Identifying your child’s learning style is one of the most important things a new homeschool mom can do.
Knowing your child’s learning style can make homeschooling so much easier!
If I could go back eight years and start our homeschool journey over again, I’d make sure that I had a really clear picture of each of my kids’ learning styles.
It is not fun to invest money in a curriculum only to find that it doesn’t mesh well with your kid’s natural learning style.
Also, as the homeschool teacher, it is easy to prepare your lessons based on your personal learning style. But it is important to realize that your kids may have different learning styles and could benefit from a different approach.
When you can adapt your curriculum and teaching to the learning styles of kids in your home, your homeschool will run smoother. Additionally, your time spent teaching becomes much more effective.
So, how do you identify your kids’ learning styles?
I’m so glad you asked!
With my new, simple, one-page Learning Styles Assessment, you can easily determine your child’s main learning style in a matter of minutes.
To access the Learning Style Assessment, join the Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s free Resource Library right here. Click on the image to get access to over a dozen awesome printables to help you organize your homeschool!
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What is a learning style?
A learning style is simply the preferred method that someone naturally uses to learn and process information.
There are four major types of learners:
- visual learners
- auditory learners
- reading/writing learners
- kinesthetic learners
While some researchers believe there are several more learning styles types, the additional learning styles are often different combinations of the four major learning styles listed above.
Often kids will have more than one particular learning style, but most authorities agree that kids do have one predominant learning style.
When I learned about my kids’ learning styles, homeschool became much easier for all of us!
For example, my second child struggled with the math curriculum my oldest son used before him. When I realized he was a visual learner instead of a reading/writing learner like his brother, I was able to find a more appropriate curriculum for him. We saved lots of time (and many tears!) by making a small adjustment to suit his learning style.
The Four Learning Styles
Let’s take a closer look at each of the four major learning styles, shall we?
And remember, you can always download and print out the Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s free Learning Styles Assessment by joining the free Resource Library!
Visual Learning Style
Kids who are visual learners learn best from things that they observe with their eyes.
Here’s a list describing common behaviors of visual learners:
- They enjoy looking at books with lots of pictures.
- Visual learners show appreciation for colors, patterns, and illustrations.
- Often they have a strong interest in maps, graphs, charts, and other visual representations of data.
- Visual learners can recall faces, places, and people easily.
- They often enjoy looking at classic and modern art.
- To help with memorization, visual learners rely on pictures – either mental or physical.
- To check for proper spelling, they prefer to see a word written out on paper.
- When learning a new skill, visual learners prefer to watch a demonstration or see an example first.
- The visual learner’s favorite school subject is art.
- To relax, they enjoy reading a book with beautiful illustrations or coloring.
- When in need of directions, visual learners prefer to look at a map over reading written directions.
- For entertainment, a visual learner would choose to go to the movie theater instead of a concert, amusement park, or trip to the library.
- When giving directions, visual learners will describe landmarks along the correct route rather than using street names.
- When choosing a small prize, visual learners would choose a poster over an mp3 download, short book, or simple game.
As you can see, visual learners have a natural tendency to use visual representations for learning, relaxation, and personal fulfillment.
Tips for Teaching Visual Learners
If you know your child’s learning style is visual, here are some simple things you can do to help your student.
-Teach your child to color code their notes with colored pencils, pens, or markers.
-Create charts, diagrams, and maps to present information or to summarize lessons.
-Help your older kids create high-level outlines to review the material they’ve learned.
-For older elementary kids studying grammar, use sentence diagramming to represent the functions of words in a sentence. I like First Language Lessons grammar curriculum a lot for this.
-For all ages, incorporate math manipulatives into their math curriculum. These are things like clocks, play money, counters, geoboards, tangrams, and more. This math manipulatives kit from Hand2Mind is well worth the investment if you have a visual learner!
Auditory Learning Style
Children who learn best from hearing information are auditory learners.
Here’s the list to describe common behaviors and preferences of auditory learners:
- Auditory learners enjoying listening to books being read out loud.
- They often have a strong interest in music.
- Kids who are auditory learners can recall verbal conversations easily.
- They regularly sing, hum, or talk to themselves, often without realizing they are doing it.
- Auditory learners enjoy conversation with others.
- To help with memorization, they rely on songs or rhymes.
- To check for proper spelling, auditory learners prefer to spell a word out loud.
- When learning a new skill, they prefer a verbal explanation over written instructions.
- The auditory learner’s favorite school subject is music.
- To help themselves relax, auditory learners enjoy listening to music of all varieties.
- When in need of directions, they prefer for someone to tell them how to reach their destination.
- For entertainment, auditory learners would choose to go to a concert over a movie theater, amusement park, or trip to the library.
