Individualized learning is the idea that we don’t all learn the same way, and each kid should be able to learn the way they learn best.

For example, that means kinesthetic learners can DO to learn instead of READ to learn. But kids who feel most comfortable reading to learn can do it their way. It means that extraverts can talk to other people to sort through their ideas as they say them, and introverts can go away to a quiet place to sort through their ideas alone.

Productivity is also something that’s individualized. For example, people who love ideas feel productive when they tell someone a new idea. Those who feel most fulfilled taking care of people can feel like they accomplished nothing all day if they think about ideas.

Cynthia Kyriazis’ book, Get Organized, Get Focused, Get Moving, talks about how each personality type needs a different approach to productivity. Of course, I looked at my own personality first, because I love reading about productivity. Then I checked out productivity tips for my sons’ personalities, and I realized that I probably inadvertently assume that the way I do things is the way my sons will like doing things.

Sometimes I notice this gap. For example, my younger son likes to practice piano by making a game, and it seems like a totally inefficient way to get things done to me. But I don’t like fun, and he does, so fun is a productivity tool for him.

Other times I find myself making assumptions about my kids based on what I like instead of what they like. For example, different people have different moments in the day when they are most productive. I am a night person. So I let my son wake up in the morning and do whatever he wants. But then (after like, three years of doing this) I realized that his most productive time is the morning, so he needs to be doing what is most important to him in the morning.

After years of homeschooling I’m realizing that individualized learning is the process of de-schooling myself. But going one step further is individualized life.