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Learning Styles For Homeschooling Success

Aug 17, 2007
When you make a decision to begin to homeschool as a parent, one of the next steps to take is choosing a style or curriculum to follow. The choice of curriculum is very personal and philosophical for many, but at the same time should be based upon how
your child or children learn. This way your child learns is called a learning style.

Information about learning styles is helpful for all homeschool students, especially those who have been labeled "learning disabled". It may be that they were simply not taught in their learning style. Some insight to understand your child's learning style will help you to individualize study time and methods.

Certain things you observe with your child is a good staring point. Perhaps your child appears to be constantly fidgeting or moving? Most likely he is a tactile/kinesthetic learner and these movements are his way to learn and explore. Does your child seem to always be talking? Try encouraging his auditory approach to learning. Maybe your child asks to see the picture or the video of the lesson? She is learning visually. All these different approaches to learning can be accommodated with our home school curriculum!

Have you noticed that your child excels in some subjects, but struggles in others? Maybe you hear the phrase "This is boring" or your child can't wait to work on her favorite subject? Probably the "boring" subjects are not being presented in your child's learning style. It is much easier and more fun to study when you understand the subject in your own learning style. Understanding your child's style will help you to personalize her study time and methods.

Types of Learning Styles
1. The Visual Learner: Learning through seeing.
To fully understand the content of a lesson, this student needs to see the teacher's facial expression and body language. They tend to prefer sitting "up front" or close to the teacher so as to avoid distractions. During a discussion or lecture, they often take detailed notes to absorb the information. These students may think in pictures and learn best from visual displays such as: illustrated text books, videos, handouts, flipcharts, diagrams, and overhead transparencies.

2. The Auditory Learner: Learning through listening.
These students learn best through verbal discussions, lectures, listening to what others have to say, and talking things out. They interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to the pitch, speed, and tone of voice, as well as other nuances. To this student, written information has little meaning until it is heard. They benefit the most from reading and hearing text aloud.

3. The Tactile/Kinesthetic Learner: Learning through movement.
These are the students who are always moving, touching, and doing. They need to actively explore the world around them through a hands-on approach. They often find it difficult to sit still for long periods of time and can easily become distracted by their need for exploration and activity. They often benefit by listening to music, using bright colors, and moving as they study.

Understanding how your child learns will improve both parent and child homeschool learning experience. It will help you identify communication problems and improve your teaching skills, as well.
About the Author
Joyce Jackson is an educational expert and consultant in northern California. For her latest book and information see Homeschooling Easy.
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