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Find Your Preferred Method of Learning

Books rule!  We love books.  We absorb books.  Anything that we need to know can be learned in a book.  Sometimes people ask me why our reading lists were so incredibly long.  It wasn't because I assigned all those books, I can tell you that much!  For both of my boys, reading is their "love language."  Give them a book, and they will love you forever.  Every Christmas, their wish list includes specific books.  Our reading list is so long because that's how my children learn best.

Try to identify the preferred method of learning for your child.  Maybe they learn best by doing.  Maybe they learn best when the hear something.  Maybe they can imitate anything once they see it done first.  It doesn't have to be about books – just find the way they learn best.

Sometimes they'll learn a subject no matter how your present it.  But when you run into trouble, and they seem to just hate something, go back to their preferred method of learning.  Try those strategies again, to learn the subjects they hate.

My kids were wonderful at math and science, so you might think that every subject came easy for them.  It didn't!  My children positively hated art!  Especially Kevin!  In order to teach them art, after failing and failing at different hands-on projects, I finally got smart.  I found BOOKS about art.  I chose biographies of artists, and books with just the artwork of MC Escher (a big hit with my engineer) and art books with just impressionists (a big hit with my history buff.)  We ended up doing pretty well with art, when I focused on teaching them HISTORY of art, and art through books.

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A big reading list can really impress the colleges when you apply.  Learn more about preparing your homeschooler for college in my Dig Deeper Page.
Homeschooling High School and Feeling Alone?
How to Read a Million Books in a Week
 

Comments 2

Guest - Stephanie on Friday, 23 January 2009 21:02

Great reminder! This is something that I routinely struggle with even though our dd isn't high school age yet (though she is doing high school work.) I know how she learns, but because it isn't "traditional" I fall back into trying to fit her round peg into the traditional square hole. You've given me a lot of great reminders this year, so hopefully I can stop doing that!

Great reminder! This is something that I routinely struggle with even though our dd isn't high school age yet (though she is doing high school work.) I know how she learns, but because it isn't "traditional" I fall back into trying to fit her round peg into the traditional square hole. You've given me a lot of great reminders this year, so hopefully I can stop doing that!
Guest - J W on Friday, 23 January 2009 17:32

This can really transform relationships!

My husband and I have had our own tranformations once we realized that we were wired for different learning styles. One time, we witnessed a mother and her grown daughter arguing in the kitchen.

Mom: I learned a great way to cut an onion. This is what you do!

(Mom chops onion)

Daughter: Oh, that's neat!

Mom: Now you do it.

Daughter: I'm tied up here with these potatos, but I saw how you did it. Could you chop it instead?

Mom: No! No! If you do it, you'll learn it!

Daughter: Mom, I'm busy! I saw the whole thing! I know how to do it!

Mom: Come over here and prove it! You can't possibly have learned just by looking at it!

Me (visually oriented learner): Um, begging your pardon, but I was watching too. May I cut the onion? I liked that technique.

(chop, chop, chop)

Mom: Oh! So you can learn by just watching!

Daughter: TOLD YOU!

My husband (kinesthetically oriented learner): You know what's going on here, y'all. You learn by doing. She learns by watching. My wife and I are the same way.

A few days later, they thanked us. They had gone all their lives without knowing about differences in learning style.

Could this be a by-product of the schools in which we were taught primarily via listening, secondarily via watching, and rarely hands-on?

This can really transform relationships! My husband and I have had our own tranformations once we realized that we were wired for different learning styles. One time, we witnessed a mother and her grown daughter arguing in the kitchen. Mom: I learned a great way to cut an onion. This is what you do! (Mom chops onion) Daughter: Oh, that's neat! Mom: Now you do it. Daughter: I'm tied up here with these potatos, but I saw how you did it. Could you chop it instead? Mom: No! No! If you do it, you'll learn it! Daughter: Mom, I'm busy! I saw the whole thing! I know how to do it! Mom: Come over here and prove it! You can't possibly have learned just by looking at it! Me (visually oriented learner): Um, begging your pardon, but I was watching too. May I cut the onion? I liked that technique. (chop, chop, chop) Mom: Oh! So you can learn by just watching! Daughter: TOLD YOU! My husband (kinesthetically oriented learner): You know what's going on here, y'all. You learn by doing. She learns by watching. My wife and I are the same way. A few days later, they thanked us. They had gone all their lives without knowing about differences in learning style. Could this be a by-product of the schools in which we were taught primarily via listening, secondarily via watching, and rarely hands-on?
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