Ever wonder why some children seem to pick up a topic quicker than another? How do you know your child’s learning style? Why does it matter? Out of my seven children, I’ve noticed that each learns differently. A couple even seem to be more academic than others. While in mainstream circles, they enjoy the label as “smart,” are they any smarter than my other children?
As a homeschooling mom, I notice that all of my children can learn, but they may not all learn the same way. I believe that it’s important to discover the unique learning style of my kids and work with it.
What are Learning Styles?
Simply put, learning styles are different approaches to learning based on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. We hear a lot about learning styles and the importance it plays on individualizing a child’s education. Here’ I’ll review the three learning styles to help you get an idea where your child fits. Keep in mind that a child may fall into more than one category to different degrees.
The Three Basic Learning Styles
An auditory learner learns best through listening. This child works well with a traditional method of education, utilizing lectures, speeches, discussions, and reading aloud materials. Often just reading material is not enough to gain complete understanding. You may want to consider taping lessons or using video lessons for a child with this learning style.
My children who are auditory learners love audio books and following along while reading the book in hand.
A visual learner learns best through seeing. This child may be easily distracted by other visual elements in a room. Using graphic organizers, flip charts, graphs, or storyboards will help this student absorb the material. This student also benefits from taking notes during a lecture. Lapbooks are an excellent choice for this student.
A kinesthetic learner learns best by doing, touching, and moving. Often active, this child needs to experience the lesson to absorb it. Math manipulatives, active games, or any hands-on approach will aid this student’s ability to learn and stay focused on the topic.
I have a child who is a strong kinesthetic learner. If not careful, this student can become discouraged and overwhelmed because traditional methods feel too difficult. We take extra care to ensure hands-on lessons and field trips are a regular part of our routine.
Why are Learning Styles Important to Homeschooling?
As homeschoolers, we seek to provide our children with individualized education. The best way to do that is to understand how our children learn and provide the best resources that align. When we find what fits with our child’s learning style we are giving him the tools to succeed at a personalized education.
What about you? Do you find that determining your child’s learning style is helpful? What kind of learner is your child? What curriculum have you see fit him or her the best?
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