Tuesday, May 15, 2012

{TOS Crew} The How of Homeschooling

So you've made the decision to homeschool. Now what? The biggest struggle most homeschoolers - new and old - go through is what curriculum to use! However, before we can tackle that topic, we have to determine something equally as important - how does your child learn and how do you best teach. 

My oldest and youngest doing their math drill 
at the same time at their own level.

I would encourage you to figure out how your child learns. There are a number of ways to do this. You can simply observe your child and see how they interact with the world around them. 

There are three major ways a child learns. A visual learner prefers pictures and images and dislikes being read aloud to. An auditory learner likes to be read to and enjoys sound and music. A kinesthetic learner likes to touch and prefers "hands-on"methods of learning. They typically can't sit still. You can read more in depth descriptions by clicking HERE. And yes, a child can be more than one type of learner.

You can even have your child more formally evaluated. In fact, I recommend heading over to the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op (free membership) as they are offering a coupon code for the month of May for Learning Success Institute that gives you a significant discount off their learning assessment. 

Not only is it important for you to know how your child learns, but it's equally important for you to know how you best teach. Do any of those styles above ring true to you? These styles can also fit you as a teacher. How do you best process information? How do you best convey the information to your child? Be mindful of this as we begin tomorrow to look at how to pick out curriculum.

For example, I have learned over the last ten years that's it's very difficult for me to implement any program that requires intensive learning for me. It could be the best program out there and one that might even be a great fit for my child, but if it's not an "open & go" type of curriculum, I'm less likely to use it. I am also a visual learner so I look for bullet points of information and a quick and easy guide.

My middle son - who is a "how-does-it-work-kid"
working on his math drill.

Another very important point is this....you need to tailor fit your curriculum to your child and not the other way around. Most public education settings choose a curriculum based on the average student. This will work for most, but those above it and below it are left wanting. When you homeschool you have the luxury and ability to find the curriculum that best fits your child. Take advantage of that and work to find one that will spark their interest and create the joy of learning in them that most of us are aiming for with our children.

Come back tomorrow for my tips on how to find the right curriculum for your child. And don't forget to hop back over to the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to check out more 5 Days of Blogging!


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