Choosing Teaching Materials

The School for the Animals

Learning Styles

Common Educational Philosophies

Common Teaching Approaches

The Traditional Approach

The Classical Approach

The Principle Approach

The Living Books Approach

The Unit Study Approach


Identity Directed Home Schooling

Creating Your Own Scope and Sequence

Resources for Choosing Teaching Materials

Learning Styles

Conditions that affect learning

Each person has a dominant or preferred mode of receiving information. People also have different ways in which they process input, different innate aptitudes, and different temperaments. These differences in learning modalities can profoundly affect their ability to learn.A Visual learner is one who learns best through visual images, pictures, diagrams, etc. and by watching others do something. Visual learners tend
to be print oriented and can learn by reading about a subject. Some visual learners are strictly Print learners.
Auditory learners do better with lectures, songs, stories and other oral material. Kinesthetic learners favor interacting with what they are learning by doing and touching. Most young children are kinesthetic learners, but oftentimes boys will continue to need “hands-on” materials even when they are older.

Social or Group Interactive learners learn best through group participation, conversations, and discussion.
A child will give you clues as to which kind of a learner he is not only in his activities but also in the words he uses to express himself. If a child observes
and remembers details, likes beautiful things and bright illustrations, and tends to express himself with phrases such as “Look at this!” or “I see what you mean,” that child is probably a visual learner. If the child often sings to himself or makes up songs, can remember what people say, and uses expressions like, “Listen to this!” or “I hear what you’re saying” to mean he understands, he may be an auditory learner. The child who likes to touch everything, take things apart, and uses expressions like, “I get it” is most likely a kinesthetic learner.

In addition to one or two favored learning styles, each person has a dominant thinking style dependent on whether he or she processes information with the right or the left hemisphere of the brain. Left hemisphere thinking is sequential, analytical, rational, and interested in details. Right hemisphere thinking is “whole concept,” intuitive, subjective, and artistic.
Another component of learning is what scientists call The Seven Intelligences. Different people have various innate abilities that make certain studies easier for them. This innate aptitude may be musical, artistic, logicalmathematical, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, or intra-personal.

Linguistic Intelligence is the ability to use and understand language; Logical-Mathematical Intelligence is the ability to use numbers and math concepts.
Visual-Spacial Intelligence is the ability to understand the relationships of images and figures in space. Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence is the ability to
hear tone and pitch and to sense rhythm. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence is the ability to move with grace and strength. Interpersonal Intelligence is the ability to work with other people and lead them. Intra-personal Intelligence is the ability to understand one’s own emotions, motivations, and goals.

People who have highly developed intelligence in one area may be weak in other areas.
In addition, a child’s temperament and his spiritual gifting can have a powerful influence on his ability to learn. Profound differences in people’s personalities cause them to be more receptive to certain learning environments and methods.

Determining your child’s learning preferences can be important because traditional teaching methods and materials favor the serious and deliberate temperaments, visual and auditory learners, left-brained thinkers, and linguistic and logicalmathematical intelligences.

What kind of learning disposition does your child have?

You can get a general idea of the type of learning disposition your child has by taking this little test created by the authors of Discover Your Child's Learning Style.

Choose one:

1. Likes learning activities that are short or like games.

2. Likes using workbooks or doing timed drills.

3. Likes learning centers, labs, or field trips.

4. Likes to work in small groups or do projects with others.

5. Likes activities that allow him or her to use imagination and/or creative thinking.

If you chose:#1: You may have a child with a Performing Disposition. Since staying focused on material that you are not interested in is difficult for you, having 10-20 minutes of instruction or study followed by 20 minutes of "processing time" is very important. When doing homework or any kind of lesson or study, frequent breaks are necessary. People with a Performing Disposition are probably the most misunderstood in traditional classroom and work settings. They usually need to move frequently and they learn better if they can "experience" the lesson. They are often labeled hyperactive or A.D.H.D. (attention deficit hyperactive disorder).

If you chose #2: You may have child with a Producing Disposition. You are likely to enjoy being focused for long periods of time. You probably don't mind sitting at a desk, taking instruction, keeping schedules, and doing exactly what you are asked to do. Clear explanations, guidelines, and due dates are very important since you need to be able to plan ahead and keep things organized. Producing people are usually "ideal" students and employees.

