Your Homeschooled Child’s Learning Style

One of the disadvantages of education through public schools is that they are not adequately able to cater to the individual learning styles of the students. The teachers have the responsibility of teaching a lot of information to a reasonably large group, and there just isn’t the time to teach it in every different way. Unfortunately that means, while some students will continue to thrive in this environment, others, who may be just as “intelligent”, will flounder. Is this the teacher’s fault? In most cases, no. Are the less successful students just being lazy? Possibly but, in many cases, it may well be because the information is not being presented in the most efficient way for those students to grasp the concepts. Just as we are all individuals, so are our learning styles.

As a homeschooling parent, especially those who are homeschooling more than one child, you have probably already noticed one of your children may learn and comprehend things in a different way to another of your children.

You might be asking yourself, what types of learning styles are there? Do a quick search on the internet or through some educational philosophy texts and you will quickly discover that one way that learning styles are categorized are as visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. Some authors also include logical learners.

How useful you find these categories will depend on your personal belief systems, but I personally think it is much more helpful just to be mindful that different methods of learning will suit different people in different circumstances. While I shall be using these three categories for the purpose of this article, it is useful to note that it is rare for an individual to slot neatly and completely into one category of learning. Most of us learn in a variety of ways, even if one of these ways is the strongest. I also often find that the more senses you can utilize in the learning process, the more efficient and effective the learning is.

Learning involves effectively processing information. Taking note of how your children best take in, interpret and recall that information will enable you to focus on their strengths, rather than their weaknesses. When students are given every chance to succeed, you may be surprised just how successful they may actively become!

So, what is the difference between these categorized learning styles?

Auditory learners learn through listening. They learn best through discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say. Auditory learners are able to interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances. Written information may have little meaning until it is heard. Auditory learners spell words accurately and easily as they can identify the different sounds.

Visual learners learn through seeing. These learners need to see their teacher’s body language and facial expression to fully understand content. In a larger environment they tend to prefer to sitting at the front avoid visual obstructions (e.g. people’s heads). Sometimes daydreamers, visual learners may think best in pictures and learn best from visual displays of information including diagrams, illustrated text books and videos. Older children who are visual learners may find taking detailed notes helps them absorb the information.

Kinaesthetic learners are tactile and learn through moving, doing and touching. They learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them. They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration. When explaining something, they will want to show you, rather than tell you.

Logical learners learn through thought, by questioning ideas and exploring patterns and relationship. They enjoy puzzles and seeing how things work. Capable of highly abstract forms of logical thinking at early age, the logical learner constantly questions and wonders about the world around them. They like routine and consistency in their homeschooling day.

Examples of educational activities that work best for each learning preference can be found in the ebook Getting Started in Homeschooling.

Once you have found the best ways that your homeschooled child learns new information, you will be able to incorporate these methods into their learning material and focus on their strengths to develop them. Don’t allow your routine to stagnate, though, as your childrens’ learning processes may change as they grow and develop. Locking them into a single style may not be in their best interests.

Remember, as homeschoolers you have the freedom to explore different educational mediums that are difficult to offer in a school situation. It is up to you to use this freedom to your, and your child’s, advantage.


Melissa Murdoch has a passion for life span development and education, and believes wholeheartedly that a healthy society begins at home. For further information on how to get started in homeschooling, please visit www.YourHomeschoolCommunity.com.

avatar Melissa Murdoch (32 Posts)

Melissa Murdoch has a passion for life span development and education, and believes wholeheartedly that a healthy society begins at home. For further information on how to get started in homeschooling, please visit her website at http://www.YourHomeschoolCommunity.com.


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