- When giving directions, auditory learners will use names of roads as opposed to describing landmarks.
- When choosing a small prize, they would choose an mp3 file of a favorite song over a poster, short book, or simple game.
As you can see, auditory learners rely on their sense of hearing for learning, recreation, and relaxation.
Tips for Teaching Auditory Learners
If you know your child’s learning style is auditory, here are some tips to help maximize his or her learning experience:
-Review notes by reading them out loud.
-Use rhymes and songs to teach concepts and help with memorization as often as possible.
-Find curriculum with mp3 downloads or audio CDs. (This is one of the reasons I love Story of the World for history!)
-Create recordings of your child or yourself reading important sections of their curriculum.
Reading/Writing Learning Style
Kids who are reading and writing learners tend to have an easy time with school. They learn best by reading information and writing things down.
Here are some common behaviors of kids with the reading/writing learning style:
- They enjoy reading books and writing their own stories.
- Often they prefer a quiet space to work.
- Reading/writing learners can easily recall what they’ve read.
- They like creating checklists, to do lists, and taking notes.
- Reading/writing learners enjoy books of all types and genres.
- To help with memorization, they prefer to re-write information.
- To check for proper spelling, reading/writing learners prefer to write the word on paper.
- When learning a new skill, they prefer to read written instructions as opposed to hearing an explanation.
- Often their favorite school subject is creative writing or literature.
- To relax, reading/writing learners enjoy reading any book.
- When in need of directions, they prefer to read written directions over looking for landmarks or asking for help.
- For entertainment, reading/writing learners would choose a library visit over a concert, amusement park, or a trip to the movie theater.
- When giving directions, reading/writing learners prefer to write down detailed instructions.
- When choosing a small prize, they would choose a book for a prize over an mp3 download, a poster, or a simple game.
- Reading/writing learners love to read and write to help them remember information and communicate with others.
Reading/writing learners are often well-suited to a variety of curriculums and are typically fairly easy to homeschool.
Tips for Teaching Reading/Writing Learners
If you know you have a reading/writing child, here are some ideas to help you have a great homeschool experience:
-Allow your child plenty of time for note-taking.
-Help your reading/writing student to create checklists of subjects or assignments to complete.
-Give your child creative writing assignments.
-Have your child create a timeline for his or her history study.
-Encourage reading of many types and genres of books.
-Look for printed curriculum they can read as opposed to an online-only curriculum.
-Provide a quiet environment (if possible!) for your reading/writing child to learn.
Kinesthetic Learning Style
Kids with the kinesthetic learning style are always in motion. Even though it may seem unlikely, they learn best while on the move.
Here are common behaviors and choices for kinesthetic learners:
- They enjoy physical activities like running, jumping, etc.
- Kinesthetic learners have an interest in hands-on activities.
- Often kinesthetic learners are able to recall physical events in great detail.
- In general, kinesthetic learners like sports.
- They enjoy study games over reading a book or reviewing flashcards.
- To help with memorization, they rely on games or physical hand motions.
- To check for proper spelling they may use “finger spelling” by writing the word in the air with their finger.
- When learning a new skill, kinesthetic leaners prefer tinkering with an object.
- The kinesthetic learner’s favorite school subject is P.E.
- They often find exercising to be relaxing.
- When in need of directions, kinesthetic learners prefer to walk around on their own to find their way.
- For entertainment, they would choose an amusement park visit over a concert, a movie, or a library visit.
- When giving directions, kinesthetic learners will say “follow me” instead of writing or describing how to get to the right place.
- When choosing a small prize, kinesthetic learners would choose a small game over an mp3 download, short book, or poster.
Kinesthetic learners can have a tough time in a public school setting where they are expected to sit still for so long. Homeschool is a great option for kinesthetic learners because you can tailor their education to their learning style.
Tips for teaching kinesthetic learners
To effectively teach a kinesthetic learner, give these tips a try:
-create games to help with memorization, reading, math, and more
-allow your child to squeeze a stress ball during reading or listening time. This 5-pack of squishy stress balls is really fun!
-take frequent breaks for movement
Identifying your child’s learning style
If you’re not sure about which learning style your kids are, be sure to download and print the free Learning Styles Assessment! It organizes all the information above into a simple one-page checklist. I can’t wait for you to get your hands on it. Click the image below!
Final thoughts about the different learning styles of children
One of the best things about homeschool is the ability to tailor the teaching and curriculum to your child’s learning styles.
It isn’t hard to determine which learning styles your kids may have. Download the Learning Styles Assessment from the Resource Library and you’ll be all set!
Related articles about homeschool curriculum and scheduling:
What do you think your child’s learning style might be?