even more planned and organized. Breakfast is usually the same time, as is lunch, snacks and dinner, then bedtime. The endocrinologist who took care of my daughter at the beginning was thrilled that we homeschooled because I could watch her closer and be there if she needed me.

Blood sugars do funny things to you, you may feel lightheaded, dizzy, shaky, hot, cold, tired, and sometimes even mean. I can tell my daughter's blood sugars by her mood and also by her handwriting! Yes, if she is mean spirited I know she is high, as she is usually a very even tempered young lady and sweet natured, but when those blood sugars are high she can be very demanding! Oh her handwriting, I know her sugars are good when her writing is perfect, as with all of us, our sugars are in check and we are "us," but she has to watch and try to stay "her."

I think all the children with type 1 diabetes are the bravest warriors. They not only have to have shots every day or a catheter left under their skin and have a pump to wear 24/7, but they have to have finger pokes. Do you remember in biology in school where you got to see what your blood type was and you poked your finger to get a drop or 2 of blood? Well this is what we do, a minimum of 4-5 times a day to 10 or more a day. Pretty soon they get used to it, but you know it still hurts, whether physically, but emotionally.

Many parents have turned over the entire diabetes care to their child when they are 7 or 8, some later, but me, I told my girl, you be a child and I'll take care of the other, when you are older and are ready, you can take over, but until then we will be a team. We are a team, we spend time together, I listen and understand what she and her brother like, music, movies, tv shows. I take time to know their friends and just be there for them. I try my best to guide them in morals and teach them life, but be there to pick them up and dust them off like we did when they learned their first steps.


Time out-- 9/11

Living near New York City has put the events of 9/11 in my thoughts as we remember the 10th anniversary. As a family, we had been to the area frequently just in walks, visits, etc. New Yorkers, as well as all areas of the US, bonded in a way that we have not seen since then. This weekend recaps that bond in the hearts of many.

My children were little when this happened. They were out with my husband at a book fare at a library with a park right there, enjoying life innocently while I was home and happened to see the horror. I called them as I just wanted someone to be there to give a hug to....who better than hubbie and 2 daughters? We were advised as parents to be careful of how much coverage our little ones saw on TV.

Fast forward to this year. My daughters are 14 and 15. They were watching some and seemed interested and talking. It suddenly dawned on me. They are witnessing this as if it just happened in many respects. They are aware now, they SEE what happened. Their eyes and heart have lost a little more innocence that we like to think our kids continue to have for as long as possible. My youngest said that it seems as if it just happened. I needed to step back and witness this with them and meet them emotionally where they were, not in my heart as I have seen it year after year. I realized I had forgotten, but needed to remember. They not only saw the buildings crumbling and people running for their lives, they realized in a more personal way what those in Iraq are fighting for with such passion. They had grown. They took a horrific event and saw the intense fear and emotions of people involved. I stepped back and grew with them. It was a good thing.

If you have teens, I advise you to take some time with them and discuss this event. What seemed obvious to me as an awful even being remembered from all walks of life was now being incorporated into the hearts of my daughters. Walk through this with your children and look with them but through their eyes.

Experience your time out with them-

Teens and Self Image vs Body Image

We all are concerned about our children no matter what age, but I remember as mine were little, I constantly heard "wait, they'll be teens someday." If I wasn't afraid of this moment in my own head, these outside voices certainly tried to push me over that edge. Now they are there, but we didn't wake up one day and they were suddenly there with all of these new issues. It was a process, beginning from birth.

There is a controversial kids book that has come out that can do damage to not only little ones, but teens (who are often little ones in a more developed body :) as well. The main character sees that she is overweight by looking in a mirror and she goes on a diet. She successfully loses the weight and goes from being made fun of to soccer star and a popular one at that. Great to lose weight? Absolutely. Great to become a soccer star and show hidden potential? Certainly. However, in this society where there is so much "thin is in", the messages can be conflicted. I believe that parents need the book and need to read it when their children are toddlers. There are two issues. The first one is making fun of a child who is different. A child who is obese, although possibly in the majority now, is still considered different and with a problem. We, as parents, need to work with out children to encourage kindness and simply put, the fact that no one is better than anyone else. Why couldn't the main character be encouraged by friends to participate in school activities, and to find her potential strengths while she is still heavy. I know, this does not happen often but society has done this. Each one of us can work with out children at young ages to show kindness. Not an impossible task. The book would have been entirely different.

