Saturday, October 15, 2011

Teaching to Different Learning Styles

Many books have been written on the subject, and it seems everyone has an opinion on what the different learning styles are and how to best teach each type of learner. Often a child will take after their parent, so if you know you’re a verbal learner, perhaps your child is too. Knowing what type of learner your child is will help you teach material in a way they are able to learn with the least effort.

Verbal students do well in traditional school settings. They are good readers and writers, and in general are excellent students because so much of school is geared toward this learning style.

Auditory learners need to hear things to understand. So explaining a concept to them is easier for them to retain than if they must read it to themselves. They learn best by listening and repeating the information back to you rather than reading and writing the material.

Kinesthetic learners are very hands-on and learn best with things they can touch and feel. Math lessons should involve lots of manipulatives to handle, and science of course can be accomplished with plenty of experiments and physical demonstrations. Many kinesthetic kids would rather tour a historical museum or participate in a historical reenactment than read a history text, and reading in general is not one of their favorite activities.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Homeschooling a Gifted Child

Each family has their own reasons for choosing to homeschool, but for many parents of gifted kids, homeschooling is an excellent option. Public schools are stretched with tight budgets and overcrowded classrooms, and even those with gifted programs have likely had their budgets cut in recent years. Besides that, gifted programs in public schools are limited by what the school district considers appropriate materials to teach, and curious, intellectual children may want to explore something completely different. Instead of pushing a child in a certain direction, as happens in public school, homeschooling allows a gifted child to explore their interests in depth. As we all know, kids learn best when the material is interesting to them!

Whatever curriculum you choose, the basics will still need to be covered. Math, reading , spelling, writing, science, and history. These are the staples in any student’s life. But the manner in which you teach these subjects, and the speed at which a gifted child is able to master a lesson and move on to the next one, varies a great deal.

There are plenty of optional activities to help a gifted child excel. Things like extra science classes at a local museum, or foreign language classes, for example, can give a gifted child an edge. Homeschooling gives families the individual freedom to find ways for their gifted child to succeed.