Friday, August 16, 2013

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

One of the best things about homeschooling is the ability to tailor your child's education to suit his or her own needs and personality.  Right-brained children in particular seem to benefit from the greater flexibility a homeschool education can offer.  Pinpointing exactly what your child's needs are and how best to teach them isn't always easy, though; something as simple as the wrong lighting or a cluttered work space can affect a student.  If the child's learning style differs greatly from that of the parent, it can be especially difficult to figure out what you need to do to be as effective a teacher as possible.  Luckily there are some great resources to help us out!  Here are a couple of great books to check out if you'd like to know more about your child's individual learning style:

The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles: A Fresh and Demystifying Approach by Carol Barnier is a great book that offers lots of ideas for educating the "non-traditional learner".  The book is relevant and useful for parents and teachers of kids K-12.

In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences by Thomas Armstrong is an easy-to-read, extremely helpful book for parents who want to understand a child's unique gifts.  The book explains eight different types of intelligence, and how to determine which of them are strongest in your child.  This is a fascinating read that has helped many, many homeschooling families.  (Though it's written for parents, I think it would be very helpful for classroom teachers as well.)

I read both of these books last year and immediately started modifying our curriculum and making adjustments.  It's no coincidence that Hunter, always a struggling reader, has made so much progress so quickly that he now reads at grade level (an enormous gain)!  We're moving forward with the understanding that Hunter is, like many boys, primarily a visual and kinesthetic learner.  I'm very excited to see small changes in my teaching make such a huge difference in the results.  I wish I'd read these books sooner!

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