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Learn How To Learn

Aug 17, 2007
As a home schooler, teaching our children how to learn should be a primary goal. Learning is more than facts and figures. It involves the ability to think, analyze, and use the thought process. In short, to know how to learn and how to apply the knowledge to everything.

Who said this? "The end goal of any society as it addresses the problem of education is to raise the ability, the initiative and the cultural level, and with all of that the survival level of that society."

Do you agree with the concept? The key to a dynamic society is to value learning and education. Our goal as home schoolers should be to instill an insatiable quest for learning in our children. Knowing the pitfalls along the way is critical. This is the foundation of the study technology that supports the above-mentioned quote.

Don't freak out or stop reading this article when I tell you who made above statement, because the study technology created by this visionary is extremely valuable. I am talking about a technology - not a philosophy. You must separate these concepts!

The person who made the above quoted statement was L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. Because of the antics of Tom Cruise, the religion of Scientology is relegated to the kook fringe. And it probably should be.

Separate the religion/philosophy of Scientology from their study technology. I am NOT a Scientologist. I do not support or subscribe to their religion. I do not pretend to be knowledgeable of the beliefs or the religious parts of Scientology. But I do know first hand the value of their study technology in their educational program of Applied Scholastics.

Ron Hubbard's study technology and the Applied Scholastics curriculum addresses the foundation of all learning. It focuses on our brains, its operation and how to train it. The study technology does not promote or intrude on your personal beliefs. The study technology is NOT the religion! It can run parallel to and support any type of religious or secular home school curriculum. It has no spiritual or philosophical component at all. I want to underscore this point because I understand the fear of this religion.

Let's get back to the key goal of educating our children and I will attempt to explain this study technology. When people learn a subject, this process can get short-circuited or blocked and the path to mastering it can be derailed. What if that blockage could be identified and cleared up at that precise moment it occurs so the learning could continue, the mastery achieved and frustration avoided? Would that be the answer to your prayers? That in a nut shell is the study technology of Applied Scholastics .

The fundamental premise is that there are three barriers to learning that interrupt the flow, create resistance and frustrates the learning process. It also explains how to identify these barriers, provide methods to fix them, and encourages natural flow of learning. This concept is important to the education of our children.

These barriers inhibit learning and can result in a shutdown of the process. This shutdown can be seen in schools today as the runaway diagnosis of learning disabilities, behavior problems or just boredom with learning, all resulting in a disinterested student body and society.

Mr. Hubbard explains that when a student hits one of these barriers, the trained instructor can identify it, clear it up, and resume the natural flow of learning.

I will define these barriers and explain how they affect the student and interfere with learning. These are simplistic and cursory examples of the study technology in Applied Scholastics in which students learn how to learn! You can find more details at http://www.appliedscholastics.org/

1. Lack of mass. The need to touch, feel or make (a prototype) something that demonstrates the subject matter. It may not be sufficient for a student to simply read about the subject. Many times the physical interaction, touching, modeling out of clay (something to TOUCH) is important to the learning. For example, when learning adding and subtracting, it is much more effective when demonstrated with blocks or physical objects. When studying muscles, tendons and ligaments, examine a chicken wing, identify the parts and SEE how they work.

A physical reaction to hitting this barrier could be the student putting their hands over their ears, looking confused, or showing anger (breaking pencils, "blow", and leave the area).

2. The gradient is too steep. This means that elemental steps taken to learn a subject are not fully understood by the student. An exaggerated example would be going from adding to algebraic computations. The steps in between are missing thus the student does not know how or why they got to the result. This predictably ends in frustration.

A physical reaction would be a dizzy or reeling feeling in the student. If the students feel like their heads are spinning, stop! There are gaps that need to be filled in.

3. Misunderstood word. Have you ever been reading and then realized when you get to the bottom of the page that you cannot remember what you just read? This is more common than you think. Somewhere you encountered a word you misunderstood, a word that did not makes sense in context, so you tuned out.

Children do it all the time. Trained educators and parents are aware when their student becomes confused. They understand the importance of clearing up the misunderstanding to understand the subject and proceed with the learning. They know how to trace the confusion back to the offending word(s) and clear up the misunderstanding. They have the children look up the word in a dictionary and redefine it within the context. Only then can effective learning proceed. This process is amazing, I have seen it!

The physical manifestations may be daydreaming, yawning or a confused or far out look.

This study technology is a great basis for any home school curriculum. Give this study technology a more complete look and consider adding it to your own curriculum.
About the Author
Pam Connolly is a professional educator with the San Diego School District. She
has been teaching kids how to type for over 11 years. To teach your child typing,
visit http://www.1stoplearntotype.com.
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