Did you know that only 22% of men and 38% of women learn best by reading? The rest learn best through images, auditory, and hands-on experiences. So why do so many people choose to read a book when they want to learn a new subject? Self-education is great, but you need to make sure you’re teaching yourself in the way you learn best (and that might not be through a book). Here are three methods that might help you the next time you want to teach yourself something new.
I’ve found that one of the best ways I learn something new is through fun quizzes and games I’ve found online. And I know I’m not the only one. One of my good friends had to learn most of the countries of the world for a class when she was in college. While learning these countries, she decided if she was going through all this trouble, she might as well learn all of them. She taught herself through a variety of quizzes, taking at least one every day until she felt comfortable with her knowledge. It’s been nearly three years since then, and she can still list every sovereign country in the world, along with most of the capitals.
You can do the same. All you need to do is find a few quizzes and then regularly test your knowledge. Then, expand upon that knowledge until you’ve learned what you want to know—and you feel comfortable with your ability and speed in recalling that new information. The faster you can recall it, the longer it will stay with you.
Don’t forget to expand your vocabulary while you’re educating yourself. Learning new words doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If you have a smart phone, download the dictionary.com app, and then put a widget on one of your pages to easily see the word of the day. Keep track of the definition and usage, and then see if you can incorporate the word into your conversations throughout the day. Words like scabrous and mickle might be easy to insert into your conversations, whereas serotinal and maugre might be a little more difficult. The more you use the words correctly, the better your brain will remember them, and then your vocabulary can continually be expanding.
Regardless of what you are trying to teach yourself, constant practice is necessary. You might be learning how to draw or speak a new language. Maybe you’re teaching yourself the drums or the violin. Whatever it is, make sure you practice constantly. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Channel your determination and motivation into your practicing, and before long, you’ll see yourself improving noticeably.
When you’re teaching yourself a new subject, make sure you’re learning in the way that suits you best. Move past the words on the page, and make the knowledge stick by actively doing something about the topic you want to learn. Master your self-education.
Lucy Markham is an avid blogger and a part-time consultant for Art Beats. She readily admits she spends an inordinate amount of time on her computer, watching anything from funny YouTube videos (she’s a YouTube addict) to aerial footage (she’s also obsessed with flying). Off the computer, though, she recently purchased a house and considers herself a bit of an expert on all things home improvement, gardening, and home decoration.