Honoring Adult Learning Styles

I used to tease my husband because when he shops, it’s like he’s paying a social visit to the salesman. He actually gets to know them a bit. While I’m trying to compare features, specifications and energy usage he’ll be chatting away with the salesman. I, on the other hand, don’t trust salesmen. I think the product should speak for itself. Plus, I don’t enjoy jabbering away when my purpose is to shop. Let me read the box, think and compare then decide. I don’t need any salesman to help me figure out how I’m going to spend my money.

We just have different methods. and perspectives. We have different learning styles.

He enjoys watching television and I don’t have the attention span for it. Watching television puts me to sleep. My mind wanders constantly to all the things I could be DOING rather than just sitting there, staring. I’d rather read. Yes, I know that reading involves sitting & staring, too. It’s just how I like to learn.

When we were first married and parenting I found ten million books and articles about discipline, nutrition, co-sleeping and other parenting topics that I wanted to share with him. The closest I could get was leaving them on the back of the toilet or (Yes, I really did this) cornering him in the bathroom and reading it TO him.

After reading, I’d want to discuss it, but he takes longer to digest than I do. Once again- different learning styles are at work here. But we’ve found the perfect solution.

He can watch videos on Youtube one after another. When he sees something interesting, he’ll look it up and actually read more about it. But for introducing a new idea, the screen is always the best way to get his attention.

If you have a husband who prefers to watch videos rather than read books, here are a few resources I’ve put together a page of Introduction to Unschooling Videos. These were really helpful for my husband to understand what I was trying to explain to him.

I also ordered some Alfie Kohn books on DVD that he was able to watch.

Another great resource has been Interviews and speeches from John Taylor Gatto, on Youtube, like the one below:

The video above and the one below are each “part 1″ of their own series. Be sure to watch the entire series. That is, if “learning by TV” is part of your style. Even though movies bore me to sleep, these videos are short and I can run the audio while I’m folding laundry or something, so I can still hear the message without watching him sit there.

Anyway- so what’s your learning style? Have you had the pleasure of experiencing differing learning styles with your spouse? Has it resulted in a little more compassion for your children’s different methods of understanding and taking in information?

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