This is the first in my 4 part series of how to sift through curriculum to find what is right for your family. The first topic we are going to dig into is, learning styles. These will be short post talking about: learning styles, teaching styles, writing out your purpose, and how to pick a curriculum. So let’s jump in! 🙂
Have you ever asked yourself, why does my child repeat things or like to read things out loud? Or why does my child like to move around in their chair and have a hard time just sitting and doing their lesson?
I have 5 kiddos and each one does things a little differently. But I have noticed now as they are getting older, that the reason they do different things is because they learn different ways. There are three main types of learning styles: auditory, visual and kinesthietic. Until about 2nd-3rd grade you may have a hard time telling which one is your child’s main style and until then they really use all 3. What are these learning styles and how can you help your child really learn with it?
Does your child repeat things out loud? Does he have a hard time concentrating in loud rooms? Does he like to read things out loud? Have an amazing ability to remember peoples names?
If you answered yes to these questions, you child could have an auditory learner. Here are some ideas you can help your child learn in their unique way:
- Have them repeat instructions to you, if you tell them to do something for school (or in general) have them repeat what you said
- Play soft music to help them focus
- Put things to music to help them memorize (this is a huge key with my ones who are auditory learners!)
- Have them read out loud
- Read out loud to them and use audio books
Does your child notice small details? Do they love picture books or gravity towards chapter books that have pictures in them? Does she get distracted easily? Is oral instruction hard to them to grasp?
If you answered yes to these, you could have a visual learner. Visual learners love having things to look at and be able to see, not just hear, what you’re talking about. Some ideas to help them:
- Demonstrate how they are suppose to do something, whether that’s a math concept to a chore
- Use flash cards
- Don’t have them doing schoolwork in a place with a lot going on, instead have them be in a place with not a lot to look at so they don’t get distracted
- Choose curriculum that is visually appealing, black and white is hard for them
Does your child have a hard time sitting while you are trying to do school with them? Do they learn more by doing, then hearing you or even watching you?
You may have a kinesthetic learner. I have one of these (at least one so far ;)) and here are some tips to help him/her be able to focus and succeed in school.
- Spell while through a ball back and forth or jumping up and do
- Let them stand at the table and do school rather than sitting
- Do more hands on with them, for my son to read a list of words now I put it on a small white board and each time he says the word correctly he gets to be a magician and make the word disappear by wiping it away. Something small but has helped him feel more confident and have fun learning.
- I’ve heard of some using fidget toys too that they play with while doing school
Learning styles should never be looked on as a hinderance but instead a way to come along side your child to help them succeed in whatever they do. It’s an opportunity we have to help them learn how they learn best and find those ways to help them thrive. Two books that I found to be a huge help are by Cynthia Tobias called The Way They Learn and Every Child Can Succeed. They are great resources to help you dig more into your child’s learning style!
What learning style do you think your child has?