The Importance of Learning Style in HomeschoolingJune 8, 2023
Post Sponsored by Bridgeway Academy
Studies show many different ways that our brain processes and retains information. These methods are often referred to as learning styles. The three main categories of learning styles are auditory, visual, and kinesthetic (hands-on). And while we use all forms, we each have tendencies that best help us categorize, retain, and analyze information. Essentially, most of us have one main way we learn best, and that is our preferred learning style.
Knowing your child’s learning style allows you to not only teach them in the way they learn best, but also provides you with the ability to choose the right curriculum to unlock their full academic potential. Studies show that when we teach children using their primary learning style, they are better able to understand ideas, retain information, and master concepts. This translates to engaged learners who are less likely to get frustrated and students who are more willing to take risks and accept challenges.
These essential skills are important beyond just learning. Learning style impacts our ability to critically think, solve problems, and push through challenges. It helps us navigate relationships, impacts our ability to land and hold onto a job, and aids us in making sound financial decisions.
Speaking your child’s learning language can be a challenge though, especially if you don’t know what it is. That’s why it all starts with finding out your child’s learning style.
What Are the Learning Styles?
Let’s look at the three types of learning styles, as well as some tools and tricks to keep in mind when teaching your child.
- Visual: Children who prefer to learn visually are often detail oriented and prefer written directions. Graphics, pictures, maps, graphs, or charts are often excellentways to supplement course material. Useful teaching tools include checklists with written instructions, flashcards, and graphic organizers. Online educational video games can be an excellent reward AND an effective learning tool for the visual learner.
- Auditory: Children who prefer auditory lessons need to both hear and repeat when absorbing information. Teaching tips include debate and discussion – keep back-and-forth conversation flowing. Look for opportunities to talk out ideas, interests, problems, and possibilities. Keep in mind that auditory learners can be easily distracted by noise or commotion. Headphones can be helpful if this becomes an issue.
- Kinesthetic: These children always seem to be moving. But, remember that movement actually helps them learn best. Frequent breaks may be necessary, as well as hands-on activities. Remember that kinesthetic learners need to keep their hands busy, so give them something to write down or highlight during lessons that are otherwise auditory or visual in nature. Look for lesson activities that include sculptures, crafts, or models of what is being discussed. Pro tip: repetitive movement while memorizing – trampoline, jumping rope, etc. – will help engage their brain!
No matter which methods you use, having a better understanding of how your child BEST absorbs and retains information is a crucial step in the process. Here’s the fun part…find out how your child learns best by taking this unique learning and personality style assessment! Everyone in your family can take the assessment and receive insight into how to communicate, interact, and learn best together.
Why Learning Style-Focused Curriculum Matters
How do you make sure that the curriculum you’re purchasing will be a good fit? The best place to start is by matching the homeschool curriculum to your child’s learning style. Here’s why.
- Learning style curriculum makes learning easier! We want our students to be challenged by the curriculum, but not so much that they struggle and lose their excitement to learn. Choosing a learning style curriculum that fits your child means you can provide the right amount of challenge while minimizing frustration. When we learn the way our brain is meant to learn, it’s easier and more fun!
- Learning style curriculum means more learning success. Studies show that when students learn using their primary learning style, they score higher on tests, are more efficient with their time, and retain information longer. This results in more independence and confidence.
- Learning style curriculum ignites critical thinking. When we learn how our brain is meant to work, we can master concepts more quickly and move on to analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. When you teach using a learning style curriculum, your learners are better equipped for higher-level critical thinking.
- Learning style curriculum increases focus. In a digital age where images, thoughts, and news flies around at a rapid rate, the ability to focus is harder than ever. But using a learning style curriculum makes learning more relevant and dynamic, meaning your child will stay focused longer and want to engage.
- Learning style curriculum is simply more fun! When we are fully engaged in the learning process using our primary learning style, we’re more likely to enjoy what we’re doing, ask questions, and dig deeper.
How do you find the right learning style-focused curriculum? Start by knowing your child’s learning style. Then search for the best curriculum to match that learning language. Here are a few great ways to find the right match.
- Internet Search: Google “learning styles” or “how to know my child’s learning style.” From there, read the articles and reviews to determine the right curriculum fit.
- Curriculum Reviews: After you narrow your search, start reading curriculum reviews. This will give you a good idea of other homeschool parent experiences and help you to identify which publishers may be a good fit.
- Your Homeschooling Network: Tap into your homeschooling group or ask around some online homeschooling groups. You’ll be surprised at how many recommendations you get.
- A Homeschool Curriculum Partner: If you’ve done all of the above and are still left wondering how to match your child’s learning style to the best homeschool curriculum, use a dedicated homeschool partner who can help you select the perfect curriculum for your child. As experts in homeschooling and curriculum, Bridgeway Academy has been helping homeschooling families find the best homeschool curriculum that suits each child’s needs and learning style for more than 35 years. After determining your child’s learning style and your homeschool teaching style, Bridgeway will match you with the best-fitting curriculum for each subject, selecting from dozens of publishers.
At Bridgeway Academy, learning styles are the foundation upon which we build each child’s personalized education. When you enroll with Bridgeway, you’ll pair up with an experienced academic advisor who will help you create the perfect customized learning experience based on your child’s learning style. To learn more, download Bridgeway’s Guide to Learning Styles and Tips for Different Learning Styles resources, and call (888) 303-7512 to speak to an educational consultant.