As a parent who has decided to home school, you have a serious commitment to quality instruction. But do you know who’s in your classroom? Is your child an auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner? Understanding how your child learns will enable you to choose appropriate instruction and activities for your child. More than one child can mean more than one learning style but there are things you can do to be sure you’re reaching all the learners in your family.
Let’s find out what type of learner is in your home classroom, take the quiz. Then I can give you a few quick points to take their education to the next level:
Visual Learners – are right brain, creative, conceptual thinkers that need to see what they’re learning. They’re also known as visual-spatial thinkers because their strong spatial skills give them a keen awareness of size, space and relationships, which can lead to giftedness in math and science. Visual kids can struggle in traditional education settings because they are less adept at language, lecture, memorization, drills and timed testing.
When teaching your visual learner:
- Make lessons visual and hands on.
- Teach them concept before details, so they understand the why before the how.
- Use whole word approaches to reading and language.
- Encourage your visual kids to take notes, doodle to stay involved, and use color to help them remember.
For more tips see my article, 10 Tips for Teaching Visual Learners
Auditory Learners – are left brain, linear thinkers that approach the world in a one right answer kind of a way. Also known as auditory-sequential thinkers, these kids are logical, think in a progression of steps and learn best through drill and repetition. These learners tend to make teaching easier because they’re more organized, and are comfortable with multiple-choice, true false tests. Their thinking style is a good fit for traditional teaching methods.
When teaching your auditory learner:
- Use phonics to teach reading.
- Use lecture, discussion and recorded books.
- Let them talk things out.
- Use flashcards, repetition and memorization techniques.
For more information on auditory learners see my post, Is Your Child an Auditory Learner?
Kinesthetic Learners – also known as tactile learners, these kids need to touch, see and move when they learn. They need to keep their bodies involved when learning, so don’t do well sitting and listening lecture style. They may want to listen to music, dance, walk, or move to study. Kinesthetic learners work well with their hands, have strong hand eye coordination and strong motor memory, so techniques that utilize these skills are more likely to be successful.
When teaching your tactile learner:
- Make lessons visual and include hands-on activity.
- Let them build models and act out what they’re learning.
- Use manipulatives when teaching math.
- Let them move when learning or studying.
Many of the strategies that work for visual learners also work for tactile learners. My Chocolate Math for Visual Learners post is an excellent manipulatives activity for teaching math to your tactile learner.
By understanding each learning style, you can adapt or adjust your teaching style to suit the needs of your child. Or – pat yourself on the back for already being on the right track.