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Homework Help > Learning Styles: DOs and DON'Ts > Styles: A Funny Story

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UGH! Why My Life Is Like This?
A Funny Story About Learning Styles

DISCLAIMER

When I talk about knowing your child’s preferred way to learn you might begin to get concerned and wonder how in the world you are supposed to figure all this out.

  • Visual 
  • Auditory
  • Read/ Write
  • Kinesthetic (Tactile)

While I did tell you that having a working knowledge of your child’s leading style is essential to providing the best homework help in your Afterschool Homeschool,  I have no plans to get into all the science of Learning Styles.

You know by now that I feel you are the expert on your child.

So although I recommend books like Discover Your Child's Learning Style by Mariaemma Willis and The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias (This one had my oldest daughter and me cracking up), as well as fun, online Learning Styles assessments like Kidzmet, I suggest you start by doing what you've been doing:

Caring and observing.

Look, Listen, Learn.

It is simple but it works so well.

I’ll share a story from some time ago to give you an example.

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DOWN MEMORY LANE

It was my oldest daughter-Mo, my second oldest daughter-Jo, my baby girl-MadiMo, and me.  We were at the kitchen table doing a ‘cool’ phonics song.

I was so into the song.  My oldest was so into the song.  My second oldest was into the song… for a while.

We were just singing and bouncing, “A /a/ /a/ apple, B /b/ /b/ ball, C /c/ /c/ cat, D /d/ /d/ daddy!”

It was a song that my oldest and I had sang many times in the past.  

Although she had heard the song many times, it was Jo’s first time sitting and singing with us.  

She was so excited.  I was happy because she was growing up and was ‘officially’ starting some phonics lessons.

As we made it to, "S /s/ /s/ snake, T /t/ /t/ tummy,” I noticed that Jo had slowed down significantly.  

I wondered but kept on singing.

I was still enjoying it.  Mo was still enjoying it.

By the time we made it to “Y /y/ /y/ yellow,” Jo burst out, “UGH! Why my life is like this?!?”

Although her little broken, backwards English was cute, her outburst really shocked me.  

I looked at Mo.  Mo looked at me.   

We didn't know what to say.

... We did stop singing though.


THE TAKE AWAY

What did I take away from that moment?

Well, Jo obviously didn’t care to learn through song at that time.  She really tried but it just wasn’t the teaching style that she needed at the time.

I had to make a decision.

Was I going to continue to force my three year old to sing or was I going to try a different approach based upon her preferred Learning Style?

I chose a different approach. 

I tried things like spreading all the letters out and letting her bounce on them as she called out their name and or phoneme.  

She was just fine with this.

At the time I called her "my manipulative baby".  By that I meant she was hands on.  She processed most things in a kinesthetic/ tactile manner (Not uncommon for that age). 

She needed lots of things to manipulate and figure out through touch in order for her to stay engaged.

We made sure to let her use the cusinaire rods and base ten counters from Learning Resources - Leading manufacturer of innovative, hands-on educational toys to engage her in Math.

FAST FORWARD

My daughter is still like this eight years later.  She is very talented in the area of figuring things out.

If my son wants something built with blocks and no one can figure it out, we call Jo.

She likes to build things and create new contraptions to serve handy little purposes.

She doesn’t burst out in anguish anymore if we are singing.  In fact, she thoroughly enjoys singing now—even as a mode of learning.

BUT just imagine how much I would have taken from her if I had tried to force her to be like her sister.  

It can be challenging trying to meet the needs of each child.  However, it was--and still is – a wonderful adventure seeing all the ways my children are different and unique.  

I have learned that if I’ll allow the differences to take shape, I will be impressed at every turn.


YOUR TURN

You'll be impressed with the progress your child will make, too.

Try to meet your child where she is.  Observe her and give her opportunities to show you what she can do!

Share your, "Aha!" moment below.

How effective did your homework help become after you discovered your children's their leading Learning Styles and started to teach them the way they learn?

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Homework Help > Styles: DOs and DON'Ts > Styles: A Funny Story



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"UGH! Why My Life Is Like This?"


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