Monday, August 3, 2009

I just got notified of a new website for non- and ultratraditional students. It is I briefly looked over it and something caught my eye. One of the articles on the site is titled, "I Can't Keep Up! What Do I Do?" Haven't read the article yet, but it sounds interesting. Another article of interest is titled, "Generational Learning Differences".

One of the things I think is important to ascertain before one returns to school is one's learning style. There is a book out there, though I'm not sure if it's still in print, called "The Way They Learn" by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. In the book, Tobias not only addresses the three basic learning styles (auditory, visual and kinesthetic), but how one processes material (concrete or abstract) and how one filters that process. It is a very in-depth book. Along with Tobias' book, I would recommend "Different Children, Different Needs" by Charles Boyd. Boyd's book addresses the four basic personality types. Even though it is meant mainly as a resource for parents and children, it can also be a resource for understanding yourself in the midst of a new experience, like returning to school.

When I was homeschooling and I would meet new homeschooling parents, my first advice was, "Become a student of your children". In other words, watch your child, get to know your child one on one (difficult if you have more than one child, but not impossible). I would also recommend the two books I mentioned above.

Now, as a nontrad, I want to advocate becoming a student of yourself. If you're new to the nontrad scene, you may feel scared, anxious, inadequate. Take a little walk down that introspectiveroad and examine what you're feeling. All these feelings are natural. If you're not sure where you fall in the learning curve, take a look at Tobias' book on learning styles. If it's been a while since you've done something you really enjoy doing, take a look at Boyd's book on personality types. Once you understand why you feel the way you do about returning to school, you will be able to walk forth confidently and enjoy being a student again. Good luck!

Check out the studentagain website. Stay tuned . . .

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