Because I had such a great time writing The Homeschool Hazard Series and because it was so well received, I’m presenting another 5 part series to help and encourage homeschool moms. My new series, Understanding How Your Child Learns, will define the concept of learning styles, explore each of the four main learning styles, and provide tips for incorporating these learning styles as you teach your children.
Today’s topic is What Are Learning Styles?
I have many books on my homeschool resource shelf. These are the books I turn to again and again because they provide great information about homeschool philosophies, offer Biblical homeschool encouragement, and detail terrific homeschool education strategies.
There is one book I reach for more often than any other. (Hubby and the kids probably wish I’d reach for Homeschooling With a Meek and Quiet Spirit more often but alas, that is not it!) My copy of The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias is well worn because it provides a great wealth of information about how to teach children according to their specific learning styles. Tobias’ book inspired me to take the time to study my girlies to discover how they learn. It’s a book I HIGHLY recommend to anyone who teaches children.
What is learning style?
The term learning style refers to one of the four natural ways a child acquires and processes information. These learning styles form the backbone of the Learning Style Theory, which is built upon the premise that individuals differ in how they learn. This idea of individualized learning style has greatly influenced the way educators present information to their students.
What are the 4 types of learning styles?
Auditory Style: learning through hearing
Kinesthetic Style: learning through moving
Tactile Style: learning through touching
Visual Style: learning through seeing
Why is it important for me to understand my child’s learning style?
It is important to understand your child’s learning style so you will be able to craft lessons and provide instruction in a way that is easy for them to digest. Understanding your child’s learning style will also help you select curriculum that addresses your child’s needs most effectively. This improves the quality of your teaching and can often speed your child’s rate of learning.
Does each person have only one learning style?
No. You will likely discover that your child has a dominant learning style, but you will probably also find another style that ranks high. In addition, you may notice that your child’s learning style differs depending upon the subject being presented.
In math, Sweet Pea is mostly a visual learner. She’s best at remembering things if they’re presented in the form of a chart or graph. She likes to keep her charts and graphs inside her math journal where she also has space to take notes. However, when it comes to science and history, Sweet Pea demonstrates traits of an auditory learner. She gains a better understanding of the subject matter by reading the text aloud and discussing it out loud with me.
It might seem that possessing more than one learning style would create problems for a homeschool mom. I have not found this to be the case. In fact, since I’m teaching more than one child, I welcome the girlies’ multiple learning styles as it allows me to be more flexible and creative in my teaching.
How can I determine a learning style?
Here are a couple of online assessments you can use to determine your child’s learning style.
Education Planner has a great tool but it only includes visual, auditory, and tactile. It seems that they group kinesthetic and tactile learners. (This is not uncommon.)
Learning Style Inventor is a short questionnaire that includes visual, auditory, and tactile learners.
After the Christmas break, many homeschool moms will begin the second half of the homeschool year. This is a great time to review the way you teach. As you prepare your lessons for the next several month, I hope this series will help you determine your child’s learning style and tailor lessons to meet their needs.
I hope you’ll come back for next week’s topic, Auditory Learners.
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