We may not always be aware of it, but every one of us learns in a different way. Although some learn best from reading textbooks, others may prefer to listen to their notes, or use flashcards. At INICIO we ensure that every child, no matter how they learn, can get the most out of their education with exercises designed to suit their unique personality. But how do you find out your child’s preferred learning style, and how do you use it to their advantage?
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At his Stanford University commencement speech in 2005, Steve Jobs famously proclaimed that ‘the only way to do great work is to love what you do.’ So should you study what you love, or what you’re good at?
Who are successful learners? Is it just the 'clever kids' who do well at school and in exams?
The good news is, it doesn't have to be. Successful learners aren't just those who are academic and the skills needed to be a successful learner aren't rocket science. They're skills many of us already have and can easily work on to improve.
- It seems obvious, but the first thing you need is effort. You get out what you put in, and if you're doing extra away from the classroom, you are likely to do better in the end.
- Next up is staying focused and on-task. Whether you're in the classroom or working at home, don't get distracted by other people and things happening around you.
- If you're a budding footballer or guitarist, you will practice and work on your skills. So too you need to work on your skills for learning - maybe your note-taking could be improved or you need to sharpen up your listening skills.
- Get involved! If you actively participate in your own learning - asking and answering questions in class and even helping others around you - the messages will be reinforced and you will retain information much better.
- Attendance! It makes sense, but you need to turn up to class, on time, to make sure you don't miss anything. If you skip half a day every week, you're missing 10% of your education. A two-week holiday in term time would mean you missing 5% of that year's work.
- Believe in yourself! If you think you can do it and see yourself in a positive light, you will reach your goals (although, beware, the goals should be achievable - over-confidence can be just as damaging as not believing in yourself).
- Persistence! The best learners are the resilient ones who don't give up, even when things get tough. If they make a mistake, they pick themselves up, dust themselves off and try again until they get it right.
- A love of learning! If you see learning as a chore, a punishment or just plain boring, it will be harder to get the best out of your education. People who enjoy the journey, and the rewards of finishing a piece of work or passing an exam, will be more successful learners.
If your child has all of these attributes, well done to them! They will make a real success of their education and achieve to the very best of their abilities. But if not, don't panic!
Here at INICIO we work closely with your child in a way that suits them. Our environment is relaxed and homely and we tailor our teaching to your child's individual needs. Together we can help your child to love learning and build on these essential secrets of successful learning.