What Kind of Scholar Do You Have?

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January 20, 2012

Every child has a style of learning, but in this article we’re going to talk about their use of time. Does he rush through his work at the last second, plan a project from start to finish before actually beginning it, or perhaps she plods meticulously through her homework at a steady pace? Here we’ll discuss why it matters and how can you work within this time-style of learning to both motivate the child and her on task.

The Rusher

Is your student the kind who puts everything off until the last possible minute? It may be from a lack of motivation or it could be a love of the adrenaline rush. Maybe you identify with this type of learner because you also work better under pressure as long as you know it is possible to meet the deadline.

This type of learner benefits from smaller, shorter term goals. You can set up a schedule that is broken down into smaller bites and add a reward for each accomplishment. For example, work a set number of math problems and be allowed to go outside for 15 minutes or finish three chapters of reading and have a snack break.

If you need ideas for rewards, go to the source. Ask the Planner what rewards and prizes sound good and keep a list.

The Planner

Give the assignments to Planners and watch them run with it. This type of time-style learner is the ultimate organizer who schedules coursework to be finished with time to spare. The reward this scholar is more control of scheduling free time. It is plain to see that the Planner is one of the easier students to teach once good habits are set.

The Plodder

The Plodder will take as long as humanly possible to complete an assignment. Is it because that scholar is easily distracted or easily bored? The underlying reason makes no difference. What this learner needs is constant one-on-one encouragement and teaching to stay on task. It does require more parent or teacher time; however, would you prefer to spend your time nagging your student to finish or would you rather spend it encouraging your scholar?

The Chunker

The Chunker likes to focus. Learning for this student is maximized when one subject is studied at a time. Think mini-mesters or 6-week summer courses. If you can do it in college, why not chunk learning in lower grades? Offer a chance to “chunk” a unit of a course in a couple of weeks. You’ll have to do some calculating to figure out a schedule that allows time to finish all the courses in the time frame whether it is a quarter, semester or year. One advantage for the Chunker is quickly seeing the larger amounts of finished work. It’s more fun for the Chunker to complete 30 or 40 pages of work in one subject than a few pages here and there in all the subjects.

Whether you are helping your scholar with homework, working with a preschooler, or teaching your child at home, knowing your student’s time-style of learning makes it easier and definitely more fun for all. Does your scholar have another time-style of learning? We’d love to hear about it.

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