• Misty Spinelli

Why Learning Styles Matter

As homeschool moms we are always looking for the best way to teach to our kids. What time of day? Which educational philosophy? What curricula should I choose? All these questions should start with the question, "What is my child's learning style?" Learning style matters because some children basically cannot learn using certain methods. That is a little extreme for if a child cannot learn through auditory means then we would consider them to have auditory processing problems. So, yes, most kids are pretty balanced and can learn using a variety of methods. But if you could figure out which learning style worked for your child best and utilized it as your primary style of instruction, then both you and your child would have a better educational experience.

Philosophies of Learning Styles

Gregorian Model

The Gregorian model states the we perceive in two ways: concrete and abstract; and we use or order information in two ways: random and sequential. By combining a perceiving method with an ordering method, 4 different learning styles emerge.

Concrete/Sequential: These individuals are hardworking, accurate and dependable. They stay organized and prefer facts over opinion, black and white over grey. They like to be perfect.

Abstract/Sequential: These students are very analytical and knowledgeable. They learn the material in front of them and remember it. They work systematically and deliberately. They are thorough and logical.

Abstract/Random: These students are much more people oriented than fact oriented. They are sensitive and compassionate; imaginative and idealistic. They will thrive on spontaneity and are very flexible.

Concrete/Random: These students are adventurous and innovative, but they are also wiggly little people with a big curiosity. They are intuitive and quick. They will have great creative ideas, but are realistic.

Ways of Understanding

People tend to fall into two big groups when it comes to understanding. Global or Analytical.

Global: These people can see the overall picture, always get the meaning of things, do not like the details and will get more out of a discussion than a lecture.

Analytical: These students love details, and step-by-step instructions make them happy. They are logical and self-motivated.

Sensory Perception Modalities

These are the learning styles you have probably heard about: Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic.

Auditory: These students are oral, and learn best through oral communication. They also thrive on rhythm and pattern. Narration is wonderful tool to use to teach these children.

Visual: These students need to see it. There are varieties of visual learners. Some will be so visual that they need to see a picture to understand, where as others can picture it in their head, or some prefer to read it themselves. They will enjoy bright colors in their books, will doodle on everything, highlight to remember what is important and you should definitely teach them to draw.

Kinesthetic: These are the moving kids, they need action and movement to learn. They may prefer standing to sitting. They may listen best while playing with building blocks, and if they are having a hard time with spelling words then hand them the sidewalk chalk and send them out to the driveway to learn them.

Environment Influences

Other factors may determine how your child learns. There are so many factors. Make sure that you are considering all of them when setting the environment in which your child is to learn. Factors can include: noise, light, heat, hunger, thirst, time of day and physical position.

There are lots of resources for helping you figure out your child's learning style, so take the time to do so and them be sure to consider their needs as you homeschool. It is good for students to learn how to learn in lots of different conditions, but why not make learning as easy as possible, since we have them home and can control their environment to some degree.

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