Homeschooling introduces us to many theories of how to teach our children. When you start to hear about them or read about them, it can be overwhelming. But, it helps to know the basics before you start buying curriculum. I have degrees in education, so I know something of this. When I homeschooled, I was extremely interested in learning styles.
My children were 5 years apart in age and very different in personality. We felt like they were all first-born children, and they didn’t line up with the traditional first-born, middle and baby child patterns. That was fine with us, but I wanted to pick a curriculum that worked well for them. Attending my state convention in Virginia, I learned so much about planning. I also found a book about Learning Styles.
I loved this little book which I immediately could identify each of my children in their particular learning style. As I read the book, it made so much sense how they reacted to their course-work. If they were visual, I could see the problems they had with a lesson that was completely auditory. Or, if they were hands-on, they had trouble sitting still and doing work-sheets all day.
I never dreamed there would be any problem with worksheets. My learning style is the type that loves worksheets, quizzes and routines. As a teacher, I was extremely comfortable doing ABeka or something similar. When I tried to teach in a different learning style, I was completely out of my comfort zone, and it was hard!
But, understanding that it was ok to struggle, as long as it was benefitting my children made me feel great!. My oldest was then put in a room to do his A Beka, because he really needed a quiet place to do his work. The other two and I did KONOS unit studies in a separate room. This plan worked so well. KONOS provided all the subjects except Math and English. The topics had projects to do as a family, but some were for younger children and some for older children. The kids and I loved it and they loved learning.
This was one of our favorite seasons of homeschooling. Trying to find the perfect learning program for your child is the best kind of education a child can hope for. It certainly doesn’t make everything perfect, but it provides them the easiest way to understand what they’re expected to learn.
As my children got older, they had to learn primarily from textbooks and online. We didn’t stick with unit studies or hands-on activities. We did more of a classical/charlottemason mix. But, when they needed to learn or memorize or drill for tests, I reminded them of how they learned best. They used some of those methods to prepare and did very well. This helped prepare them for college. They even used the study methods in college. The oldest has a masters, the middle child is getting a masters and the youngest is a junior in college.
Some people criticize learning style theory, but I know it worked in our home. What do you think about it? Do you have a particular way to choose your curriculum? There are so many things to consider. That’s what I love about homeschooling. Learning styles is just one of the many things to consider when planning your child’s education.
@2017, copyright Lisa Ehrman