Homeschool Beginners (Part Two): Learning About Learning

The quest for the perfect curriculum is daunting for even the most experienced homeschool family at times and how to choose it is often one of the first concerns a beginning home educator asks. Before you break the bank on a comprehensive curriculum for your newly minted homeschooler, you may first want to consider the teaching and learning styles that are the most natural fit for your family. That may sound a bit perplexing as well but here a few suggestions on how to figure it all out:

"WHO AM I TEACHING?"


Learning does not always have to take place in a classroom desk, hunched over the kitchen table or anywhere in particular. Learning can happen during a car ride or in the backyard or while visiting a friend. Additionally, every one does not learn in the same way. Certain environments are more conducive to a particular learner and the same may be true of a curriculum. As a beginning homeschooler, you do not have to replicate the classroom unless a very structured environment is the most productive for your family. Many start homeschooling in the "schoolroom" but drift into the routines that work best for them, including sitting side by side on the couch or even sprawled in the floor. Each way can work and has benefits; Learning is happening.

You may have a predominately Visual Learner, an Auditory Learner or a Kinesthetic Learner. Likely, there is some combination of all three. The visual learner may respond well to charts, eye contact and lots of color in her world. An auditory learner may enjoy a discussion format, utilizing music or need verbal instructions. A kinesthetic learner needs to have the freedom to move, keep his hands busy and may respond to timed activities with frequent breaks. Most people benefit from having several of these learning styles implemented into their curriculum but you may find better results if you know how to get the best from your homeschooler by finding out how they learn best.




A couple of good resources to get you started include books such as The Way They LearnDiscover Your Child's Learning Style and The Big WHAT NOW of Learning Styles. There are many resources available online and in your library to educate yourself about learning styles. Just jump in there and discover which one appeals to YOUR learning style. You may learn something about yourself as well!
Part 1 of this series, Quick Tips for Taking the Plunge, can be found here.
Part 2 of this series, Learning about Learning, can be found here.
Part 3 of this series, The Option of Options, can be found here.
Part 4 of this series, One Day at a Time, can be found here.

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