2 Tricks to Easier Teaching – and Learning – in Your Home School

Written by Sandy Polen, Veteran Homeschooling Dad

I Have to Teach!

You’ve made the decision to home educate your child or children and have just come to the realization that you have to teach them Math, Science, English and Social Studies. Before you go off to curl up in the corner and whimper you need to remember that if your children see that you are afraid of school, they will be too.

So why are you afraid? Because teaching, especially teaching your kids who you can’t get to even put their clothes in the hamper, is scary/hard—pick one.

Well, actually it’s not scary and it’s not hard. You see there is are tricks to teaching.

People have various ways in which they learn. Some learn through auditory input; that is, they learn by having a subject explained to them. Some learn by visual input; they learn by seeing visual examples. And some learn by tactile input; they have to touch and manipulate things to see it happen.

Trick #1: Know Your Student’s Learning Style

According to about.com’s Learning Styles information, the following may hold the key characteristics that you can use to determine what type of learner your student is:

Auditory Visual Tactile
Likes to read to self out loud Is good at spelling but forgets names Is good at sports
Is not afraid to speak in class Needs quiet study time Can’t sit still for long
Likes oral reports Has to think awhile before understanding lecture Is not great at spelling
Is good at explaining Likes colors & fashion Does not have great handwriting
Remembers names Dreams in color Likes science lab
Notices sound effects in movies Understands/likes charts Studies with loud music on
Enjoys music Is good with sign language Likes adventure books, movies
Is good at grammar and foreign language Likes role playing
Reads slowly Takes breaks when studying
Follows spoken directions well Builds models
Can’t keep quiet for long periods Is involved in martial arts, dance
Enjoys acting, being on stage Is fidgety during lectures
Is good in study groups
Try using the chart to determine your child/children’s learning style. Don’t be surprised if they fall into a combination of two of the categories. And don’t be surprised if they are all different!

Trick #2: Know Your Own Learning Style

You should use the chart to determine what learning style you use. Knowing your own style will help you understand when your child/children don’t see things the way you do.

We determined that Debi is mostly visual and slightly auditory in her learning style; I’m about 50/50 between visual and tactile; while Stephen is 80% tactile, 15% visual, and 5% auditory. This tended to drive conflicts in study styles between teacher and student until we finally figured this out.

So, basically, you need to allow your student(s) to learn by their own method. However, you really should draw the line when your 7 year old wants to build a nuclear reactor in the basement.

I’ll get into more specifics in the next Blog article.

Your Learning Style Experiences

Are there differences in your learning style and those of your children? What are some of the successful adjustments that you’ve made to make your homeschooling experience easier?

About ATUB

Another Turn Used Books specializes in gently-used books, textbooks, educational magazines, and educational toys and aids for the benefit of avid readers, homeschoolers, educators, and students. Our online bookstore is built through consignment. We also offer several fund-raising options for non-profit organizations.

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