Every child is born with an incredible ability to learn but each one learns differently whether they attend school or are homeschooled. What works for one child may not work for another. Because of that, parents and teachers need to be aware of how their child is “wired" to learn.
Most schools have one “model" of education that is supposed to fit all children's learning needs. Homeschooling parents have an advantage here, because no one knows a child better than his own parents. Plus, they can also tailor their child's education to suit his particular learning style. The things that affect a child's learning style are his disposition, talents, interests, and his environment. There three major types of learner-the visual learner, the auditory learner, and the kinesthetic learner.
The Visual Learner
A child, who learns best by seeing, will watch facial expressions very closely. Be aware that you are sending him both positive and negative messages with your eyes, and he will respond accordingly. This type of person might have a great sense of direction and will probably love to draw, paint or color. Pictures, videos, and television can be great teaching tools for him. Visual images can also be a distraction as well.
The Auditory Learner
Auditory learners are very sensitive to voice tones and inflections. It is almost like there is a tape recorder in the child's head repeating what you say over and over again. He doesn't have to look at you to “get it. " They have an excellent memory for details and above average language skills. They may find it easy to learn a foreign language or a musical instrument. Tape recorders with headphones are great learning tools for the auditory learner. Outside noises can easily distract him from learning.
The Kinesthetic Learner
Studies show that approximately 50-60% of the population are tactile learners. This group learns by moving, doing, touching, and experiencing. Yet this is the same group that often gets labeled as hyperactive and gets into the most trouble in school. These individuals actually learn best by one-on-one teaching and often thrive in a homeschooled setting. They are usually “on the go" and may become great athletes or dancers. They work well with their hands whether it be with art or tools. These learners also usually have great coordination. Making them “sit still" can hinder their learning because then their mind begins to race and their imagination kicks in. They have instantly tuned out whatever the teacher is trying to say.
By learning your child's particular learning style you can help unlock the wonderful world of knowledge for him. There is no greater reward for a teacher or parent than to see that look of wonderment in a child's eyes when he finally understands something. Hopefully these tips can help you do that.
Julie Jackson is a marketing consultant for Laurel Springs School, http://www.laurelsprings.com She is also a freelance writer and a health enthusiast. She lives in Ojai, California and is passionate about homeschooling.