Welcome to Week 2 of the series, Understanding How Your Child Learns. Last week, we explored the definition of learning styles. Today we’ll learn more about homeschooling the auditory learner.
Most of the time we homeschool in our basement. It’s a fairly large and comfortable area comprised of two rooms. For our family, this has proven to be a nearly perfect place to homeschool because it allows the children to come together for learning or to move into separate areas for independent activities.
Schooling in the basement has been great for Sugar Plum, who sometimes demonstrates characteristics associated with an auditory learner who needs private space in which to verbalize and listen. Auditory learners best learn through sound and often display the following characteristics:
- easily distracted by noise, but find silence to be uncomfortable
- memorize things by repeating them aloud
- enjoy oral reading
- move their lips when reading or whisper words while reading (the fancy word for this is subverbalization)
- talk, hum, or sing to themselves while working
- read slowly
- find it difficult to follow written directions
If your child is an auditory learner, there are techniques you can use to help ensure your child understands what you are teaching. Teaching techniques can include:
- Using audio books. Listening to audio books is a fantastic tool for auditory learners. Audio books include sound effects that bring the story to life and help them understand the story better. As the child listens, have them follow along in their book. If you’re schooling other children at the same time and don’t want them to be distracted, consider having your learner use headphones. The library is a great place to find books on CD or cassette.
- Singing songs to help remember information. When I was a child, I learned and retained math, history, and grammar information by listening to and singing along with old Schoolhouse Rock Tunes. You can purchase the entire collection here, but if you’re looking for a source of free educational tunes, search YouTube to find songs related to a variety of subject areas.
- Allowing her to be the teacher. After you teach a lesson to your child, give her an opportunity to review what she’s learned by teaching the lesson back to you. Switching teacher and student roles is a fun way to check your child’s comprehension. To extend this technique even further, ask questions and have your child explain answers in as much detail as possible. Be sure to provide her with all the materials she’ll need (paper, books, charts, etc) she’ll need to teach effectively!
- Making use of choral reading. Choral reading is when a group reads a passage aloud together. Reading in this manner allows your learner to hear what is written and allows him an opportunity to process information more effectively. Choral reading allows the homeschool mom to adjust the reading pace, model proper pronunciation and expression, and practice rhythm and pattern. It also prevents the embarrassment that children sometimes experience when reading aloud alone. Moms can pair up with a child for choral reading or gather all her children together for a choral reading exercise.
- Offering oral reports and tests. Rather than ask your auditory learner to write a lengthy written report, have your child present an oral report. Talk with him about what he’s read. Teach him to use note cards to jot down bits of information. Allow him to address all the parts of his book report aloud. Add an extra dimension of understanding by allowing him to dress up as a book character. When testing an auditory learner on math fact or spelling words, consider allowing him to give the answers and spell words aloud.
- Engaging in a debate. Another great way to check your child’s comprehension of a specific topic is by debating the issue. After teaching a specific topic, support the auditory learner by discussing the issue aloud. As you talk, take notes. Allow your child to choose a side of the issue and politely share points of view via a debate. The girlies recently shared a spirited debate about which was better, traditional books or e-readers like the Kindle. This is one of our favorite ways to study history and books.
- Playing music. While Sugar Plum works she often hums. This can sometimes be a distraction to her older sister. However, if I turn on music and play it softly, Sugar Plum’s ears are soothed and she’s less apt to make noise, while Sweet Pea barely notices the sound.
Do you have an auditory learner? What types of strategies have you found to help meet their educational needs? Feel free to leave comment letting us know and come back for next week’s discussion of kinesthetic learners.
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