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A VARK Learning Styles Discovery:
Mo

VARK Learning Styles

As homeschoolers (Preschool, full-time, or Afterschool) we need to refrain from putting our kids in boxes based on their age or grade level--and definitely not based on

“What everyone else is doing.”

About that oldest daughter of mine. 

Yes, her name is Mo. 

She is an avid reader who likes musicals and baking—especially if chocolate is involved.

She likes to spend her birthday at the, "castle full of books" AKA the local library,  and has volunteered there on many occasions.

Currently, she learns best by what Neil Fleming calls 'Read Write' in his Learning Styles model.

She does well in Language Arts and has recently started trying to earn college credits in this area, even though shes only 13 years old. 

--We'll see how it goes.

She has a difficult time listening to broken English and is the senior editor, here at AfterschoolHomeschool.com

She likes educational word shows and was quite fond of PBS Kids’ Electric Company when she was younger.

When she was approaching her teenage years she came to me and requested that we find something a bit more “grown up.”

She wanted an entertaining website that was fit for teens.

I thought it was a grand idea and I accepted the challenge.

It wasn’t easy.  She didn’t like ANY of the ‘teen’ sites and neither did I.  

She thought they were boring and just less restricted versions of some of the ‘kid’ social sites she had already encountered.

She was discouraged.

She said, “I can’t watch PBS Kids for the rest of my life.”


WE FOUND A GEM!

Well, it so happened that we needed to look up the definition of a word during this time and instead of using our regular dictionary we Googled it and landed at Merriam-Webster.com.

She was hooked. 

Can you believe it? A dictionary website had become my preteen’s new favorite website.


WE FOUND ANOTHER GEM!

A few weeks later, I was headed out to vote at one of our local elections and found that my husband had the car’s radio station on NPR (National Public Radio).

I caught a brief glimpse of the program “A Way With Words”.

I said to myself, “Mo would really like this.”

When I returned home I found the website and shared a few of the archives with her.

She was hooked. 


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

We had officially replaced her ‘kiddie’ websites with mature ‘teenage’ sites.

Now, of course, we know these two sites are NOT teenage sites and a dictionary site would be a favorite to very few people.


WHAT ABOUT YOUR MISSION?

I share this with you to illustrate how kids are unique and how they NEED their parents to help them to find resources that are “uniquely them.”

As homeschoolers (full-time or AFTERschool) we need to refrain from putting our kids in boxes based on their age or grade level--and definitely not based on “What everyone else is doing.”

Even teenagers need assistance during their times of transition to ease the level of frustration.

It may take a little bit of foot work from you but you and your child will be glad when you work together to find what works.

You will see a more confident child if you learn to approach him or her as an individual and a more confident child is a more capable child.

Hope this helps as you follow the AfterschoolHomeschool.com process to “Find the Gem” that helps your child succeed.


ONE FINAL NOTE

I must say, I have only recently started to look into the VAK/VARK learning styles.  

My approach has been to try and stay in tune with my children.

I try to notice their likes and dislikes; as well as their joys and frustrations.

So, although I refer to Neil Fleming's VARK learning styles and suggest you take a look at learning styles books like Discover Your Child's Learning Style by Mariaemma Willis and The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias (A favorite of Mo's), my main advice in this area is:

Look, Listen, Learn.

  • Look at what your child is interested in.
  • Listen to her excitement or frustration.
  • Learn how she learns.

This really is all there is to Learning Styles. 

This little technique will help you out as you are finding what works for your child.

You can read more about my learning styles discoveries in this funny story about my second oldest daughter.


LABELING NOT ALLOWED

It is NOT beneficial to label your children based upon the VAK/VARK Learning Styles model--or any model, for that matter.  

They are way too complex for that.

For more about the DOs and DON'Ts of Learning Styles, click here.


UPDATE: Dec 2013, Mo now prefers Oxford Dictionary's website over Merriam-Webster's due to all of the advertising on Merriam-Webster.


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