Discovering your teaching style means far more than just knowing how you convey knowledge or skill to your child! It involves things like . . . what kind of scheduling works best for you? Do you prefer everything planned out or do you enjoy winging it—sometimes or most of the time? And what's your personality like?
Thinking about these different aspects of teaching can help you see what kind of educational approach fits you and what kind of curriculum you will enjoy using. Here are some questions you could use to jump-start your discovery:
- So, what’s your personality? Introvert . . . Extrovert . . . ? Do you know what your Meyers-Briggs personality type inventory is? There are many tests of this type that can give you insights into your personality, such as the Enneagram types, the Strength-Finders test, DISC, the Otter-Beaver-Lion-Golden-Retriever personality test, and many more. (There are lots of free versions of these tests online.)
- Do you like (or hate) reading aloud to your kids? (If you don’t, maybe your spouse does. Or Grandma does!)
- Do you prefer one-on-one teaching sessions with one child at a time or do you enjoy the more energetic and dynamic interactions of a group learning activity?
- Are you more of a homebody—and do you thrive on cozy (bug-free and climate-controlled) indoor activities? Or does basking in the great outdoors, taking field trips, and going on adventures make your heart sing?
- Do you think you’d like every minute of the day scheduled out so everyone knows who’s learning what when? Or would you prefer having general blocks of time—or even being able to flexibly pursue any new topic of interest that comes up during the day?
- Are you more of a verbal, kinesthetic, or visual communicator: Do you gravitate toward giving your child verbal instructions and teaching by telling them, by showing/modeling how in a hands-on way, or by writing out or drawing lists, directions, and lessons?
- Do you find it easy or hard to break down teaching a new task into bite-sized lessons? Do you like it when lessons plans are already laid out for you or do you get excited about the challenge of making your own lesson plans?
As you’ve looked at this list, you might be comparing your preferred teaching styles to your child’s learning preference. (And hearing alarm bells jangling?)
Is your instinct to communicate verbally, but your child is a visual learner? Or is your jam flexibility and spontaneity . . . but your child needs structure and gains confidence and security from knowing what’s going to happen next?
Understanding yourself and knowing your child helps you recognize potential clashes and crashes so you can find a rhythm that works for both of you.
Knowing your teaching style can be so helpful and freeing. And now you have the fun part of envisioning how your homeschool will work!
Don’t compare. You being you will enable a beautiful and unique home education for your family that fits their needs, too. This is YOUR superpower. This is how you mold and shape the heroes in your world.
Ready to explore educational approaches and find your homeschooling style? In the final article of this series, take a quick tour of some of the most common learning approaches (aka educational philosophies). There’s a wide variety and you might be surprised at your options!