Friday, October 16, 2015

Learning through Hub Learning

Hub Learning is another way to approach unschooling, or interest-led learning. Our high-school student wrote about his learning style, and how he applied "Hub Learning" to his interests. Here he's sharing his experiences. 

My Learning Style

"I learn in many different ways, actually in any way. It’s just a matter of time for how long I can handle it.  This depends on how it’s presented. If it is presented in a size 8 font with a wall of text I will last at most 4 minutes.  I learn easily with videos.  For example, a science video that is about 8 to 20 minutes long keeps my attention especially if it asks questions.  I have learned that one of the fastest ways to get correct information without a teacher in front of the room is to post the wrong answer, for instance on an online forum, and then someone will inevitably explain correct comparisons and give neutral answers or facts. I appreciate this way of conveying knowledge rather than just getting someone’s opinion.  Then I can think it through and make up my own mind.

An example of one of the best ways I learn is R/C airplane building.  I taught myself to build them so I could have one to fly.  That was my motivation to learn.  The same learning dynamic fell into place with the mechanical work needed for my quad:  I learned how to repair it, do upgrades, design new parts, and maintain it because I was motivated to race.  This taught me to complete things and follow my gut instinct, plus this way of learning gives me a feeling of competence and self-determination.  I consider myself to be quite skilled mechanically."

Hub Learning

"My High School years were never charted or graphed or tested, nor was I confined in a school room.  Instead I spent my time engaged in a wide variety of pursuits.  I was happy to be able to spend time learning many different things rather than only doing intellectual book work.

These years included racing quads, raising my animals (ducks, geese, chickens, and my dogs Shasta and Kermit), working on a horse ranch and learning to take care of the horses and how to maintain the facility for a year, a strong home life with my family, learning guitar on my own (electric and acoustic), working at my Dad’s Electric Bike company, and a few mornings each week doing academics, plus a handful of good friends.  Sometimes I had a tutor, like for math, and lots of times my Mom organized groups of teens to learn something together, like Money Education, but really this was for the social I think. Each of these area’s interfaced with other areas of life to network deeper into other competencies.  

My Mom calls this ‘interfacing to network’ - Hub Learning.  She told us the story of Robert Kyiosaki teaching himself to swim really well in the ocean tides so that he could surf and spear fish.  He didn’t learn to swim just to learn to swim.  He had other motives.  In fact, when his parents took him to an indoor pool to get proper swim lessons he failed, yet he was an expert swimmer in the dangerous ocean tides who could surf and spear fish.

I learn this way also.  For example, take racing:  I pay for my own quad and upgrades by working and making money at Optibike. By working at Optibike I learn lots of new skills, including entrepreneurship, marketing and finance, but basically right now I am in charge of motor assembly, electric charger assembly, service, and trouble shooting.  I also helped my Dad design a prototype for an Electric Motorcycle as part of an Optibike expansion.   I learned Autocad – from Cad Software - to design parts for my quad on the computer.  I learned to write a resume’ because it was required to get a Sponsor for my racing. I launched a website to connect with other racers and promote the sport:    All the repairs and mechanical work for my quad I do myself, plus ordering parts and interfacing with vendors in other countries.  I learned these skills so that I could race, not just to learn a particular skill for its own sake. All this revolves around one motivation – this sport I love.  All this learning branched out because of the motivation for this one Hub, or focus.  This is just one example of how I learned through my High School years."