Honoring Your Child's Unique Learning Style
Homeschooling parents around the
world experience the unique and varied interests of their children. Perhaps you
have one child who wants to discuss every little detail of the day? Another who
takes things apart and build creations that cover the entire living room? Maybe
a third who wants to play charades and sing all day?
For some families, their child's
unique style of learning is the reason a homeschool learning environment was
chosen. Each child's approach to life and learning may inspire the whole family.
For other parents, this variety is a frustrating experience and they may wish
everyone in the house learned in the same manner. Whatever your experience, and
whatever your child's passion, it is likely based on your child's individual
learning style, as well as your own!
Laurel Springs School, educators
use a tool called the Learning Styles Self Portrait to identify five
aspects of how a student learns:
All of these aspects are taken into
consideration when customizing the learning process to match students' skills,
needs, and goals. Parents are also encouraged to complete the Learning Styles
Self Portrait so they can identify how they are alike, and different from
their child. This can help you understand and support your child in addition to
the teachers at Laurel Springs.
Let's take a look at the first
aspect of how a child learns: disposition or "learning personality". Looking at
a student's disposition shows how she naturally expresses herself in learning.
There are five learning
learners are social by nature, interested in human behavior, in discussion
and group activities. These learners have great interest in learning about
people. Curriculum which supports this type of learner involves group
projects with time to relate and incorporate personal feelings, cooperative
learning, and personal values.
learners are creative by nature, artistic, interested in beauty and
aesthetics. They need the opportunity to wonder, think, and dream. An
appropriate choice of curriculum for these students involves art,
creativity, poetry, drama, and allows for alone time.
have an affinity for problem solving, fixing, and enhancing projects, for
theory, models, exploration, and opportunities to question, design, and
discover. Curricular options best suited for these students are often
intellectual and research-based. Projects should be designed to ensure the
student can work without strict time limitations.
children are entertainers by nature. They require variety and challenge and
the opportunity to move. Curricular options for performing learners should
include games, manipulatives, audio visual materials, often involve
competition, and be short and to the point.
enjoy structure, sequence, ordered components, drill, organization and note
taking. Curricular options include logical, sequential, workbook-oriented,
emphasize planning, scheduling, and due dates.
Parents can teach to their child's
unique learning personality at home, or they can enlist the professional support
of an accredited, private school such as Laurel Springs to enrich their child's
Nick Marks-Paschal, a
Laurel Springs alumni, struggled in traditional school settings. After
Laurel Springs and completing the
Learning Styles Profile, he learned he was an Inventing/Performing learning
personality. He learns best in an independent setting where he can explore and
design on his own. He worked with a teacher at Laurel Springs who understood his
learning style and helped him bring out his Inventing side. Nick is now enjoying
his career as a digital multimedia designer.
Laurel Springs School was founded on the belief that every child loves to
learn and, given the right environment and tools, will evolve and grow as a
whole, happy individual capable of learning in deep and magnificent ways. The
Learning Style Model of Education enables this philosophy to become a reality.
"The Learning Style Model of
education is a student-centered approach to learning which acknowledges the
natural rhythms of childhood, a child's innate love of learning, and the unique
talents inherent in each child. We believe that every child is a living
treasure with the ability to demonstrate genius. The best learning environment
is one that is loving and supportive. What matters most to children is that they
have family, friends, and teachers who say: 'I know who you are. I love you, I
admire you, I believe in you.' We honor the uniqueness of each of our students
and appreciate the myriad of learning styles they present to us." -- Marilyn
Mosley Gordanier, Founder, Executive Director, Laurel Springs School