Have you tapped into your child's learning style?

Posted on October 11, 2011 at 8:25 AM

(most all young children are Wiggly Willy learning style. You need to wait until they are closer to 9 or 10 years old to be sure you have correctly identified their learning style. However, you may get some tell-tale signs early on when you notice them playing. Here my youngest one has "neatly" stacked blocks and his play area is "organized" in that he just gets out ouf the box what he need instead of dumping the whole thing over. Perfect Paul tendencies I noticed  then and YES guess what? That IS his learning style now that he is older.)

Like any tool, if it's used in the wrong way it can cause damage or be damaged. Our children are similar.

If we don't educate ourselves about each child's strengths and weaknesses in their learning style, then we won't help each child reach their full potential. Early on, I looked for signs of the type of learning style each one of my sons would be.

Let's define learning style because I don't mean modes. What is mode? It has to do with the senses (touching, seeing, hearing). There is plenty of free information on the senses. You probably already know if your child prefers visual over auditory instructions or visa versa.

My definition of learning style is a personality. It means what we prefer to learn and how we communicate to others. Cathy Duffy has to be given credit for coining terms like Perfect Paul, Competent Carl, Socialable Sue and Wiggly Willy. Instead of using words like concrete sequential learner, you can now "picture" the type of learner, for example, that a Wiggly Willy is. He wiggles and needs to move.

Like the tool mentioned before, it is "wired" to be used one way. Ever thought about changing a blender to a toaster. Yes seems absurd but that is exactly what some of us do when we start homeschooling.

Instead of accepting our child's learning style, we try to "change" their personality to study subjects the way "we" think is best or study in the location "we" feel is best.

If we think there should be no moving while school is going on and the child should always be looking us otherwise they are distracted we will have huge problems if we have a Wiggly Willy.

What we need to understand as home educators is that children WANT to please us. When we appear to think something is wrong with them because we don't change our methods of homeschooling, a child usually has no choice except to default to tears and lots of them. Too, acting up is another sign something is wrong. If the tears or acting up is not because of rebellion, you can be breeding a resistant learner.

The best book that helps to define and give you characteristics about learning styles is Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks on Curriculum. Yes, its more than a reference for curriculum, it is a manual on personalities. Then the book even matches up learning styles to help you make a better choice for curriculum.

And no, I don't get anything for talking about this book, I only want to see you succeed at homeschooling.

Hugs for today and remember this quote as you educate yourself, stay flexible to change to your child's needs and be determined to do what is best for them not just comfortable for you.

If a man (or child) does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. (italics mine)

~Henry David Thoreau~

©2011 Tina Robertson of New Beginnings


Categories: New Bee Articles-Curriculum/How to's/Teaching/Subjects, New Bee Articles-Common Homeschooling Mistakes