You Were Not A Bad Student, You Just Learn Differently And That is Okay!

Originally posted August 7, 2015

Did you struggle to learn in school or have you been told your child is not learning like the rest of the children? We now know there are different ways we learn, and how you learn may be very different from how your spouse or your child learns. Saying it the same way over and over or louder and louder does not work. Below is a link to a discussion with Carol Barnier from a "Focus on the Family" broadcast. Her interview was broadcast over two days. Both are about 20 minutes in length but packed with insightful information about the very different ways we learn. Her book is The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:

"Yeah, I guess in the end I think almost all learning styles have their toes in one of these three camps, where they are either visual or auditory or kinesthetic. And the visual is the one you'll see most often in the public school arena. It's the one that's utilized most I think, because many of the teachers and students, you know, they just naturally gravitate in that direction.

The kinesthetic involves motion. This is a kid who learns best when he's moving and I think when ADHD burst upon the scene, you know, 10, 20 years ago, everybody found kinesthetic ways of teaching, so that one has, I think, found a lot of root within the public school system, as well. But the auditory one I think is the one that's most neglected and an awful lot of kids who not just need to hear it and so, you've got the kid who's doing his spelling. He's writing which may be a struggle already. It's a visual method...."

The interview was designed to talk about the different ways to help your child learn, but I think we can all take away from the conversation insight about how we learn and how our loved ones learn. Just because someone is not understanding something, does not mean there is something "defective" about them. Sitting still and listening does not work for everyone. I would encourage adults to think back to their own childhoods and consider if they were told they were bad or stupid or different because most everyone else seemed to catch on, but you couldn't. It may have been a lot less about what you couldn't learn and more about the way you were being taught.

Go to the broadcast link and listen or read the transcripts.

Day 1 of Interview

Day 2 of Interview

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