One of the most exciting aspects of homeschooling is the ability to tailor your child’s education specifically to their needs. In fact, it’s why many families choose to homeschool in the first place! Whether it’s due to special need or a simply a desire for more flexibility, it’s wonderful to be able to choose what works for you and what doesn’t.
Everyone can benefit from considering their child’s learning style. It turns out that learning styles are like love languages – since we see the world through our own “lens,” we tend to gravitate toward curricula and teaching methods that fit our own learning style as a teacher or parent. That’s great if we happen to have the same learning style as our student – but can pose some challenges if we don’t!
Ultimately, the goal is to be comfortable with each style of receiving information. Knowing your child’s learning style can help you choose the best way to present challenging new information. You can introduce other styles of learning when it comes to topics your child has already begun to master.
Here is some info on the different learning styles commonly identified by educators, as well as some tips on how to recognize your child’s main learning style.
Auditory learners prefer to take in information by hearing. Auditory learners are great communicators and often learn to talk the earliest. They remember verbal instructions, songs, and stories easily. They tend to struggle with attention to detail in written work, math, science, and history.
- Learning tools: Music, rhymes, audiobooks, conversation
- Activities: Music, reading out loud, rhythm, reading out loud,
Auditory learners should be encouraged to pay attention to details of visual information.
Visual (or spatial) learn the most from what they see. They’re typically early readers. They are likely to have a neat drawing style and handwriting. They might struggle with creative writing and anything that requires “outside the box” thinking.
- Learning tools: Matching games, flash cards, charts, pictures, graphs, timelines, video, maps
- Activities: Putting together puzzles, reading, taking notes, organizing objects, creating graphs and charts
Visual learners should be encouraged to consider abstract concepts.
Tactile learners are driven by their sense of touch. They are often very active, constantly moving and physically expressive. They like lots of “action.” They are great at taking things apart and putting them back together. They might struggle with listening to directions and with remembering smaller parts of a longer project.
- Learning tools: craft projects, math manipulatives, tracing, creating visual tools, dramatic play (acting out a scene from history)
- Activities: running, jumping, sports, cooking, crafts, dancing, demonstration
Tactile learners should be encouraged to repeat oral information and create visual tools.
As you can see, these different learning styles can dramatically affect what kind of activities will work best for teaching your child. As you consider their learning style, keep in mind that many learners will have some overlap in the ways they learn, so don’t get too hung up if your child displays signs of 2 or even all of the learning styles – just choose activities that appeal to all those different groups and see how your child responds. You can probably identify your child’s learning style just by knowing more about the behavior patterns associated with each one, but if you’d like more clarification, you can take this quiz.
Consider what your learning style is, too! It can help you in how you approach learning and help you be a more effective teacher. If you’re an auditory learner, for example, you’ll know you have to make more of an effort to consider the visual aspects of learning, too – especially if that’s your child’s style.