Homeschooling and Learning Styles

Sep 23rd, 2009 | By | Category: Featured Articles

I talk about the importance of  teaching to a child’s learning style all the time.  That it is one of the greatest advantages to homeschooling; that it makes all of the difference when a child is struggling with a specific concept; that the inability to do so is one of the reasons why our public schools are failing so miserably.

But this week, it was my eight year old who had to “preach” about learning styles.

I am an auditory learner.  Tell me something (when I am listening) and I will get it right away.  I can process that information; I can quickly problem solve; and I can use it in later conversations when necessary.

I don’t need a visual.  In fact, the new Microsoft Office drives me nuts because it is designed for visual learners and I just cannot navigate that system with the same ease that I could the old one.

So when I am in a hurry or when we have a time constraint on what we are studying, I tend to shift back into auditory mode.  In fact, just the other day I was working with my eight year old on math, trying to help her to understand basic pre-division concepts.  We had only a few more minutes before we had to head out for soccer so I was trying to get it done in as little time as possible.

She kept trying to draw out 30 objects and I kept trying to just get her to the answer.

“Amanda, just focus.  Listen to what I am saying.”

Her response:  “But Mom.  Drawing it helps me to understand it!”

Oops!  Talk about one of those moments when we hear our own words resounding in our heads.

Needless to say, I took a deep breath, pulled out the counting bears and counted out 30 of them.  We started by dividing them into 3 groups of 10, then into 10 groups of 3.  Suddenly, it all made sense and the answer to the problem was simple.

And we did all of that with only about two ”auditory” modes of explanation.

If you are finding yourself struggling with helping your kids to understand, step back and look.  Are you teaching in your own learning style or are you speaking their language?

It makes all the difference in the world.

Additional homeschooling posts:

No More Winter Blues! 10 Great Ideas to Keep Your Homeschooler Active During Winter
Baby, it’s cold outside! For many of us the time of year for shorter days and winter hats is upon us.

Homeschooling Student Spotlight: Ashley Zinsmeyer – Teaching and Learning are a Never-Ending Circle of Love, Faith, and Growth
Ashley Zinsmeyer both began and finished her high-school curriculum through homeschooling, and found it to be a rewarding experience that bolstered her faith and fostered joy in both learning and teaching others.

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5 comments
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  1. [...] then online homeschooling is a great option.   If a parent has several children who have different academic needs and just cannot find the time to focus on each individual, then online homeschooling provides a way [...]

  2. Home Schooling is also nice since you got to always see your kids.`*’

  3. How do effective home schooling parents teach a child who resists instruction – ie likes to argue about the question and answer – but if left to “figure it out by yourself” always pleads for help “… this problem just doesn’t make sense. Please help me!”?

    Our son is polite to other people outside of the home, but rude to his parents. (I realize this is not unique behavior.) How do effective parents bring their child’s nice behavior outside of home into the home? The reason I ask is our son is currently in private school, but when we think about home schooling we are always put off by our son’s beligerence toward us when we help him out with his school work.

    What do we need to do to promote our son’s effective learning and his respect toward us?

    Thanks.

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