Homeschooling - Determining Learning Styles
One of the problems with traditional schooling is the fact that due to the nature of education, it has become a one size fits all mentality. If you are teaching fifteen or more students, you have to teach to the lowest common denominator. Homeschooling offers an answer to this problem.
Common sense and a little observation will tell you that all students do not learn the same way or at the same pace. If you treat all students the same, you may end up with a student that begins to fall behind the other students. Teaching your children at home allows you to offer your child a way to learn that is best suited to his or her learning style.
Experts have discovered that there are basically three learning styles:
- Visual Learners - learning by seeing. They will learn best by using workbooks or visual demonstrations. They work well with flash cards, charts, diagrams, maps, pictures, etc. Written instruction is easier for them to comprehend than listening to lectures. How do you recognise the visual learner? They often like to take notes. They get distracted by visual things going on around them. They are often detail oriented. Often they are quiet individuals. They are good with spatial relations, diagrams, graphs, etc.
- Auditory Learners - learning by listening. The listeners of course are the ones that like verbal instruction. Lectures are great for them. Textbooks aren't going to work as well with these students. They will do well with video learning our you explaining to them what they need to learn. Music, cd's, rhythmical games, interviews, etc are good tools to help them learn. How do you recognise the auditory learner? They like to talk and are usually good at expressing themselves verbally. Everything about them is verbal. They are better at learning reading through phonics because they sound out words. They like to discuss things and they are also not the best test takers.
- Kinesthetic Learners - learning by touch. They will learn best with hands on types of learning. Math block are great for teaching them math concepts. Building things might help them learn history or other subjects. The point is, they like to feel as they learn, even if just making their own time lines, etc. How do you recognise the kinesthetic learner? They are physical people that have to be doing something. They are usually athletic and sometimes thought of as ADD. They are good at mechanical types of things. They don't do well with research types of projects.
One of the things you have to be aware of when discovering your child's learning style is that you don't want to confuse it with your own. Often times we want to teach the way we like to learn. We have to make sure we are observing their learning style and not ours.
So once we have decided how our child learns best, what types of curriculums go best with each style?
- Visual Learner - workbook style, textbook, Unit studies
- Auditory Learner - textbook, if you explain the lessons, online schooling, computer style such as Switched on Schoolhouse, Unit studies
- Kinesthetic Learner - Unit Studies, online schooling, computer style such as Switched on Schoolhouse
You can have different types of curriculum for different children or you might want to use the unit study approach which is oftentimes able to cover all types of learning as well as age differences together. Choosing teaching styles that coincide with your children's learning styles is the most effective way to insure your homeschool is working to the best of each child's potential.