Monday, November 10

Learning Styles

My boys have very different learning styles. Joel is quite visual, while Ethan is a kinesthetic learner. For me, visual is easy. You have to show it to them. That's all. I am a visual learner. You can explain it and explain it to me, but I often just have to see it before I get it. Give me directions and you'll need to describe the landmarks, not the direction or street names. If you want me to fully understand your moral advice, you'd be better off putting it in the form of a parable (or a really good piece of fiction) if you want me to fully comprehend it. Show it to me. Visual learners are easy.

Kinesthetic is much different. My oldest is a kinesthetic learner. If you have a kinesthetic learner, you know my pain. If you do not, you may need some explaining. Kinesthetic learners need to move. No, seriously. They NEED to move. If you insist they be still through a lesson, their thoughts become consumed with "I must be still. I must not twitch. No tapping. No bouncing. Keep it still. I can do this...." and when you ask them to repeat the lesson back to you, they will give you the deer-in-headlights look. But when you attempt to have a discussion with the child and he is bouncing and fidgeting and flicking and tapping and you say "Enough already! I said to pay attention," he will insist he IS paying attention, to which you will say "Sure, fine, then tell me what my lesson was about." And then he will. Verbatim. Because he can. Your jaw will drop and you will learn to deal with the distracting, tremoring student because he really is learning.

Audio learners....that's easy. They need to hear it. If you give them a reading assignment, you may find they have difficulty unless you either read to them or let them read it to you. Another option is recording their voice (or your voice) and letting them play it back. Spelling words, times tables, grammar rules.....invest in a tape recorder; you're going to need it.

Of course, this is a very simplistic approach to the whole thing. My favorite book on the topic is "The Way They Learn" by Cynthia Tobias. It helps determine learning styles and offers suggestions and methods to help with learning. It also lists strengths and weaknesses and things to avoid. Very helpful. Amazon doesn't have a new copy of this book to offer, so I guess I'm going to have to offer mine as a giveaway. Yes, it's used. But it is in great shape and it is a great read. Truly. It helped me understand some of my own tendencies better than ever and was a very interesting read for Chris and I to discuss with each other.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment with a way to contact you. I'll announce the winner on Friday. I'll be re-reading the book between now and then, so it may have more creases before you get it.

If you're in the mood for a new, non-creased book that will help you NOT pull your hair out when dealing with your strong-willed little booger, I HIGHLY recommend Cindy's other book:



The author is hilarious and has a lot of insight. This book, and a LOT of prayer, helped keep me sane when struggling to maintain consistency of discipline while maintaining my sanity during Joel's early years.

Upon a re-read of my post, I realized that I originally spelled "insight" as "incite". Doesn't quite mean the same thing, does it?

11 comments:

AmandaSue said...

This sounds like a wonderful and useful book!

Kasey said...

I have heard good things about this book.

torinem said...

We are planning to start homeschooling our little ones in a few years and this would be really helpful!

Jessica said...

you can save yourself some postage and just give this book to me. i can use it on my public school students. :)

Sally said...

I've looked at this a few times & as you describe it, I really need to pick it up! (Or winning the giveaway?!)

mom2leah[at]gmail[dot]com

Lawanda said...

Ahhhhh.... it is so lovely when you are a parent entering the world of "more than one child"!!! ;) And boy oh boy is it ever difficult figuring out how best to teach/discipline (really the same thing imo) all those little individuals living under the same roof!! haha

I would love to read that book.

I am still trying to figure out my Faithy. She is just not the same as her older sisters, who were so strongly one way or the other it didn't take me long to figure.

And then of course there is the baby... If I ever figure her out, I will be doing great! haha

Sarah said...

sounds like a very interesting book! My daughter is a special needs child so I spend a lot of time every night going over skills so she doesn't fall behind...this might make that task easier!

Sandy said...

wow would love to read

Lisa said...

This sounds like a really useful book! I don't plan to homeschool my son, but I've already figured out that he doesn't necessarily learn best by "traditional" classroom teaching, and if I won the book, I'd hope I could use it to work with his teachers to help him get the most from the educational process. My e-mail is bunkielisa (at) sbcglobal (dot) net. Thanks!

Brooke said...

This looks really interesting!

JULIE said...

This book looks very interesting. Would love to add this to my "stockpile" of books I've started accumulating in relation to children and how they act and learn...in anticipation of the birth of our first child next summer.

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