• How to create that “aha” moment of inspired learning in your homeschool

    January 30, 2019 | Tracy Glockle
  • inspired learning homeschooling | aha moments in learning | home based charter near me


    Ryan Jackson is the Grade 7-8 Learning Coordinator at the Lowell campus for Bridge Charter Academy. Originally from Michigan, he graduated from Calvin College with a degree in Biology and a Teaching Science minor. After teaching in North Carolina for 9 years, he joined the staff here at BCA. In this post, he shares his passion for helping students arrive at their “aha” moment and how a homeschool parent can create that moment of inspired learning for their child at home.

     


    “My curriculum passion is science, but my teaching passion is that ‘aha’ moment. I teach for those ‘aha’ moments, when students’ eyes light up and you know they’ve got it.”

    For Ryan personally, his most influential “aha” moment of inspired learning occurred in anatomy class. “It’s how I fell in love with science. Instead of assigning us 20 minutes to do this and 15 minutes to do that, I was given the whole year’s syllabus at once, and I had to pace myself. I loved it! It’s how I discovered the learning style that I loved—hands-on, pace myself, learn on my own.”

    How does a homeschool parent create this “aha” moment of inspired learning for their kids?

    The first step is identifying your child’s strengths and weaknesses. “You need to approach your child differently and dive into their strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes that’s hard to do.” Next, identify your child’s learning style. Then, combine the two.

    “You want the student to approach their weaknesses through their strongest learning style.”

    How does a homeschool parent find a child’s weaknesses?

    “One great place to start is with iReady or other diagnostic test data, something that helps you to see your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Another great resource is your teacher here at Bridge Charter. Or, ask someone else and get their perspective.”

    Though it may be hard to hear, finding out what our child may be struggling with is an important first step in creating that “aha” moment of inspired learning and understanding.

    How does a homeschool parent find a child’s learning style?

    Ask your child. “Ask, ‘what’s your favorite way to learn?’ You might know, or you might be surprised. Does your child like to read to learn, or draw to learn, or organize things? If your child doesn’t know, then maybe give some examples to help them.”

    • Auditory: Does your child like to listen to things like music or audio books?
    • Hands-on or Kinesthetic: Does your child like to do things or like multi-sensory activities?
    • Visual: Does your child see colors and graphics and then remember what he sees?
    • Spacial: This is similar to visual, but has to do with organizing things. Does your child need to see things organized in boxes on a page?
    • Literary: Does your child read or write to learn things?
    • Artistic: Does your child need to draw it to remember it?
    • Nature: Does your child feel comfortable in nature and more able to remember if he can count or subtract trees?

     

    And then if I still don’t know? “Try a bunch of different learning styles and see what your child gravitates to.”

    This whole process of identifying a child’s learning style, typically takes Ryan about two weeks. “At the beginning of the year, I ask the kids because I’m just getting to know them, but I’m observing as well. Usually by week two, I can see what their learning style is because I’ve given them a range of activities to try and just observed them.”

    How does a homeschool parent create that “aha” moment of inspired learning, by coupling a child’s weaknesses and learning style?

    “There are a vast amount of combinations. Think out of the box and go out of the norm to spark your kid’s fire. If your curriculum isn’t working, supplement to get that spark going.”

    Some of Ryan’s examples included letting a child draw as a means of remembering information. “It will help them remember things when they see it on a quiz. They’ll think, ‘I just drew the Bill of Rights! I can answer that question.’” Another example included using graphic organizers to help the spacial learner with writing. But what about the harder combinations, like helping an artistic kid with math? “Art and math don’t go together, right? But maybe you have your child draw something and then subtract from the drawing. So for instance, you can do a lesson with your kid to learn to draw leaves. Draw really cool leaves, and then take some away or teach fractions.”

    But that involves thinking way outside the box, which might be a struggle for some of us. So how does a homeschool parent find all of these ideas? “One great way is Pinterest or Google searches. There are lots of websites with ideas. But if you are not tech savvy, find other moms whose strengths are not yours. If you are a productive mom, find a playful mom to help you get ideas.”

    Another resource Ryan recommends is the BCA library. “We have tons of kits and manipulatives and resources, and that’s what they are there for is to help parents. If you don’t know what to look for, ask the librarian or ask your teacher for suggestions for resources and supplements.”

    Creating that magical “aha” moment of inspired learning, bridging the gap between your child’s weaknesses and learning style, might be a slow process. It might even be frustrating. But it’s what learning (and teaching) is all about. “Don’t give up. The more positive a parent can be with kids in their struggles, the better it will be. Be patient, and be okay to think outside of the box.”

     

    homeschool learning styles | individualized education | home based charter near me