As you continue to look at and plan for homeschooling, don’t forget to consider the type of learner you will be homeschooling. Different students have different strengths and weaknesses. They have different learning styles, too. Understanding your child’s learning style and preferences can help you plan the most effective homeschool program for your child.
One of the first things I like to do is talk to my kids about Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. The idea behind multiple intelligences is that we are all “smart” in different ways. Kids may prefer to complete activities and projects in their personal area of strength and may want to avoid projects that are geared toward an area of weakness. It’s great to plan lessons that build on strengths but don’t forget to work in areas of weakness as well. Your child can take a “quiz” here that will help her discover which intelligences are her strongest.
When looking at the “big homeschooling picture”, it may seem that the type of learner you have doesn't really matter - that there are too many other “important” things to plan for. I would argue that identifying your child’s learning style and preferences may be one of the most important things you can do in the planning process.
Keep in mind that there are different types of learners, too. Visual learners learn best by seeing things. They easily interpret graphs, maps, pictures, and other types of visual tools. On the other hand, auditory learners retain information easier when they hear the information through lectures, audiobooks, and songs. These students do well when actively participating in the task at hand. Kinesthetic learners learn best through doing. They may tend to be a bit fidgety and distracted in a traditional educational setting. Don’t know what type of learner you’ve got? Here’s another “quiz” that may help you figure it out.
When looking at the “big homeschooling picture”, it may seem that the type of learner you have doesn't really matter - that there are too many other “important” things to plan for. I would argue that identifying your child’s learning style and preferences may be one of the most important things you can do in the planning process. Why? Because once you start to gain a deeper understanding of your child as a learner, you can plan the most effective homeschool program and choose the most effective homeschool curriculum for your learner. My friends over at Lessons Learned X2 have done a bunch of the leg work for you and have created lists of different homeschool curriculum that fit well with different learning styles. You can check out their post here.
Planning around your child’s learning preferences can have many benefits. Your child will retain information more easily and may become more invested in his education. You might even find you have fewer behavior issues or meltdowns which makes things much less stressful and enjoyable for you, the parent educator. A bit of strategic planning in the beginning can make a world of difference in the duration of the journey!