Homeschooling

Analysis learners

This is part two of the three part series on learning levels.

Analysis Learning

The Analysis level youth is full of questions and challenges.  Finding the relationships between facts and events is the focus for this level.   Help your youth identify effects of various events and people on each other and history in general.  Your child will let you know when they are ready to expand their learning to this stage.  As they approach the teenage years, adolescents challenge what they have learned and what they are being told.  Rather than becoming overly concerned as this happens, consider their questioning a signal that they are looking for deeper understanding. Consider the inquiries a desire to know for themselves rather than just taking another person’s word for it.  What a great opportunity!  Now is the time to have discussions on motivation, ethics, relationships and for them to begin learning to be logical, rational thinkers.

The beginnings of this self-discovery are exciting to watch.  Mom, be aware.  This level of learning is emotionally exhausting!  (They tend question everything, and “yeah, but….” becomes a standard part of their communication style.  Take this time to teach them to question with respect, and to express themselves clearly and thoughtfully.)  Areas of specialization and personal interest can be detected during this stage.  Help your youth set goals that will allow them to excel academically, and help them grow personally.  Now is a great time for longer-term interests to be explored.  Music lessons, classes in hands-on skills (wood-working, sewing, etc.), or sports can be great opportunities for growth.

More seat work is to be expected at this stage of education…gradually. Outlining, writing, research, and scrutiny become a large part of the learning process.  They will have more work of which to keep track.  Now is the time for practicing how to set up a notebook system, and get things organized!  Give them time; encouragement is appreciated as they work to get used to following through with the effort required.

Analysis level is generally the most expensive level to teach at home.  Often more specialized supplies are needing to be acquired at this stage than any other; much of what you buy will move with them in the coming years.  Try and find reusable materials or share with others teaching the same level, or consider it an investment for your children and generations to come.

Encourage youth to spend time with media that enlightens and uplifts.  Much of what is produced for this age (and the coming years) is dark, lacking in moral direction, and introduces topics and language that is questionable.  Be aware of the media to which your children are being exposed-in your home, and elsewhere.  Be sure to keep a dialogue open as they move into the teenage years.  This is when parenting becomes exhilarating!

Analysis learning begins at approximately age eleven or grade five.  Girls generally enter this stage before boys.  Remember, this is flexible!

Homeschooling

Discovery learners

Today begins a three-day post that deals with how children learn best during the different stages of development.  The information given is crucial to understand if you want to optimize the opportunities for each stage.  The ages listed are approximate, and vary with each child.  Exceptional children (those with learning challenges), and giftedness can also affect the timing for the later stages.  Watch your children and you will learn to recognize the clues for each.

Have fun learning together!

Discovery Learning

The Discovery level child is full of life and curiosity.  Absorption of facts and memorization are the main focus for this stage of learning.  Teach basic facts.  Children at this age are literal thinkers and should not be required to analyze or interpret information (ask, “What was Columbus looking for in America?”, not “Why did Columbus want to find America?”).  Their brain development has not yet prepared them to deal with abstract thought. If pushed to think abstractly, the most likely responses from the child will be frustration, confusion, or the child could simply shut down.  Save abstract thinking for later.  They will be ready to tackle more complicated thinking as they grow.  Save it for the next learning level.  Allow your child joy in what he excels at doing now.  Allow time for wonder and play. 

Limit the seat work assigned at this stage.  Small children were not designed to sit for long periods of time or focus intently on one thing for hours.  Use hands-on learning activities as much as possible. Much of what they study can be best accomplished with games or orally, rather than through written work. (Drill, file folder games, narration, Q/A, etc.)  Applaud their efforts and remember a short, productive study time is preferred over a long, discouraging battle of the wills.  Provide educational tools and activities for exploration so that “non-academic” time will be useful.  Limit TV watching, computer time, video gaming, etc.  All life around them should be an opportunity for discovery.

Remember- this level of learning is physically exhausting.  They will need Mom to be “tuned in” and ready to help if they need her.  Working independently is not a skill they will have perfected; be prepared to work along with them to help with focus, and to teach acceptable levels of work, both academically and with life skills.  Discovery learners need supervision as they establish habits, and a strong work ethic, as well.  Your example is one of their best teachers!

Be sure to spend time on character education!   Academic instruction without clear education in right and wrong opens the door for children to assume they are above the rules if they can see a way out of them. You could potentially raise a child that is centered on self to the point of disregarding all acceptable social or moral customs or laws. You could raise a “clever devil.”

Discovery level learning begins at birth and continues to approximately age eleven or through grade 4.