“We don’t expect infants and toddlers to develop at the same rate or to do things in exactly the same way, so we do we transport all of our vital, lively distinctly different children to uniform environments, teach them all in one way, expect them to progress at the same pace, and call them below average if they don’t?” ~ Taken from Chapter One, Discover Your Child’s Learning Style.
One of the great aspects of homeschooling is the ability to fit the schooling to the child. Understanding your child’s learning style can be a lot of help in determining just exactly how to do that. Although not written specifically to homeschoolers, Discover Your Child’s Learning Style by Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Kindle Hodson is my favorite book to use during this process. The authors not only cover the learning styles, but also the externals such as lighting, time of day, and noise factors that affect your child’s ability to learn. They do this with the motivation of helping you help your child learn. There is no right or wrong, no best way of learning, but it is individualized to the child. Chapter Two’s title sums it up- Success for Every Child.
The Learning Style Model of Education is presented, utilizing each child’s Learning Style Profile, with the hope of teaching “…the child how to use learning-style information to learn more efficiently in all situations.” The profile reveals five aspects of the learning styles:
Disposition- Perform, Produce, Invent, Relate/Inspire, Think/Create
Talents- Music, Math-Logic, Mechanical Reasoning, Word-Language Reasoning, Spatial, Body Coordination, Interactive, Humor, Life Enhancement
Interests– Sports, Music, etc.
Modality- Auditory, Visual, Tactile-Kinesthetic
Environment- Sound, Lighting, Temperature, etc.
Included in the book are the Learning Style Profile assessments themselves, which are fairly painless. Your child will rate the areas where they feel strong and their own answers determine their results. This can be an eye-opening experience, as many times we will assume that our children learn the same way we do. It is suggested that you take the test along with your child, which I have done twice now. With my older children, I discovered that only one of them has the same learning style as me! As we tend to teach to our own learning style, this was important for me to grasp and understand. Many of my older children are hands on learners, I am visual. Knowing this prompted me to prioritize projects and hands-on activities, along with my natural leaning towards reading, writing, and computer work. We have recently taken the tests with my younger children and I have discovered that the youngest walks to the beat of his own drum- which in this family means he is logical and math oriented. As I am completely opposite, this book is vital to my understanding of how his brain works.
Many homeschoolers are hard at work planning the upcoming year, perhaps Discover Your Child’s Learning Style can play a part in making it a successful one. I know it’s been a blessing in our home.