Understanding Learning Styles

Sourced from: http://www.homeschool-curriculum-for-life.com/learning-styles.html

Understanding learning styles helps you to understand how your child learns and what system or philosophy you will be comfortable with using in your homeschool. These learning style overviews will put you in a strong position to assess each program you come across as to its suitability for your family.

It is important to remember that a program must suit you and your child. I have seen many moms who choose a program with a huge amount of hands-on activities because their child is a kinesthetic learner, only to find that it is a burden that she herself cannot carry due to her own learning and personality style being totally unsuited to a kinesthetic based program.

Please note that the following learning style information is based on my interpretation of The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias and I HIGHLY recommend that you purchase this book to get a much fuller picture of her approach to learning styles.

Basic learning styles are:

•Visual – learns by sight, needs visual stimuli like books and colour

•Kinesthetic – learns by doing and making, enjoys hands on craft and experimentation

•Auditory – learns by listening, enjoys story tapes and being read too

Perception Styles

•Abstract – using our thoughts and imagination to gather information

•Concrete – gathering information with our five senses

Ordering Styles

•Sequential – ordering of the information gained in a step by step logical pattern

•Random – storing the information is an unsystematic or haphazard way

There are thus four main styles of thinking and acquiring knowledge:

Concrete Sequential– a predictable person who does not like surprises. They are very practical and organized and have a strict “black and white” outlook on life. They are not risk takers.

Abstract Sequential– A very deliberate person who like to do things “properly” even if they overstep a boundary. They love information and are great thinkers.

Abstract Random– this person is a “people person”. They care more about the people and others feelings than about the task at hand. They are highly sensitive and are the peacemakers in the family.

Concrete Random– Do-er, Mover, Shaker is this person who is on the go, moving forward and sparking projects. They seem impatient but are actually highly instinctive people whose intuitions are mostly right.

Love Languages

The book The Five Love Languages of Children hit the market and took many by storm.

It is only one way to gain understanding of yourselves and your children and needs to be used in conjunction with the other information above. Often we and our children are a blend of the 5, but one is always a little more dominant than the other.

•Touch – your child feels loved and appreciated with physical touch like a kiss on their head when they have done well, playing with your hair, enjoying cuddles.

•Words of Affirmation – this child likes to give and receive words that encourage and reacts badly to verbal reprimands.

•Acts of Service – these children do their work to please you and feel loved when you offer to do something for them.

•Receiving Gifts – these children are the ones who leave flowers by your bedside or sleep with the shirt you bought them that day. They are the children who may seem materialistic but are really feeling your love by gifts to them.

•Quality Time – our child who is a “quality time” child always asks to have only one parent drop her off at an activity or sneaks out of bed when all the other children are sleeping to have a “little chat”.

Putting it all together

Putting all this information together into something that you can use can be a bit daunting. My suggestions are:

1. Read the following two books on learning styles for more in depth knowledge: The Way They Learn and Every Child Can Succeed: Making the Most of Your Child’s Learning Style by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

2. It takes as much as a year of watching and praying to truly know God’s creation – your child.

3. Look at things like heart motivation i.e. what motivates my child to want to build things all the time or why does my child love horses and dogs. Pray about these things too, God will show you more and more about your “blessings” everyday.

4. Make sure that you do not see these profiles as static – you must ensure that you develop your children’s “weak” areas to become acceptable and give them a finely honed skill in their areas of strength.

5. Knowing and understanding learning styles and personality profiles is not an excuse for bad attitudes towards instruction and work. Your child must still be trained to enter into their learning or work disciplines with a happy and obedient heart.

For a Learning Style Assessment and your child’s profile, see my website: Baobab Consulting: http://www.baobabtherapy.co.za

Or click on this link: http://www.baobabtherapy.co.za/4+Seasons+Group+Therapy

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