Temperaments tend to be what we think about when we’re asking, “Who is this person?” Especially as the question relates to our kids.

We think about their personality or how they handle friendships, but that’s a small part of who they are. Learning how our children are wired is so much more than personality. It can also include

  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Passions and interests
  • Personality
  • Introvert or extrovertedness
  • Preferred forms of rest and relaxation
  • What gives them energy?
  • How they learn best
  • How they process information
  • How they communicate with others

In this article, we’ll touch on topics related to knowing and understanding how your child is wired. We’ll explore:

Why Temperaments Are Not Enough

In recent years, you’ve probably heard about some really good tests for temperaments — for kids and adults. We are huge fans of learning your children’s temperaments and your own. It often helps you navigate family conflict better and learn how to prefer each other.

But temperaments don’t necessarily tell us how we prefer to relax, what motivates us, if we prefer learning in groups or on our own, and what we’re most interested in at various stages of life.

While a temperament or personality test can be helpful, our high schoolers learn much more deeply who they are through our Discipleship and Life Skills classes.

Where Brain Science Meets Faith

One of the unique aspects of our Formation grades (8th-10th) is the emphasis we place on students knowing who they are. This is such a foundational concept that we believe it’s important to rely on both science and faith.

Learning about the brain and how it operates helps students think about how they prefer to study, what derails them when they’re trying to remember something, and how to work with the way God designed all human beings.

For example, when students learned about the Pomodoro Technique, they didn’t just learn what it is. They also processed together why it works for so many students. And if they don’t find the technique helpful, that’s okay.

Students in the Formations grade levels get ample opportunities to survey how they learn best, what strategies they can take into their future, and why being passionate about a subject matters.

But in those same discussions and classes, students work with their Discipleship and Life Skills teachers to uncover how God’s plan unfolds in their lives. They learn listening skills, different ways to read and study the Bible, and how they can sense God’s nearness. These discussions give students the faith landscape they need to be confident in their own wiring: made uniquely by the God who loves them and has a purpose for them.

How to Begin Teaching Your Child Who They Are

As your child gets closer to the end of middle school and throughout high school, you’ve probably noticed a certain characteristic. They don’t appear to learn as much from you as from others. In fact, it seems like they might even be opposing the idea of learning from you.

Don’t worry.

We hear from many parents who come to us in these formational years between sixth grade and twelfth grade. It’s a developmental norm for tweens and teens to pull away from parents. Guess what? You want that! (It means they won’t live with you forever.)

It is important that we guide our children at this stage, but it’s equally essential that they discover for themselves who they are. That’s why our model is so unique: It allows students in the middle and high school years to explore their likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses in a healthy way with Christian teachers and supportive peers.

We work with you, not against you, because Learnwell’s values are probably not far from your own.

That’s one reason our academics are broken into slightly different pathways than what you might be used to in middle and high school. Our staff and teachers want to “hand them the ball” (so to speak) in 8th grade, so students can practice running with their academic load before they reach 9th grade where grades tend to have higher stakes. But all along the way, no matter what grade a student’s in, the Learnwell model allows room for good mental health, time to pursue hobbies and interests, and guidance to find out how they learn best.

If you’ve ever heard your high school or middle school student say anything like these statements, your family might want to consider a Learnwell education for them.

  • I’m not “good at” math.
  • I wish I could be an “art” person like ____________.
  • There’s no class or subject for what I’m good at doing.
  • What if I just get good grades? Is that enough?
  • I have no idea what I want to do with my career. That’s so far away, and I am interested in lots of things.
  • My friend likes to ______________________, so maybe I’ll try it. But what if I’m too late?
  • I don’t really know what I’m interested in. I haven’t thought about it before.

These kinds of statements don’t have to get the final say in a student’s story. There are three crucial pieces of information we want a Learnwell graduate to walk away with:

  1. God designed me uniqely and loves me no matter what.
  2. I understand what I’m passionate about, what I’m strong in, what I believe (and why), and how I learn.
  3. I don’t have to know everything about my future right now. I can try new things.

So, in light of who your child is right now, developmentally-speaking, the best place to begin may be to guide them toward their own agency. Here are some ideas for questions you can ask. Choose what works for your child:

  • Who do you think you are?
  • Would you like to learn more about who you are alongside others in a supportive school community?
  • What do you think I say about you to my friends?
  • How do you feel about God? How do you think God feels about you?

These are simply jumping-off points. If you’d like to learn more about what we offer for high school, we would love to meet you at the next parent information night: Discover Learnwell.