If you chose #3: You may have a child with an Inventing Disposition. You don’t mind being focused for long periods of time as long as it is your own project. In fact, when you are working on a project of interest, you are likely to lose track of time and resent it when you are interrupted or asked to stop working. Inventing people need to set aside time to do things that "must" be done—that they don't enjoy doing,—so that they have lots of "open ended" free time to pursue their own projects. In classroom situations, these people are frequently labeled A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder).

If you chose
#4: You may have a child with a Relating-Inspiring Disposition. Everything you do is more enjoyable and easier to do if you can work with others—in a small group or with another person. The interaction with other people, the discussion, the group problem solving, and sense of cooperation keep you interested and participating in the learning process. Many of these people are Auditory-Verbal Learners, needing to talk things out and discuss in order to understand and retain information.

If you chose #5: You may have a child with a Thinking-Creating Disposition. People may say that you are a "daydreamer" or that you are unfocused." Wonder and imagination—seeing things in a new way—keep you interested and participating in the learning process. You are probably a Visual-Picture Learner and possibly a Hands-On or Sketching Learner. Doodling or drawing could facilitate comprehension and writing. The ideas of Thinking-Creating people can seem "off the wall" or unrelated to the subject. These students are also often labeled A.D.D.

Resources to discover how your child learns best

Developed by the authors of Discover Your Child's Learning Style, this is the most powerful and user friendly learning styles inventory in the world and it is NOW ONLINE! A Self-Portrait™ Profile assesses several aspects of learning style, quickly and simply, in language that is easily understood by everyone. These aspects are: Disposition, Modality, Environment, Interests, and Talents. If you want help in understanding what makes your child "tick" and how your can help him or her learn easier and better (or find out more about yourself), take this easy, quick learning styles assessment test. For more about this learning styles assessment test, CLICK HERE>>

Discover Your Child's Learning Style is a book you need. Period. It has more potential to improve your child's education - and your family relationships - than almost any other book I have ever read. The authors of this book have developed a "Learning Styles Model" of education that helps you discern your child's:
Preferred learning environment
Thinking Style
The book includes handy self-tests. Use these to find out just how each child in your family loves to learn... and what teaching approaches help or hinder his learning style. What a huge difference this will make in your homeschool... and in your family relationships!

Discover Your Children's Gifts
will help you uncover your children's natural giftings and personality traits. It helps explain why their personality "quirks" are really evidences of their own God-given gifts. The theological foundation is very sound, making good sense of the main passages on spiritual gifts in a way very few others do. Gifts are broken into 1) Manifestation (sign gifts - 1 Cor 12-14; Acts 2) 2) Ministry (equipping gifts - Eph 4) & 3) Motivational (every-Christian-gifts - Rom 12).

Dreamers, Discoverers and Dynamos. Every now and then a book comes along that fills in so many gaps in my understanding that I want to tell everyone about it. Dr. Pallodino suggests that one in five children is an "Edison Trait child," meaning he or she has one or more of the following: dazzling intelligence, an active imagination, a free-spirited approach to life, and the ability to frustrate the you-know-what out of others. The heart of the issue is that these children think divergently, while schools generally reward convergent thinking. This book discusses the different types of approaches to life your children may have (dreamer, discover, or dynamo) and how you can most help each type succeed.

100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy. I've always recommended Cathy's curriculum guides as the best out there for choosing teaching materials that "mesh" with who your family is. Now Cathy guides you through the process, offering her "Top Picks" from each subject area.

A major feature of 100 Top Picks is the charts showing the 100 Top Picks in relation to educational approaches, learning styles, and practical features such as prep time needed; design for independent, one-on-one, or group learning; and ease of use for the teacher. Complete reviews of each of the Top Picks provide parents the information they need to make the best choices for each of their children.

The first half of 100 Top Picks covers information that will help you decide your child's learning styles, help you decide what your "Philosophy of Education" is, and help you figure what to teach when. The second half has reviews for all 100 of the top picks. You will gain a lot of insight into what curriculum is available by reading these reviews. She even tosses some extra "Picks" here and there that would've made the list if her book's title was "200 Top Picks".

Any article appearing on this website may be copied or forwarded electronically provided that proper credit is given and that the article is not substantively modified. No article may appear in whole or in part in a publication sold for profit or as part of any commercial endeavor without the written consent of Home School Marketplace.

© Copyright 2006. Home School Marketplace, 1053 Eldridge Loop, Crossville, TN 38571.
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