Scallywag

Love is my religion - I could die for it.

~ John Keats ~

Learning Is Easy

December 9th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 48 secs

Actually learning can be easy.

Hand up if you feel learning is anything but easy? I thought so. We have been systematically hoodwinked and it’s about time we blew the lid off the difficulty of learning thing.

Thanks to better knowhow, learning is easy. Well, mostly. Some of us have cognitive processing issues. Plus, there will always be complex formulae and complicated processes to follow. But even they can be understood more easily.  So I guess I better explain…

You and I are natural learners.  It’s such a fundamental process that you can’t help but learn! Yet something happens while we’re growing into grown ups that shakes that natural order off its perch. Instead of accepting that learning is easy, you discover that it’s quite hard, making you unsure of your ability to do it.

Why? Well, that place of formal learning called school uses methods going back decades, centuries, and even millennia. Implicit in the process is the understanding that learning is hard work. But if you put your shoulder to the wheel and nose to the grindstone, you’ll get by and learn everything that’s necessary. That’s the “easy way” offered by the orthodox approach.

Trouble is, a lot of it is wrong. Not in the content, but in so much of the delivery. Learning, for the most part, is actually easier than it looks. The secret? Use learning approaches that harness our natural abilities to make learning easy.

For instance, take learning how to spell well. Some people pick this up easily. While others? They find it a lifelong curse. Many people find spelling far from easy. Instead, it’s incredibly hard, and secretly, they experience twinges of failure about it. Yet, because mass education is a bit of a blunt instrument, it’s hardly surprising if people slip through without the basics. That’s why most of us could do with some post school finishing to fill in what’s missing.

Whatever you need to learn, start with a give it a go attitude. There’s no harm in that. Picture all the strong reasons why you want to improve and keep them in mind. Then, gather some simple learning strategies under your belt to help.

The purpose of these is to make learning easy and, horror of horrors, even a little bit fun! Then, relax yourself into it. No point being uptight because it blocks you anyway. Next, source the knowledge. If, for example, you were learning better spelling, you’d do a bit of research to get a list of spelling rules. Due to its word thieving, English is a messy language, so there are rather a lot of exceptions. But even using a few simple rules will help you on your way.

I won’t go into a full on lesson here. But breaking up any learning session into a range of easy stages helps heaps. The harder something is to figure, the more you need to break it into easy, digestible pieces.

Neuroscientists advise we do best using all our senses. So write, say, move, feel, taste, and smell your way to acquiring new ideas. What if you are learning French and finding it hard? Tuck into some authentic French food to help soothe your learning nerve! Need to interpret a complex report? Highlight the salient bits in color, then stand up and walk around as you read it aloud. Everything that seems hard to learn is easy or at least easier when you follow your natural ways of learning.

If you are a very visual, learn more by sight by turning text into pictures. Tactile? Move your way through it. Instead of using only reading and keying, open your sensory gates to experience whatever it is that you wish to learn. Can you see how easy learning can be made to be?

There is a lot to this and I’m only scratching the surface. But everything can be made easier to learn with the right approach. If you want to know more about how, just ask me. Easy!

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