Monday, February 2, 2009

Learning Styles & Teaching Styles

Did you know your child has a personal learning style? Once you understand what it is, you can then teach to your child more effectively, improving their learning and memory. This is one way in which home-schooling helps children flourish, and classroom settings fall short. 

There are many different methods of analyzing and naming different learning styles. Regardless of which system of classification you use, what's important is to learn how your child learns and what he responds to best. Trying to find one perfect label isn't the point... your child may be fit into more then one category anyway. The point is to recognize what works with your child, and what doesn't, so your job is much easier and enjoyable, and so is his!

I'll be looking at two different systems of classification. The first system of modalities is based on how we take in information best- by hearing, seeing, or doing. The second system is linked more to our personality- and why we may respond better to different methods.

Keep in mind while reading, that your learning style typically translates into your teaching style. When you try to teach your child in ways that seem natural to you, and it just doesn't work, the two of you likely just have different learning styles. Sometimes, this difference is misinterpreted, so parents or teachers wrongly think a child is lazy, unintelligent, misbehaving, not listening, or just not trying. By understanding why YOU do what you do and why your CHILD does what he does, it's a lot easier to reconcile the two so you don't butt heads. 

Down the road, as your child grows older, he'll also benefit greatly by recognizing for himself how he learns best and using corresponding strategies to compensate for weak areas and maximize strengths. "Learning differences are not just liabilities as we tend to think of them. They are pathways to the great potential that lies within."(1:109) Your child's learning style is likely related to his special gifts & talents waiting to be discovered. These "hidden talents can become a great source of joy and direction."(1:133)

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