How do you discover your child’s learning style? Knowing and teaching to your child’s learning style will open up their whole world. Your job, as a homeschool parent, is to help your child develop a love of learning. It is not to teach them everything they will ever need to know before they graduation. In fact, by teaching to your child’s learning style, it will give them one of the most important keys to a successful education.

Discovering your own learning style is critical, too. I know that’s a pretty strong statement, but I can’t emphasize the importance of this information. It will create a joy of learning for a lifetime for both of you.

Why Do You Need to Know About Learning Styles?

One of the blessings of homeschooling is that you do not have to follow the status quo. You can choose the method of instruction that works best for each child. By allowing your child to learn according to his learning style, you can avoid a lot of wasted time, frustration, and expense.

  • Knowing your child’s learning style will help you understand how your child thinks and reasons.
  • Understanding their learning style will help you be more tolerant of your child’s differences.
  • And knowing your child’s learning style will help them succeed.
  • Your child may be too young to have developed their learning style yet.
  • Your child’s learning style may be totally different than yours.
  • You and your child may have a combination of learning styles, but usually you will have one dominant style of learning.

 What Learning Styles Are Not

  • Learning styles are not intelligence indicators.
  • There is no right or wrong learning style.
  • A learning style is not the same thing as a learning modality. They go hand-in-hand, but they are not the     same thing.
  • Your learning modality may be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic (hands on).

There are Four Main Types of Learners or Learning Styles. Learning about the traits of individual learnings is a great way to discover your child’s learning style as well as your own.

 Our first character is Wiggly Willie or Wilma child thinking 5

1. Characteristics:
quick, intuitive, curious, realistic, creative, innovative, instinctive, adventurous

2. What they dislike:
being confined, too much structure, not being able to make some of his own choices, long school days

3. Their favorite subjects:
sports, art, contests, field trips

4. Teaching strategies:
use games and contests, hands-on experiments, tapes and videos, adventure stories, learning on the computer, math  manipulatives

Next is Perfect Paul or Paula perfect paul

1. Characteristics:
hardworking, conventional, accurate, stable, dependable, consistent, factual, organized

2. What they dislike:
changes in schedule, creativity, unclear expectations, a disorganized learning environment

3. Their favorite subjects:
math, spelling, geography, creating notebooks and having collections, studying or building timelines, history

4. Teaching strategies:
want clear assignments and want to know expectations, use samples and examples of what you want or expect, use drill and memorization, use timelines to help them process historical info

The third learning style is Competent Carl or Carla. book-383543_640

1. Characteristics:
objective, knowledgeable, thorough, structured, logical, deliberate, systematic

2. What they dislike:
being rushed, busy work especially if they have already mastered it, excessive emotional interaction

3. Their favorite subjects:
science, math, research, complex subjects, long-term independent projects

4. Teaching strategies:
using computers, fill their need for information, help them satisfy their curiosity, give logical step-by-step instructions, help them with social situations, genuinely recognize their achievements

The fourth learning style is Sociable Sam or Sue.  piano-78492_640

1.Characteristics:
sensitive, compassionate, perceptive, imaginative, sentimental, spontaneous, flexible

2. What they dislike:
detailed assignments, complex subjects, not being allowed to be creative and flexible, being left to themselves

3. Their favorite subjects:
creative wring, literature, humanities, the performing arts, public speaking, foreign languages

4. Teaching strategies:
unit studies, don’t be more detailed than you have to be, small groups, use historical fiction and biographies to teach history, lots of praise and encouragement on a job well done.

School At Home Frustrations

Very often home educators may experience problems when they attempt to do “school at home” because they are attempting to use the same regular school methods used in teaching a large classroom of students. Parents experience the set backs of the status quo schooling process, simply because they try to incorporate some of the same methods and materials used in a regular school setting instead of allowing themselves to develop their own home school setting and what works best for their family.  This can cause frustration as well as discouragement concerning your family’s teaching/learning experience.

Those bad experiences may also include spending money on curriculum that you feel just doesn’t work plus always changing methods looking for the “right” answer.  The answer can be found by observing your child to see how they choose to learn – is your child mainly a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner? Then go through the above list to help you discover his learning style by looking at the characteristics of each one, what they dislike, what are their favorite subjects, and what are the best teaching strategies of their learning approach.

What To Do Now

Once you know how they like to learn and understand their primary learning style, you’ll find that your child can succeed in any curriculum because now you know how to adapt the curriculum to your child’s learning style. Yes, certain curricula are better suited for certain learning styles, but you can also adapt the curriculum your using this year to meet your student’s learning needs.

To learn more about your child’s learning style and choosing curriculum, read Cathy Duffy’s book, 101 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum.

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