Many Christian families with homeschool parents are educating multiple children with an endless variety of learning style combinations and specific needs for their individual education. The key to having an engaged student can be found in understanding their learning style.
Rebecca is a Christian homeschooling mom of three who has been educating her two oldest children for the past two and a half years. Her oldest daughter, Joy, currently in second grade, is thriving and enthusiastically engages with home school learning. Rebecca’s son, Josiah, currently in first grade, struggles to find motivation and becomes easily distracted when it comes to his school work.
Rebecca is struggling to keep Josiah engaged and she’s unsure what to change so that each of her children flourish and learn in ways that are suited to their learning styles. Because of their varying learning styles, Rebecca knows that Joy and Josiah will need different approaches and different curriculum – and Rebecca is committed to providing an education tailored to each child’s needs.
While there are four main types of learning styles, each child will have a specific combination that works for them. The best place to start is simply to observe what it is that excites your learner most.
Here’s a summary of the four main learning styles along with a few activities you can implement into your practice to help cultivate your student’s imagination, engagement, confidence and ultimately develop a true love of learning. These learning styles will be an important addition to your homeschooling resources toolkit.
The Visual Learner
You know you’ve got a visual learner on your hands if they seem to have an uncanny ability to recognize people, places, or things that exist in their environment. They may prefer books loaded with illustrations, pictures, and maps to books with only words. Young visual learners gravitate toward creating their own works of art and excel at most other visual activities.
One great activity for visual learners is to integrate drawing opportunities into every subject. For example, if you are doing a science curriculum about trees, invite your learner to go outdoors, collecting items from a few different trees at a park or even in your own backyard. She can organize them into groups and categories, draw them in a journal, and then discuss what each item does in the life cycle of a tree. She might also benefit from flash cards, color coded notes, and creating diagrams. Try this scavenger hunt activity with your visual learner to get their brains blossoming.
Visual learners are such creative souls, and that is why they require a lot of unique and innovative approaches to their classroom learning. Remember to keep them excited and turn the work of learning into fun exploration.
The Auditory Learner
Auditory learners give themselves away with their sweet humming and singing as they play and study. This is the kid who hears a song once and can remember most of the words and sings aloud the next time he hears it. This learner is very good at performing verbal tasks, and is never short on questions when completing an activity.
Auditory learners love to make up rhymes and stories to go along with what they’re learning, and they’re great at letting you know what they think of a topic or issue. If you’re struggling to get your child to focus during a history lesson, let them check out Story Songs and then ask them to make up their own song about the historical topic you’re trying to teach. They’ll have fun writing their own song, and it will help them remember the facts while they flex their creativity at the same time. Recording their performance of the song is just the icing on the cake. I can assure you that there is nothing more adorable and heart-melting than a kid singing about The Boston Tea Party.
Auditory learners will keep you on your toes because they hear EVERYTHING. They are curious little sponges, soaking up and internalizing everything around them as they learn.
The Kinesthetic Learner
You know you have a kinesthetic learner when you are constantly reminding your squirmy student to stay in their seat. Hands-on action is where this type of learner thrives. These are the kids who have great coordination, and excel at sports and drama. They learn best when they are able to physically move.
Give your kinesthetic learner a stress ball or slime to help them productively get the wiggles out while they are studying. To help make their instruction time more fun and active, give them more break times where they can take a quick walk or play a game related to their study unit.
Check out our 50 Fall Family Activities post to get inspired with a few ideas for cultivating an active instructional lifestyle for your kinesthetic learner, many of which can be enjoyed year round!
The Reading/Writing Learner
Does your child love reading and retelling the story she just read? Does she make lists and create her own story books? Does she prefer to work in quiet spaces without distraction? She is most likely a reading/writing learner.
Encourage her learning style by making written material the base of all her instructional time. She’ll enjoy reading a variety of books and will retain information from taking her own notes. Give her an opportunity to rewrite study topics in her own words. Book reports and essay writing are an enjoyable task for any reading/writing learner. Enroll her in a reading program at your local library, or ask her to write her thoughts on a specific topic she’s assigned to research to dive deeper into the lesson.
No matter what type of learning style your children have, or how challenging it can be to make learning fun and effective for everyone, you are not alone in this journey of child development. Head over to our Facebook page to find solidarity and encouragement in our Christian parenting community, along with resources to support you as you go. We are all in this together!
“Finding Your Fit: The 4 Most Common Types of Learners.” Finding Your Fit: The 4 Most Common Types of Learners | Rasmussen College, www.rasmussen.edu/student-experience/college-life/most-common-types-of-learners/.“What Type Of Learner Is Your Child?” GradePower Learning, 20 June 2018, gradepowerlearning.com/what-type-learner-is-my-child/