One of the benefits of homeschooling is being able to adapt your children's curriculum to meet their needs and abilities. Since everyone learns differently, understanding your child's learning style will help you develop a personalized curriculum and an appropriate method of instruction that will make teaching more effective and learning easier.
The three basic learning styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic1,2,3.
Visual learners learn through imagery. They benefit from reading and viewing information on illustrations, posters, and maps. For example, a visual learner will remember the states and capitals better by seeing them on a map than by memorizing them in a song.
Auditory learners learn by listening. They retain information better when they hear it and say it. For example, an auditory learner will likely be able to remember historical facts better by watching a documentary than by reading them in a book.
Kinesthetic (tactile) learners learn through action. They benefit from hands-on activities and demonstrations. As an example, a kinesthetic learner will learn math concepts easier with manipulatives than by following written instructions.
To determine your child's dominant learning style, watch for clues. When you are teaching something new, would your child prefer to see an illustration, to listen to an explanation, or to physically take part? Would you like some guidance? Here are a couple of assessments created to help parents determine their children's (or their own) learning styles:
Once you have determined how your child learns best, try adapting the curriculum and your method of instruction to fit your child's learning style. Keep in mind that even though some senses are more dominant than others, we learn using all of them. Don't be afraid to use a variety of teaching methods to keep your child excited about learning.
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