Choosing Homeschooling Curriculum
As you sift through the many types of homeschooling curriculum, keep in mind the way your children learn best — their learning styles. When all of my children were school-age with work to complete, that was something I let slip — and it showed.
There are four years between my three oldest, so there were a couple of years when they were all in elementary school together. Some lessons, especially science, involved lots of fun, hands-on activities. But by the time my youngest was starting kindergarten, my oldest was in seventh grade. He had moved on to doing more workbook pages and reports and was doing well with them, so in the interest of time, I had everyone doing more seatwork. And while it was “okay” for my older children, my youngest seemed to really be struggling. It was a good reminder that children learn in different ways.
The Kinesthetic Learner
My youngest is a kinesthetic (or tactile) learner – he is all about hands-on learning. While it’s easy to incorporate activities into science and history lessons through experiments and projects, it’s important to include them in math and reading, too. The kinesthetic learner does well with manipulatives such as counting bears, play money, and fraction bars. When learning his letters, my son did best when he could “draw” the letter with his finger as he said letter name and sound. Sometimes he drew the letters in the sand; other times he drew in them in plain white flour. Math and reading games also help reinforce what he’s learning.
The Auditory Learner
My oldest is an auditory learner – he does well in a traditional classroom setting. While he could do a lot of bookwork on his own in the sixth and seventh grades, I knew he needed something more. We joined a co-op the year he started eighth grade, and he thrived. As an auditory learner, he easily adjusted to the science and literature classes that involved a lot of lecture and class discussion. One of my daughters is also an auditory learner. She blossomed academically as those often tedious workbooks were replaced by interesting presentations in class.
The Visual Learner
My other daughter is a visual learner. She loves lists and is always writing down things to-do, goals to accomplish, and projects to finish. Pictures, diagrams, and charts help her to remember information; when they aren’t included in the curriculum, she’ll make up her own. Visual learners also do well with videos, films, and written directions.
By figuring out your children’s learning styles, you can narrow down the curriculum your considering to those that will benefit him the most.
How have you incorporated your children’s learning styles into the lessons?