When talking about learning styles, it’s good to evaluate how you learn. This helps you see that your children are themselves unique, and might make you more patient if they are different from you.
Understand yourself: Adult learning/teaching styles
Perception: How we perceive (view the world around us, take in information)
- Concrete: through our senses, looking at what is here and now, the tangible and obvious. It is what it is.
- Abstract: visualizing things we can’t actually sense, using our intuition, our intellect, our imagination. We are looking beyond what is for other meanings or implications. It’s not always what it seems.
Ordering: How we order, or use, the information we perceive:
- Sequential: organized in a linear, step-by-step manner. Logical train of thought, conventional approach to dealing with information. Have a plan and follow the steps.
- Random: lets our minds organize information in chunks with no particular sequence. May be able to skip chunks in a procedure, or start in the middle and work backwards. More impulsive or spontaneous. Just get it done!
Four combinations of styles: CS, AS, AR, CR
Determine needs of each child: Learning modes:
-I need to see an illustration of what I’m being taught before I understand
-I am drawn to flashy, colorful, visually stimulating objects
-Iusually prefer books that include pictures or illustrations with the text
-I look like I’m daydreaming when I’m trying tovisualize what’s being said
-I usually remember better when I can actually see the person talking
-I need to hear myself say it in order to remember it
-I often need to talk through a problem aloud in order to solve it
-I memorize best by repeating information aloud or to myself over and over
-I remember best when the information fits into a rhythmic or musical pattern
-I would rather listen to a recording of a book than sit and read
-I have difficulty sitting still for more than a few minutes at a time
-I usually learn best by physically participating in a task
-I almost always have some part of my body in motion
-I prefer to read books or hear stories that are full of action
While understanding individual learning styles is helpful, it’s not essential to choosing curriculum for a first time.
- Technical labels for styles is not that important. You know your child better than anyone else, and have a better grasp on what he/she will like, be good at, and struggle with.
- Learning about styles doesn’t necessarily help you pick better curriculum at first, though it can help a great deal in implementing it.
- Learning styles can be an excuse to switch from thing to thing—better to learn discipline when possible.
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