Here’s the deal with homeschooling. If you’re going to turn your back on the traditional style of schooling, you’ll need to make it worth while. How do you do that? You make sure that your child has the best possible chance of getting the best education possible. This is easily done by determining your child’s learning style. Most children lean naturally toward one of the four main learning styles, meaning they take in and retain information more effectively when it is presented to them in one of four ways.
There are four main learning styles: kinesthetic, visual, auditory, and tactile.
Kinesthetic learners are active, hands-on children that learn best through movement and activity. These children learn best by moving and tend to be good at sports, dance, and drama.
I stand in firm belief that the majority of Black children are kinesthetic learners.
Kinesthetic learners have a hard time sitting still and may fidget while working. They may be heavy multi-taskers, needing to listen to music and rock and bounce while working. They need a “beat” to follow while they work. Kinesthetic learners may be able to focus better sitting on an exercise ball while they work, or even standing. Sitting still may actually make it harder for them to pay attention.
Visual learners best take in information in ways that they can see. These children need images, videos, drawings, diagrams, maps, and artwork. Drawing pictures can help them to remember vocabulary words and making diagrams to drive home math facts are helpful tools for these learners.
These children need to take notes, make lists, highlight concepts, and sketch ideas. They also need their learning environment to be quiet. These children may process information well with notebooking and lapbooking.
Auditory learners learn best through sound. These are the children who do well with lectures and read-alouds. They talk a lot and like to listen to music. They’re the learners who do well putting facts to music to study for a test and who respond well to oral directions.
Auditory learners may read out loud to themselves when trying to understand something. They tend to be good with words and foreign languages and are abstract thinkers.
Tactile learners are sometimes grouped with kinesthetic learners because they, are hands-on learners. The difference is that tactile learners learn best through exploring with their senses.
Tactile learners are the kids who like to manipulate things – blocks, math manipulatives, models, and puzzle pieces. These kids learn by doing and touching. Good tactile teaching tips include letting a child “write” out their spelling words with their finger on sandpaper or in shaving cream, using beans as counters when practicing math skills, or building salt-dough maps when studying geography.
Now that you’re familiar with the basic learning styles, you probably have a good idea which one best suits your child(ren). If you still have questions, I recommend reading The Way They Learn.
There are also several online learning style assessments, such as the Vark assessment for kids 12-18 years old and EducationPlanner’s online assessment tool. Eclectic Homeschooling also has a great little quiz for determining your child’s learning style.