Coming to an Understanding of Yourself as a Learner

As a homeschooling parent, you likely have a good understanding of your child as a learner. Your child will have strengths, as mine does. She loves to run and kick a ball, and her verbal abilities are fantastic. Your child will have things to work on, as mine does. Her interest in reading is intermittent, although she’s plugging away at it. Your child will have interests, as mine does. She loves birds and baking, for a start, not necessarily together.

But have you thought about yourself in the same way?

Some of your reasons for homeschooling might lie in your past as a schooled child or a homeschooler. Perhaps you had a particularly bad experience with peers at school, so you would prefer that your child embrace people of all ages as his peers. Perhaps you were labelled in a way that you did not like, whether this was as learning disabled or gifted.

So much of the choice about where your children go to school rests in your own educational past. Before you embark on a new educational journey with your children, take a moment and ask yourself the questions you’re asking your children.

What is your ideal learning environment? Do you like to learn from listening to others in dialogue, from creating practical projects, or by doing something else entirely? What learning style do you have?

How much structure works for you as a learner? Do you enjoy pursuing independent projects, do you like independence within a structure, or do you enjoy systems with logical, sequential academic achievements and goals?

Do you work well with others or do you work best by yourself?

Do you see yourself as a divergent thinker? A learner who thinks about things at a large scale? A detail-oriented learner?

Are you a confident learner? What makes you more confident? Less confident?

What are your own strengths and weaknesses? What are your passions for learning?

Thinking about these questions can help you differentiate your own learning needs from those of your children. What did you discover?