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:
|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|
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?