Learning This Way and That Way

November 13, 2016

A few months ago –  and before that a years and a few months ago – Robert and I were learning about human body from the workbook “Human Body grade 3-4″ . We familiarized ourselves  with drawings of internal organs of different systems and with their names and their functions.  “Familiarized” is a good word.  Even though we read the texts, analyzed pictures,  and answered questions related to the provided information, I cannot say what, if anything, Robert learned.

I also don’t know how much Robert understands from reading texts about human body from Horizon Reading to Learn Fast Track C-D.  The texts in this book approach learning differently.  Robert observes what two characters Al and Angela learn while traveling through a human body.  The old man who is their guide explains everything to THEM.  Then THEY tell EACH OTHER and  the old man what they have learned.   The number of words to learn and remember is reduced to just a few, but the  simple mechanics are explained. There are no terms “motor neurons” or “sensory neurons” in the text. Instead, Al and Angela (and thus Robert too)  learn that the nerves that go from the hand (or foot) to the brain tell the brain what the hand (or foot) feels and the nerves that go from the brain to the hand (or foot) tell the hand (or the foot) how to move.

I am still not sure how much of that information Robert understands and/or retains. Although Robert  answers most of the questions correctly WHEN I AM SITTING NEXT TO HIM, I doubt if he would do the same when I leave the room.

Having one on one teacher during most of his learning time might have reduced Robert’s independence and his confidence.  When I am next to him, he tries to answer, when I leave, he stops altogether.  The words, he reads quickly and softly, lose their meanings. He reads mechanically. He stops thinking.

For now, I assume that despite all of that, Robert gained some sort of understanding of the mechanics involved in the way humans move, feel, hear, and see. What he doesn’t have is the ability to complete any quiz (involving understanding language) when separated from me even by a few steps.

That is why our teaching-learning time is spent on:

  1. learning new concepts
  2. thinking while separated from me
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