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How do you teach someone to cross stitch? Part 2 – Learning styles and abilities

Hi Everyone

The way we learn is unique to us and when we find someone who can explain things or show us things in a way that clicks for us, makes them a very special person! It can also say a lot about the teacher. Their ability to ask the right questions, observe your body language and properly hear what you are telling them, to then adjust their way of communicating with you. Resulting in you feeling supported and (hopefully) confident in your abilities to have successfully learnt the intended lesson or perform a specific task.

Learning styles

There are many different ways in which we learn. Sometimes it depends on what we’re that will determine the best way in which we can put it into practice. Sometimes it depends on how our teacher presents the material to us that we need to learn that can make the world of difference. The YouTube clip below shows how this can be true for both sides of the coin via the use of scenes from popular or famous movies through the decades…

‘Learning Styles’ – uploaded to YouTube on 10 November 2010 – shows the main learning styles via popular movies.

In support of the above YouTube clip, the website Learning-styles-online.com (viewed on 29 July 2018) suggests that there are 7 different ways in which people prefer to learn.

Visual learning means that you or your student prefers to use pictures/ diagrams and videos that assist you with understanding how to do something. Additionally, you or your student may find it easier to have someone sit with you and show you how to thread the needle and make the crosses on the fabric – regardless of which fabric it is. Furthermore, you or your student may find the use of colours and patterns to assist with the learning of a new task. Click here for further information.

Image from the Work Ready Training website – originally posted on 18 September 2018

Logical learning means that you or your student uses logic, reasoning and systems, to understand how and why cross-stitch works to then put it into practice. From a teaching perspective, explaining why we do cross stitch may assist your student with understanding the logic of cross stitch. This may also relate to the pattern they choose to stitch. Click here for further information.

Verbal learning means that you or your student finds it easier to listen to someone talk or reading a set of instructions (words only). Learning-styles-online.com suggests that you or your student read the instructions to yourself out-loud. By doing so in a dramatic and varied way, it may make the instructions sound more interesting and you or your student may pick up on the keywords that will assist with achieving the desired outcome. Click here for further information.

Physical or tactile learning means that you or your student needs to get your hands dirty to learn. Learning-styles-online.com uses the example of pulling apart an engine and putting it back together without the assistance of instructions to learn how the engine works. From a cross stitch perspective, you and your student can sit together and go through the motions of cross stitch. Click here for further information.

Image from the Work Ready Training website – originally posted on 2 October 2018

Aural learning is about the use of sounds and music to enable you or your student to connect to what you’re learning, because it enables you (or your student) to visualise the way something moves or the actions you need to take to complete a movement. Alternatively, the music in the background can assist with triggering memories the next time the sounds or music are heard, resulting in your or your student being able to remember the process of cross stitch until it becomes second nature. Click here for further information.

Social learning means that you or your student enjoys studying in group environments or being around other people whilst learning, because it enables you to bounce ideas off others and increase your understanding of the topic at hand. Which is where stitch ‘n’ bitch sessions can be a perfect way for your or your student/s to learn cross stitch, because you’re able to bounce off each other and share different tips and tricks you’ve learnt along the way and see how others stitch as well. Click here for further information.

Social learning image from the ATD website article on ‘how to be a catalyst for social learning’

Solitary or one-on-one learning means that you or your student finds it easier to learn on your own because there are less distractions. Which also means that stitching at home in silence (or softened background noises) may be your preference or your student’s preference. Click here for further information.

What about learning disabilities?

This is a little different to the learning styles that we have just looked at and learning disabilities can have a major impact on the way in which you teach someone to cross stitch. In the YouTube clip below titled ‘Common Learning Disabilities’, Dr Audrey Huebner from the Mayo Clinic, briefly talks about the common learning disabilities and what they mean.

‘Common Learning Disabilities’ by Dr Audrey Huebner from the Mayo Clinic – uploaded on 14 April 2017

It’s important that we talk about learning disabilities because it will (hopefully) help you and your student be more comfortable around each other and both of you will be able to communicate in a way that works for both of you. On a personal note, I always have and always will struggle with maths and doing some calculations in my head. At times when I’m doing cross stitch, I’ll joke about how I need to go back to school and learn how to count because I’ve stitched either too many or not enough crosses. I’ll also joke about how I need to get my eyes checked because as I get tireder as the day progresses, I make more mistakes. The eye sight thing and making mistakes can happen to anyone and everyone. However, I absolutely acknowledge that people who have legitimate eye sight problems will need some extra help with the way they see a cross stitch pattern and fabric – just a hint for what the next post will be about!

If you are teaching someone with a learning disability, the following clip by the CreativeMentalist may help you with providing praise and feedback to your student. Additionally, your student may find comfort and reassurance in hearing and seeing what she has to say.

‘8 Things kids with learning disabilities need to hear’ by CreativeMentalist – uploaded on 2 January 2015

Another clip that may be of interest and use for you as a teacher is ‘Students with Disabilities: Special Education Categories’ by Teachings in Education. The presenter briefly goes through the 14 different categories by defining what they are and provides some tips on what teachers can do to help their students learn a task or concept.

‘Students with Disabilities: Special Education Categories’ by Teachings in Education – Uploaded to YouTube on 7 April 2018

I hope that this post has given you some food for thought and that you consider some of the different ways in which may approach the way you do your cross stitch. In part 3, we’ll take a look at physical abilities and disabilities and some tools of the trade that may help you and your students.

Until next time, happy stitching!

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Author:

I am an avid cross stitcher. I was first introduced to cross stitch when I was primary school age. Paused for while during my teens and then took it up again in my early/mid 20's and I haven't looked back. To mitigate the amount of time I'm sitting down stitching, I'm a regular member of the gym and I'm a runner. To keep me motivated, I participate in short to medium length fun runs. Which at times feel torturous, but I feel really good at the end of them! With these activities in mind, this blog is about the combination of my experiences with running and cross stitch and encouraging people to think differently about cross stitch - it's not just Grandma's who do this anymore!