Does Your Baby Prefer Frontline or Nova?

Sometimes I get totally fascinated by the most boring subjects.

Like learning styles, for instance.

I’m sure that reading about the way people learn would be lower than say – – watching an infomercial at 2 a.m. – – on some people’s priority scale, but I find it perfectly absorbing.

If you don’t know a lot about learning styles, then I’ll give you my super-condensed Topsy-Techie primer.

Visual Learners  – -  if your kid would steer his baby walker to the tv at age 6 mos., and stop to watch anything on – – even the Newshour on PBS – -  then you might have a visual learner. (Yep, H-T was a huge Newshour fan as a babe)

Auditory Learners – – if your kid talks  non-stop, repeats back everything other people say, or sings from morning till night – – then you might have an auditory learner. (Uber has to discuss EVERYTHING before it takes hold in his head.  He will readily admit that most anything he has retained has been because he has had a conversation about it with someone)

Kinesthetic/Tactile Learners – – if your kid has built two Lego castles and one Lego moat before you could finish reading one chapter aloud of his favorite King Arthur story – – then you might have a kinesthetic/tactile learner. (my boys each have kinesthetic/tactile as their secondary learning style)

Now you might be saying…”Topsy is such a genius. Look at all she knows about learning styles!”  And I would reply…”I’ll send you the 20 bucks via Paypal." But the truth is…I had to learn this stuff the hard way.  By slamming into the brick wall of curriculum choice vs. learning style. 

Early in our homeschool career, I desperately wanted to use Sonlight.  I LOVED the idea of reading aloud to my kids all day, and discussing good literature, and doing projects based on what we were reading.  I couldn’t possibly imagine a more lovely way to learn.

SLAM!

That was me hitting the brick wall of reality, when my boys became bored – quickly – – with me reading to them all day, and discussing good literature, and doing projects based on what we were reading.  “This is LAME,” I heard, more than once. 

Impossible!  I couldn’t figure out why this lovely, perfectly educational curriculum wasn’t working for us.  And then I read about learning styles, and how some homeschool materials and curricula are better suited for certain kids, based on HOW they learn.

One cool resource I recently discovered was the Homeschooling Books website, which lets you search for homeschool materials by learning style, thinking style, personality, and expression.  Now THAT’S a good idea!  Understanding the uniqueness of your child and using an eclectic assortment of resources to help him or her learn best. (For more info on eclectic homeschooling, check out my post on Home-School Online today.)

What about you?  Does your child(ren) have a noticeable learning style?  How does it play out in their homeschooling?

(Note: Homeschooling Books has a decidedly Christian slant, but offers secular resources as well)

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7 Responses

  1. Most people automatically assume James is a kinestic learner (and to some degree he is; I would argue 95% of all young learners are) because he is so hugely active. However, he leans largely to auditory learning; my dream of someday getting him to shut up – I mean of having peace and quiet – seems that it will be in vain.

    • Holly – Not to worry…I discovered that when auditory learners get girlfriends, things get a LOT quieter in the house. (But oh – – the poor girlfriend is under the bus, I’m afraid!) 😉

  2. I have a total auditory learner over here. It’s all about making a song or a “rhyme” has he calls it of EVERYTHING. Learning what works is half the battle, in my opinion.

    Oh, and I made the Sonlight mistake too. I loved it. He hated it. When I’m done with him, I’m ordering every single Sonlight core for myself. I LOVE BOOKS!!!!

    • Oooh, Mom1, we’ll split the cost of the Sonlight and read to our little hearts content!!!

  3. I guess I’m an auditory learner, and I never even knew it – my 5-year-old and I have been known to have entire conversations in song, so I guess he is too. The older guy is visual, with an auditory secondary style… and hubby is pure kinesthetic.
    This is an interesting way to think about learning – thanks!

    • Karen – the entire conversations in song DEFINITELY belongs on YouTube! And then, of course, reposted to your blog!! THAT, I want to see!

  4. I have read tons of stuff about learning styles but you hit it on th head for me today. THIS is why my almost 7 year old doesn’t stop talking. Ever. This is why he talks even if he is in a room alone. Thank you.

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