Choosing Curriculum based on Learning Style

 

Before you choose curriculum, assess your own and your child's learning style. You may see that you need to make an adjustment in order to accommodate each of your learning styles. A Read/Write parent will have difficulty teaching a Kinesthetic child, etc. Use the results from your learning style assessment to help you select curriculum.

Learning Styles Assessment Resources:

You don’t have to teach every subject according to your child’s learning style, but use it as often as you can - especially for subjects in which your child has difficult. (Your child will need to learn to work in a read/write environment eventually as most schools teach that way.)

I am a Visual/Read-Write/Kinesthetic learner. My daughter is the same; however, my son is a visual/kinesthetic learner. This made it difficult for him to learn using traditional curriculum. During K-8th grade, I tried to incorporate his learning style as much as possible by using books that contained color illustrations, charts, graphs, and maps; by using hands-on projects for “seatwork” and assessment; and incorporating the use of word processing and multimedia software for written projects. Even though he did not enjoy the read-write environment, I had him hand-write his math problems including all the steps taken as well as the solutions, hand-write an occasional composition lesson and worksheet, read an occasional textbook entry, and practice multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank test-taking skills in order to prepare him to work in this type of environment. By the time he reached high school, he not only was on-level, but he was also admitted to college as a concurrent enrollment student at 15.

Following is a list of the four learning styles and type of curriculum that I recommend for each:

Visual Learner (V):
This child likes videos, pictures, posters, slides, textbooks with illustrations, graphs, charts, lecturers who use visual aides, multi-media projects, and underlining their books with colored highlighters.

  • I recommend colorful books, textbooks, and/or unit studies involving a lot of visual aids for this child. Allow him to create projects (posters, video productions, multi-media reports, illustrated booklets, etc.) instead of requiring him to do a lot of traditional worksheets and testing. See Curriculum Recommendations for specific suggestions for each subject.

  • Cutting, pasting, and coloring are good for this type of learning as long as his fine motor skills are developed. (Most boys and some girls do not fully develop their fine motor skills until between the ages of 6 and 9. Read Dr. Raymond Moore's book, Home Grown Kids for more information.)

  • Art is usually a favorite subject for this child. Be sure to give him art lessons, both traditional and computer art. Try to integrate art into as many of his other subjects as possible. Check out the book, Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Art by Diane Reeves, 1998. ISBN 081603687X.

  • Almost all kids like nature. You may also want to check out: Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Animals and Nature by Diane Reeves, 2000. ISBN 0816040982.

Aural/Auditory (A):
Prefers information that is “heard.” This child likes lectures, tutorials, audio tapes and CDs, listening to a tape recorder of a lecture, group discussion, speaking, web chat, and talking things through.

Read/Write (R):Prefers information displayed as words - emphasizes text-based input and output - reading and writing in all its forms. The majority of teachers and curriculum publishers have a preference for this style which is why students who do not learn in this mode have difficulty in school.

  • They like all forms of reading and writing and usually enjoy school. They like lectures, writing stories, creating books, making lists, and have no problems with fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, and essay questions on a test.

  • Alpha-Omega, A Beka, BoB Jones, and most curriculum publishers use this mode. This is the easiest curriculum to find as almost anything works as long as it involves reading and writing.

  • These kids often like to write. Check out the book, Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Writing by Diane Reeves, 1998. ISBN 0816036918.

  • Almost all kids like nature. You may also want to check out: Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Animals and Nature by Diane Reeves, 2000. ISBN 0816040982.

Kinesthetic (K):
Prefers information acquired by the use of hands-on experience and practice (simulated or real). These kids are often misdiagnosed as “ADD” in school. With firm discipline and the right learning environment, these kids often excel at home.

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Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes