You’re never too old to learn, and this isn’t just some fancy statement; this is many people’s motto in life. If you agree, there are various learning methods to help you ensure that you continue to learn day in and day out.
We have all been learning since childhood—our parents teach us morals, our teachers teach us math, society teaches us acceptance, our work teaches us how to do our job, etc. Even if you’re 70, life has a whole new book of things to teach you; you just need to have the heart and willingness to learn.
What you learn today will always benefit your current and future self. The question is, with such limited time in life, how can we learn effectively?
In this article, I’ll introduce to you the essential learning methods and some of the best ways to learn.
Table of Contents
The Best Ways to Learn
There are so many different ways of learning, and here, I’ve handpicked some of the best ways that will definitely help you in being an effective learner.
1. Your Comfort Zone
For most people, staying in their own comfort zone opens their minds and helps them retain information. For instance, many learn and retain information when they’re taking notes on a piece of paper; others learn by watching videos and documentaries relevant to the topic.
By finding out how you’re comfortable learning will surely help you in effectively retaining new information, and you will remember it for a longer period of time.
2. Learning Through Play
Just like children learning actively, you can learn through play. This doesn’t literally mean building blocks out of plastic Lego, but by implementing what you have learned. If you’ve just learned a new way to make quiche, the best way of making sure you know it properly and remember it is by immediately making it at home.
3. Pass That Information on
If you’ve learned something, avoid passive learning, and, instead, pass the information on to someone else.
When you go through what you’ve learned and are explaining the process to someone else through this teaching method, you will learn and remember better.
One study found that teaching information is so effective in introducing it to our long-term memory because it forces us to retrieve that information over and over again.
In classrooms, there is a frequent activity of dividing students into groups, and one of them explains to other classmates what the day’s lecture was about. This not only helps the speaker understand concepts better, but when other classmates are being reinforced with the lesson, they also remember better.
4. Rote Learning Is a Big NO
Many people try to memorize word by word what they have been taught, as if they were sitting in a written exam. Teachers discourage rote learning in students as well because by only memorizing some words, the goal isn’t met. The main point here is to truly understand and connect the dots of what you’ve learned.
The generation today has grown up with computers and is used to getting all the information needed at the click of a button, which means they don’t really absorb the true meaning of what they’re learning.
Rote learning is just like that. You just pick up the information from somewhere and learn it word for word, which doesn’t really help you understand anything, only to memorize.
Learning is all about being able to express what you have understood about a particular concept. It is being able to give your own opinion about a certain event, instead of just knowing the facts. Somewhere along the line, we do want to learn new things, but some of us have the attention span of a goldfish or simply don’t know the smart learning methods.
Some people may be more receptive to one kind of method, and some to another. A smart person would try and find out which method of learning is best suited to them, and use that to enhance their learning process. The following learning methods will be helpful for you.
Types of Learning Methods
Essentially, there are 7 types of learning methods that researchers have compiled over time. If one resonates with you, it’s likely that it’s your preferred learning method.
This type of learning requires visual material to understand. This could be in the form of videos, graphics, and images. This method helps people in visually understanding what they see.
You may be this type of learner if you often imagine faces to remember someone’s name, use landmarks to give directions, or need to write down information to remember it.
This kind of learning style uses audio like music and sounds to understand. You may like this learning method if you often remember information after lectures or are good at memorizing the words to songs.
This method is usually for people who like to speak and narrate their stories in order to learn. This can be done through scripted speeches, impromptu narrations, or even just daily conversations.
Many people like learning through logic; they won’t understand a concept if they’re just spoon-fed it.
They want proper reasoning to why and how something happened for them to properly learn something.
These people are often very good at forming arguments, problem-solving, and participating in debates.
This is when people learn better when they’re divided into groups and are with other people. These social groups help expand their horizons and give them confidence to ask questions and solve problems.
This learning style is usually best for people who prefer to learn alone in a confined place that has no distractions whatsoever. They are either easily distracted with other people.
This is a learning technique where people learn through physical acts, like using their hands or simply by the sense of touch.
This technique is used when a child actively participates in order to learn. For example, to help them understand what “fluffy” means, they are asked to touch a cotton cushion or a hairy cat. This is how children learn and understand better.
However, many adults learn with this learning method as well. If you enjoy building or designing things, this may be your preferred learning method.
What types of learning methods suit you better? You can find out in this article: How This Learning Style Quiz Can Help You Make the Most of Your Life
In order to support any kind of learning listed above, you have to be physically fit and healthy. Your mind and body need to be nurtured in order for any kind of learning method to be effective. Here are some of the things that can be done on a daily basis to maintain a receptive mind and body.
Habits to Help You Learn
To be an effective listener, you also have to be able to retain that information. People learn new things every day, but only a portion of those people are able to remember what they learned by the end of the day.
There are some tried and tested home remedies that have worked like a charm for people who are looking to enhance their memory.
An active brain is one that sleeps almost 8-10 hours a day. If you’re overworked and sleep for barely five hours, there are chances that your brain needs rest to retain information.
But if you’re somebody who sleeps for 11-15 hours a day, you may just be too lazy and need to engage in healthy activities to keep your brain active.
Include lots of protein and Omega-3s in your diet. Drink lots of water and generally stay away from refined carbs.
You don’t have to quickly switch over to salads, but just generally try to adapt to a healthier eating pattern. Limit the use of alcohol and caffeine because they slow down your brain, causing a hindrance in your learning journey.
By meeting new people every day, you’re not only giving your brain a chance to open up, but you’re also having your brain exercise by getting new information. Talking to people and engaging in daily conversations helps the flow of information.
Do Activities That Challenge Your Brain
If your brain hasn’t yet been exposed to challenges where you really have to think and work your mind, you may not be an effective learner, despite engaging in the above learning methods. There are many activities that increase your motor skills, like puzzles, mathematical questions, or even solving crosswords in your daily newspaper. You can also try these 11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory.
When your brain is active and running, you possess a better chance of learning new things and actually retaining that information.
Learning has been a safe haven for so many people, whether it’s about learning to cook a complicated dish for a family gathering or simply about sewing a button on a shirt.
The best among us are people that don’t let anything get in the way of their learning process; these people make it their life motto to wake up every day and learn at least one new thing before going to bed. And these people are all around us; we are these people.
The knowledge we gain today can benefit our career, relationships, and our everyday life, so get started now.
More on Utilizing the Learning Methods
- 10 Ways to Find Learning Motivation (Even After You’ve Graduated)
- How to Use Observational Learning for Your Best Improvement
- 15 Ways to Cultivate Continuous Learning for a Sharper Brain
Featured photo credit: Sarah Noltner via unsplash.com
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