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Over the weekend, I was talking to a neighbor about her son’s struggle with math.  While you’ll never hear me bash public school here, I will say that not being able to use multiple curriculums with multiple kids is a really big downfall.  I understand why they can’t, it’s just a bummer.  The more I listened to my neighbor talk about her son, the more I realized he just needed a different math curriculum.  He was possibly brilliant at math, he just needed to be taught in a different way.  It was that simple. 
I have a deep passion for catering to a child’s learning style and this was a prime example.  So much that I just wanted to enroll him in our school that minute and order a box of Math-U-See and watch this kid succeed.  The conversation reminded me of what a huge benefit we have as homeschoolers to teach our kids in their own way–it’s truly one of the biggest perks of homeschooling for us and probably you too but I want to talk a bit about how I teach to multiple learning styles and why I think its an amazing privilege.


This is one huge area where we are so lucky when it comes to teaching our kids at home.  We know our kids better than anyone.  Just like an adult, they are so different and unique.  They all learn differently.  I have four kids that will probably all learn differently.  Here’s why this is amazing:
1. WE DON’T HAVE TO WATCH OUR CHILD STRUGGLE// If your child is having a horrible time in math; change curriculums, sing songs to help him remember math rules, buy math games, research other ways to complete certain math problems online and teach your child that way, read living books, limit your time on that subject so they don’t get overwhelmed.  We don’t have to watch them struggle…we can make it better for them.
2. WE CAN MAKE BORING THINGS FUN// Subjects that aren’t so fun, don’t have to be.  This year we are doing math a lot differently.  I read Cindy West’s Loving Living Math and it changed our math regime for good.  We are doing only two lessons from our book and the other two days we’re doing living math lessons.  Last week, Noah practiced triangle areas by finding the area of the Bermuda Triangle and Sophia made a human number line.
Grammar doesn’t have to be hated either.  You can use Cindy West’s other great book, Living Literature: Grammar Packs, and other more interesting approaches than just a workbook. 
We can make it fun! 

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3. WE HELP THEM LOVE TO LEARN// School doesn’t have to be an endless lecture or an endless video.  We chose to homeschool because we wanted our kids to love to learn.  So many people leave school hating it.  I read recently that 60% of graduated college students don’t read another book for pleasure for years afterward.  If we listen to the learning styles of our kids we can put into their hands tools that will give them a desire to learn for life.

Ok, but how do you actually teach to your child’s learning style?  First, you need to read Carol Barnier’s Big What Now Book of Learning Styles.  She is such a great wealth of information on this subject and I have learned so much from her.  Here’s a list to get you started now though:


TEACH TO THEM ALL// The three basic styles of learning are visual, audio, and kinesthetic, but usually we are all a mix of them all.  We might have one dominant style, but for the most part we all learn with a little bit of all three styles.
    • make a big timeline for your history class
    • print off a portrait of the person you’re studying in history or science to display while you read
    • show movies or YouTube videos to accompany lessons
    • use lots of colors to label or identify things
    • for early readers, attach labels to different things around your school room so they can visualize the words
    • use graphs and charts
    • try computer games for different subjects
    • use songs to memorize facts–this can work for any subject
    • read aloud
    • listen to audio books
    • read directions aloud while they follow with their book
    • use verbal narrations to check if they’ve comprehended a lesson

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    • go outside and use sidewalk chalk for spelling words
    • observe nature
    • have your child use Thinking Putty while you read aloud
    • cook or bake for math class
    • use a hands-on project to test your child’s knowledge
    • use lots of manipulatives for math
    • build with Legos
    • have them color while you read aloud

My last word is this: we need to understand that we as the teacher is responsible for teaching.  It’s not our child’s responsibility.  We hold all the keys…we need to find the right key that works with our child.  Try them all if you have to, but if your child is struggling definitely try a different key.  Now go find the right key, friends…what an amazing privilege! Have fun!

This post is part of a list of great post on How We Teach at iHomeschool Network.  Enjoy the other great posts!


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