learning style

Understanding Your Child’s Learning Style: A Guide for Homeschool Parents

When it comes to homeschooling, it is essential to understand your child’s primary learning style. Not sure what their learning style is? We can help. In this guide, you will find how to identify their learning style and strategies for each type of learning. 

Understanding Learning Styles

A learning style is how a child absorbs, processes, and retains new information. Homeschooling gives you the freedom to explore your child’s learning style. Understanding which kind fits them best is crucial so you can tailor their education to meet their needs. 

There are four primary types of learning styles: Visual (learning through seeing), Auditory (learning through hearing), Kinesthetic (learning through doing), and Reading/Writing (learning through reading and writing). When you recognize which style, or combination of styles, fits your child, you can make learning more fun and effective. 

Once you have identified your child’s learning style (more on that to come), this does not mean that you have to limit their learning to one type of learning experience. Instead, it’s about using their natural learning preferences to make education more accessible to them. Then, you can gradually introduce them to other styles to develop a well-rounded education. For example, a kinesthetic learner benefits from hands-on science experiments. In addition to this, you can introduce them to visual aids like charts and videos to help solidify their understanding. 

How do I identify my child’s learning style?

Identifying your child’s learning style will help you cater to their learning needs and preferences. It will also help you customize your homeschool curriculum. This process involves observation, engagement, and sometimes, a formal assessment. The effort is well worth it! Here’s how you can start to identify your child’s learning style. 

First, observe your child interacting with the world around them. Do they prefer drawing or looking at pictures (Visual)? Are they more responsive when you explain things out loud or enjoy listening to stories and music (Auditory)? Perhaps they enjoy building, moving, touching, and doing things themselves (Kinesthetic). Or do they love reading and writing and gravitate toward books and journaling (Reading/Writing)? These are all clues to how they retain information and their preferred learning style. 

Next, engage with them with a variety of educational activities. You will want to include different learning styles and see which ones they respond to best. For example, use storybooks, diagrams, physical activity, and discussion to teach the same concept. Then, check their level of engagement and retention for each method. This will give you some insight into their learning process and, ultimately, their learning style. 

Additionally, online quizzes can help determine learning styles. These tools can give you a more structured approach to identifying their learning style. However, they should only be part of a broader strategy that includes your observation and engagement. You know your child best!

Lastly, talking to your child about their learning experiences is important. Ask them how they learn best and what makes them feel most comfortable and engaged when learning new information. Children, especially older ones, can often give you surprisingly insightful feedback! Remember that the goal is not to box them into a single style but to understand their natural inclinations. Consider that these can also evolve. Remain open and responsive to their changing needs and preferences. 

Strategies for Each Learning Style

You can easily tailor your homeschooling curriculum to fit your child’s learning style. Here are a few ways to adapt your teaching methods for each learning method. 

Visual Learners

Visual learners learn from seeing information. For example, they will excel when learning from some of the following teaching aids:

  • Charts
  • Graphs
  • Diagrams

Another great learning tool for visual learners is enrolling them in courses that use video to teach. These can help explain complex concepts to them and help them learn visually. Seeing a teacher and watching them use visual aids will further help them. 

Tools like colored highlighters and post-it notes are great for helping them organize information. This can also help them study and remember facts. Interactive apps and software can also benefit them by creating a visual learning experience. 

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners learn from listening and speaking. Consider integrating audiobooks and podcasts that pertain to the subjects they are studying. After listening to them, discuss further how to encourage retention. Reading aloud and using rhymes and songs will be effective when memorizing information. Encourage your child to explain concepts back to you in their own words. You may also want to record your lessons so they can repeatedly listen to them for reinforcement. 

Auditory learners will also benefit from video courses. The audio component of videos allows your child to retain information better. Additionally, video courses frequently include interviews and opportunities for discussion. This makes their learning experience more engaging and effective. 

Kinesthetic Learners

Get up and move! This is what kinesthetic learners need to learn. Hands-on activities, experiments, and field trips are all perfect ways to encourage your kinesthetic learner. Allow them to build models or use physical objects to learn new concepts. Consider using writing or drawing as a way to help them learn. For example, have them handwrite notes instead of typing them. Giving them breaks that involve physical activity is essential. This will help them stay focused during study times. Remember, these learners may struggle with traditional seated learning. It is important to remain flexible with your learning environment and schedule. 

Reading and Writing Learners

When presented with text-based information, reading/writing learners flourish. As a homeschool parent with this kind of learner, you want to provide them with opportunities for reading and writing in various formats. This looks like reports, essays, and journaling. It is a great idea to encourage them to take notes as they read and to organize their thoughts in lists and written plans. These learners also enjoy researching and writing about topics of interest, and they may be motivated by independent study projects. 

Each learning style offers unique strengths and challenges. The strategies you choose should maximize those strengths while addressing challenges. While these tips are directed toward a particular learning style, a more comprehensive learning experience happens when you appropriately mix learning methods.

Understanding and adapting your child’s learning style can transform their education. It can make learning more fun and effective! Using strategies that cater to your child’s learning style will help you, as a homeschool parent, to create a dynamic learning environment. This approach can help equip your child with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive. 

Looking for Accessible STEAM Education? 

As we move into the twenty-first century, STEAM subjects are becoming essential for students to learn. Getting familiar with technology and learning to use and create it opens a wide field of jobs. Here at 21stCentEd, we are passionate about helping young people prepare for a bright future in which their STEAM skills will help them find jobs that will be relevant in this digital age.

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