As an educator, the thing I love most about homeschooling, is our ability to provide individualized education plans for each of our children. I don’t know about you, but each of my children were very different. In order for me to teach them well, and prepare them for life ahead, I needed to make sure I used the best teaching methods suited to their learning style.
My homeschooling goal for my children was to prepare them with a strenuous education, so that no matter what calling they had, they would have a great educational foundation. I wasn’t perfect, by any means, but did my best.
I believe that teaching children to learn in the way that they learn best, will help them to love learning. This will help them to be life-long learners. This helps to develop character. As I taught homeschool, I spent much of my summers learning about learning. I already had a degree in (Music Education) so I had taken many education courses in college. These courses helped me to understand a lot about lesson planning and the importance of scope and sequence. I knew that just jumping around with a lot of unit studies wasn’t going to cover everything that I wanted to cover. Gaps will happen, of course. But, I didn’t want to add to them by my own lack of planning and organization.
When I began to learn about “learning styles”, I pictured myself and each of my children. Each of us stood out in one style or another. Some of us over-lapped in more than one style. This is why most curriculum plans are written so that we teach, using all of the learning styles. (That way it works for a classroom full of kids) It also works for children who have a balance of many styles.
You may find that one of your children is struggling with school or just one subject in school. This is a good time to make sure you are teaching to their dominant learning style. It helps to capture their attention and makes it easier for them to focus, naturally. I had a child who was very visual. When I began to use visual learning projects with her, with the Konos curriculum, she loved it. Konos is also a great curriculum to use with more than one child, because there is much hands-on learning. The curriculum provides many learning projects to choose from in each section, from all the different learning styles.
If you’re not sure what learning style your child is, you can read more about it. You can also have them tested. Check with a local college that has a teacher’s education department. Many times they offer tutoring and testing. Oftentimes, it’s free, because the student teachers are being trained in giving these tests. So, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Focusing on learning styles is not the only way to plan education, of course. But, it’s an interesting way to look at how each of your children is learning. It certainly is a good option to check into if your children have had any struggles with their curriculum. When I earned my master’s in education, we studied differentiated instruction. This term is used in the classroom, when the teacher needs to use all methods available to make sure that every child is able to learn. Homeschoolers need to, and usually, do this naturally. If you must use the same curriculum with every child (aka ABeka) you can add things to this program to meet specific learning needs. (I’m just using ABeka as an example- I like their books and used them quite a lot).
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me on the contact form. I would also love to hear comments about how you’ve used learning styles in your homeschool! Thanks.
@2016, copyright Lisa Ehrman