To successfully impart academic information to your students, determine their learning styles. The term learning style means that every student learns differently.
The Four Learning Styles (VARK)
There are four main learning styles, and which one your students adhere to will impact how they absorb, process, comprehend and retain information. These four styles are visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic, known as VARK.
Students have different approaches to how they process information. A student’s preferred learning style has significant influences on behavior and learning.
A student’s learning model much match with learning strategies. Matching learning styles with the material will increase comprehension, motivation, and learning success.
Education and the Public Schools System
Education is not a one size fits all application, but this is how the public education system teaches. To teach a large class, academic material is delivered through visual and auditory means.
Students with learning styles other than visual/auditory will struggle with the learning process; institutionalized education fails to reach all students. For the students lucky enough to have these learning styles, that’s great; for others, it is a hard road to success.
I had to work very hard in school to get the grades to apply for college. When I went to college, I learned the truth about my learning style and that I was not learning disabled. Until then, I felt inferior there was something wrong with me. Once a child is labeled, it becomes their self-fulfilling philosophy. I do not want the same to happen to my kids.
Homeschooling and Learning Style Education:
As homeschool parents, we can match our student’s learning styles with class material. We can take the time to find out students learning preferences and apply curriculums accordingly. To successfully match learning style with curriculum, understanding VARK is crucial.
Overview of VARK
Visual learners: Visual learners prefer images, graphs, maps, and pictures to facilitate learning. These students will watch a video on the subject material rather than read the material. Visual learners are keen on imagery to process and comprehend information. Classes that facilitate the use of media and videos best reach these students. Visual learners appreciate textbooks and written material that incorporate several images and graphics to help them absorb information.
Auditory learners: Auditory learners understand information through listening and speaking such as lectures or discussions. Auditory learners retain information from lectures or recorded lessons well. The public school system caters to auditory learners. If your students are auditory learners, incorporate podcasts or media lectures in your homeschool curriculum to facilitate education.
Read/write learners: Read/write learners are copious note-takers. These students learn best through reading and writing information to facilitate learning. Read/write learners are avid readers and learn well from textbooks. Often read/writer learners are self-teachers as they can facilitate learning from reading. If your student is a read/write learner, curriculums with a lot of reading will appeal to this learning style.
Kinesthetic Learners: Kinesthetic learners best understand information through tactile repetition and hands-on learning. These students process information best when they can manipulate what they are learning with their hands. Science subjects are often a favorite for this learning style due to the lab work that accompanies this subject. If your students are kinesthetic learners, curriculums that incorporate a hands-on approach to learning will appeal to these students. Curriculums that incorporate a Montessori perspective on education will appeal to these students.
How to find your students’ learnign style.
Understanding different approaches to learning are key to finding your students learning style. To find out how your child learns, observe them at play. As children grow and absorb information about the world, they embrace methods to facilitate this approach. Read/write children will be fascinated with books, visual learners find pictures appealing, kinesthetic children want to manipulate everything, and auditory children are drawn in by sounds. While all children are mesmerized by the TV, this is not the best way to find your child’s learning style.
Teaching with learning styles in mind.
Once you discover your students learning style, incorporate aspects in class material. For visual learners, choose a curriculum that utilizes a heavy video component. For auditory learners, curricula that incorporate podcasts or video lectures will appeal to these students. Read/write learners love to read. Textbooks, literature, and writing assignments will provide necessary education fulfillment. Kinesthetic learners love to manipulate things. Incorporate curricula that provide a manipulative kit or make your own. Curricula with a Montessori approach to learning will engage these students.
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~ Noelle Moser ~