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.
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)