God has blessed us with five senses. Everything we learn comes through seeing, hearing, tasting, touching or /and smelling it. Educators refer to these senses as modes of learning or learning styles. For maximum learning to take place teaching using all senses is necessary. We usually prefer one of the senses. You’ve heard people say, “I need to see it to learn, I need to hear it to remember, etc.” They are telling us their preferred learning style.
When it’s time for homework it is important to know our children’s learning style to know how to approach homework.
The learning styles summary here shows what is needed for maximum learning to take place. Usually each person has a preferred learning style or styles.
- Auditory(want to hear it)
- Visual (want to see it)
- Tactile/Kinesthetic (want to feel/touch it)
- Experiential (want to do it)
We should study our children and determine what their preferred learning style is- the learning style they learn best in.
When I was teaching Kindergarten two situations really stand out. The first one was a boy. He would fail his spelling test every week. I talked to the child’s Mom and she was puzzled. She said, “I don’t understand, I call (auditory) his spelling words out every night and he spells them correctly but then when he has the test he fails.”I explained to her he was a visual learner and needed to see/write the words to remember them. In Kindergarten children are just learning to write comfortably and sometimes they write so slowly he/she may still be on a word and the teacher is on another word. They need to practice!! I instructed the parent to let the child practice writing the word as she called them out, I also told her to write the words on a big sheet of paper, preferably in red ink and put them up so the child can see them every day. When the day of the test comes the child can visualize the words and remember what they LOOK like. She was amazed because her child got all of his words correct for the rest of the year.
The 2nd situation was a little girl that could not remember the names of the alphabets. She was able to say the alphabets but when you point to one and ask “What letter is this she couldn’t tell you.” She could copy the alphabets, sing the alphabets, but to say the name of the alphabet out of sequence she did not recall. This meant every week she would fail her spelling test. I noticed this child was a very tactile = kinesthetic, hands-on, artistic child. So I decided to have her spell her words using play dough. After she formed the letters I would have her feel the letters and say their names. This was fun for her and she mastered the names of the alphabets. Google kinesthetic spelling activities and get more ideas.
Every child can learn, we have to find out what avenue to use.
On the next blog we will look into how the personalities of our children affect homework time.