Saturday, August 8, 2015

Your Child's Best Learning Style

Observe and Highlight Your Child’s Learning Style -- Plus Enter to Win a Book on Learning Styles

As you prepare for your homeschool year, remember to observe your child’s best learning style. The style that works for one child won’t necessarily work for another. When children process information in the way that works best for them, they’ll soar! And your homeschool adventures will be more successful and more enjoyable! For 9 months of Weekly Lessons for Grades K-12 in all subject areas, see our website at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com.

Three Common Learning Styles

1. Visual learners. These children prefer to spend time poring over pictures and graphics, and respond to bright colors and visual stimulation. They tend to learn best through visual presentations.

2. Auditory learners. These children enjoy listening to music, CDs, or audio tapes, and to people reading aloud or talking. They can learn best through discussions and verbal information.

3. Tactile-kinesthetic learners. These children like to move around, touch things, and talk, plus they have a difficult time sitting still. They learn best through an active, hands-on approach.

Although a child may appear to be a visual learner or kinesthetic learner, it doesn’t exclude him from trying other learning styles, too, or a combination of styles. The important part is to help your child learn in the way that makes the most sense to him, while still providing a well-balanced learning environment.

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Activities for Different Learning Styles

Visual learners need to see visual images, in order to fully absorb information. When thinking and processing information, they often see pictures in their minds.

Visual tips for visual learning environments:

• Create posters, artwork, or colorful pictorials to accompany lessons.
• Hang educational charts, displays, illustrations, maps, and mobiles.
• Make flow charts, pie charts, and diagrams to illustrate math and science concepts.
• Design colorful flashcards for spelling, vocabulary, English, and math skills.
• Use computer applications, software, or games for learning topics.
• Watch educational videos or DVDs.
• Read illustrated reference books or picture books.

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Auditory learners learn through hearing. They grasp information better by listening to someone reading aloud or to CDs or audio books, hearing descriptions or experiences, or by participating in discussions.

Auditory tips for auditory learning environments:

• Read material aloud to auditory learners.
• Use rhythm and voice inflection when reading and talking.
• Present material in an interesting storytelling format.
• Create musical or dramatic presentations of topics studied.
• Record lessons for children to play and replay.
• Engage in lively discussions and debates on various subjects.
• Use CDs, audiotapes, or recorded books relating to topics studied.

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Tactile and kinesthetic learners absorb information through touching and moving. This learning group is sometimes broken into two separate categories: tactile and tactile-kinesthetic. Both groups are similar, with the tactile-kinesthetics enjoying hands-on experiences as well as lots of movement in their learning styles.

Tactile-kinesthetic tips for tactile-kinesthetic learning environments:

• Understand that movement and touch is imperative for learning.
• Provide a variety of manipulatives for hands-on learning.
• Incorporate games, construction sets, Geoboards, and Cuisenaire rods into lessons.
• Use lab equipment for experimenting with science and math concepts.
• Perform dramatic plays that bring social studies and literature to life.
• Read or study while swaying to music or tapping feet.
• Create lessons choreographed to dance music.
• Take frequent field trips related to topics studied.

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Most children will benefit from a combination of these activities. And children who lean toward a specific style will benefit greatly when more focus is placed upon their particular learning style.

Enter to win the book, Discover Your Child’s Learning Style, by visiting our Learning Styles page at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com.

*** Material above is an excerpt from my book, The Everything Guide to Homeschooling, Copyright © 2015, available through our website at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com.

Have a Happy Homeschool Year!