Why did the main character have to lose weight to be welcome and popular? Is that our main purpose of losing weight? Yes, she was heavy but I'm sure there were potential health issues. The second issue should be that the main character needed a life style change in eating habits and exercise, gradually so that she could handle it. She had excellent motivation, but a support group would mean so much to her! And I'm sure she felt better, pure and simple. Add that with the fact of fashion, confidence if you must, but the main issue? It doesn't have to be. We all need to be conscious of what we feed our children, and early detection is the key, even with childhood obesity.

Our kids have so much to deal with in this difficult world and these trying times. If they are obese, there is still a special person there, deserving love and kindness. Self image is wrapped in this and just as important as body image, no matter what our age. Right?

Tasteful Thursday--Enjoy

Fall is in the air. One of my favorite smells and tastes of fall is when I decide to make pumpkin bread with cream cheese filling!! Enjoy this recipe. I don't follow it exactly and often I will double the filling, sweeten the cream cheese to taste, etc. I've often made it for Christmas gifts and wrapped it nicely, and even given it to people when they are new in the neighborhood as welcome gifts. Always a hit!

•1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, at room temperature
•1/2 cup granulated sugar
•1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
•1 large egg


•1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
•1/4 teaspoon ginger
•1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
•1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
•1/2 cup vegetable oil
•2 large eggs
•1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
•1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease two 8x4x3-inch loaf pans. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 egg, and the orange peel; beat until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Into another bowl, sift 1 2/3 cup flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg; set aside. Put pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, 2 eggs and 1 1/2 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl; beat well. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until combined. Fold in the pecans or walnuts, if using.

Pour half of the pumpkin bread batter evenly into the two prepared loaf pans. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of pumpkin batter layer and then pour on the remaining pumpkin batter.

Bake in preheated 325° oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes; remove to a rack to cool completely.
Pumpkin bread recipe makes 2 loaves.


Wordful Wednesday---HOP

The word for the day is Hop! We all want to build our traffic. Join this Welcome Wednesday blog hop. I'm on it as well. :) Getting to know other people is always a good thing in itself. People love to talk about themselves (come on, we all do ;) and there is something to learn from anyone we speak or write to. Everyone has a message.

So take this day, and increase your traffic. Visit the Welcome Wednesday blog hop, increase your traffic and remember to follow others as well. We don't want to increase peoples' bounce rates, so let's all purpose to leave meaningful comments and truly look at their sites. They've worked hard just like we have. Let's try to go the extra mile and have people that we follow on a day to day basis as well. Getting in the habit of following others can seem overwhelming but once we're in the routine it really does not take long at all and is worth it in the long run.

Have a great day!

New Beginnings

I must start out saying I have been MIA for a bit. Sometimes we just have to take a little time and get off the "roller coaster" and experience things in a different way. Refreshed now, I am ready for new beginnings for all of us.

The first days of school seem so filled with hope and excitement. A feeling that cannot be explained but just must be lived. For me, it's quite similar to the feeling I get after New Years and even Easter. I can mess up, but I am a part of something great out there, and have times I can start again. After Easter, the hope is compounded with the fact that there is a God who loves me enough to send give his son, but that's a whole different post. :) Plans are made for school, schedules done, with the knowledge in her heads that we will have times where all organization will fall by the wayside for a day or so, and that is where God often works in magnificent ways. We have hopefully figured out what worked last year and what didn't, and made all of our necessary tweaks. For homeschooling parents, we have planned, adjusted curriculum choices, all new beginnings. For those of us who work at home, the routine changes when the children are in school or homeschooled. MORE new beginnings. Excitement. Possibilities.

Guide your children and encourage their areas of strength. Challenge yourselves as I'm challenging myself this year (another new thing!). Take their area that may seem like a weakness to you and help your child use it as a strength. For example, the child who may seem to take a long time with work and be very detail oriented may exasperate a parent in this rush-rush society; yet, there are many professions where a detail oriented person is considered to be of extreme importance. We must help our children see these things as we prepare them on the path they will ultimately choose.

This day, or whenever you are starting, take time to be thankful for your child, no matter how little or even a teen. You gave birth to an awesome person there and now they are relating to you. They have opinions on things from fashion to politics and everything in between. Think of your favorite qualities about your child. Even share them. One of my daughters is able to see the humor in anything and will often bring a smile to our face in the midst of what we might think is a mess. The other one is a deep thinker and often challenges us. Something good for a parent, also! I'm thankful for them and can laugh with my husband that we gave birth to awesome kids!! God is good.

So, send your kids off and in school knowing they are loved for who they are, and they have qualities that we really find endearing. Enjoy this time of new beginnings and possibilities.

Enjoy your new beginnings in work, life, and allow God to work through you-