Hello from The 4 Brothers Ranch! Our family has a lot going on and a couple blogs in order to keep things organized. You can find all our homeschooling stuff here! Annissa's regular everyday blog is called A PAGE IN MY BOOK and also there is a blog to update the kids medical issues at MY UNIQUE FLOWERS. Please check those out too!

Monday, May 25, 2009

HA: Learning Styles

I'm looking through some of the homeschooling books that I picked up at the library, one of which being THE FIRST YEAR OF HOMESCHOOLING YOUR CHILD: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start By: Linda Dobson .... and I came to chapter 4 where it starts to discuss learning styles.

Learning styles is something I'm interested in figuring out because I cannot for the life of me peg Calahan. I can peg myself, Dennis... even Noah. But not Calahan. I can't figure him out.

So there is a section where they are discussing Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences ... Harvard University psychologist Howard Gardner, Ph.D. wrote Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons in Theory and Practice, and also Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century ... basically, (and I am going to quote the book pictured) "This theory suggests that we should employ a pluralistic view when measuring mental functioning. In other words, the theory sets forth a rationale for recognizing a variety of intelligent ways of thinking."

Frames of Mind lists 7 types of intelligences to consider (apparently the first 2 are almost exclusively valued in the school systems.) It suggests that by reviewing the traits listed in each intelligence, that you can understand how underappreciated the majority of intelligences are.

The 7 Types of Intelligences

LINGUISTIC: think in words; possess good auditory skills, learn best by verbalizing or hearing and seeing words.

LOGICAL - MATHEMATICAL: think conceptually; enjoy patterns and experimenting.

BODILY - KINESTHETIC; process knowledge through bodily sensations; fine motor coordinations; learn by moving or acting things out.

VISUAL - SPATIAL: think in images and pictures; inventive and/or artisitc.

MUSICAL: high appreciation of music or talent for creating, including singing; hear sounds that others don't; sensitive to nonverbal sounds.

INTERPERSONAL: good at organizing and communicating (or, negatively, manipulating); natural mediators; learn best by relating and cooperating.

INTRAPERSONAL: Possess deep awareness of inner feelings and ideas; deep sense of self; qualities of inner wisdom or intuition

and in 1996 he added an 8th ...

NATURALIST: skilled at observing, understanding, and organizing patters in the natural environments; good classifer; analyzes minute differences, as in sounds of different engines or fingerpring variations.

Thomas Armstrong Ph.D. put a spin on Gardner's theory in 1987 in a book called In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Personal Learning Style .... where he then the theory more accessible for parents to help customize eduation paths for children. It has chapters on nurturing environments, building support systems for your child, creating positive beliefs, honoring your child, enhance your childs senses to improve learning, and reasons why your child isnt' thriving in school. He even says, while discussing ways to get the best education for your child, that parents should "consider teaching your child at home."


The book also discusses another book called: Discover Your Child's Learning Style by: Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Kindle Hodson ... A brief review of each aspect follows: (taken directly from the book)


Preforming: Prefers activities that are entertaining, relevant, challenging, and hands-on; learns best when teaching is short and to the point, allows movement, involves games, manipulatives, and audiovisuals.

Producing: Prefers structure and order, opportunity to organize; learns best when teaching is logical and sequential, allows planning, scheduling, and due dates.

Inventing: Prefers experimntal activity and opportunity to question, design, and discover; learns best when teaching is direct and provides "intellectual" ideas, theories, models, and time for exploration.

Relating/Inspiring: Prefers social activity, incorporation of personal feelings, and opportunity to interact; learns best when teaching offers individualization, small groups, and cooperative interaction.

Thinking/Creative: Prefers activity that is creative and has artistic or philosophical aspects, provides artistic expression and opportunity to wonder, think, and dream; learns best when theaching allows for time alone and involves the creative process.


Note the similarities to what Gardner calls intelligences.
Criteria to define talents are:
* activities that are done with ease
* child is ahead of others in specific area without previous instruction
* dormant if not developed, but not lost
* have an underlying effect on other life aspects
Talents include music, math-logic reasoning, mechanical reasoning, word-language reasoning, spatial, body coordination, interactive-self, interactive-others, interactive-animals, interactive-nature, humor, and life enhancement.


The avtivities that your child chooses to pursue are valid expressions of your child's learning style, yet they
* are often overlooked by parents
* don't always support a child's talents
* need to be observed
It helps if you assist child in prioritizing interests, especially insofar as recognizing short-term and long-term interests.


Modality refers to the senses through which information is taken in and processed. It takes into account the following:

Auditory - learns through listening or through talking and discussing

Visual - learns through pictures (charts, graphs, maps, etc.) or through pring (reading and writing)

Tactile-Kinesthetic - learns through touch or through movement


Do not ignore the understanding that we all learn best under different circumstances.

Sound - Preference for quiet or need for noise

Body Position - Preference to sit, recline, or stand

Interaction - Preference to be alone or with others, either quietly or intereacting

Lighting - Full-spectrum is better than fluorescent; dimmed lights have a calming effect.

Temperature - Discomfort is created when environment is eather too hot or too cold.


Healthy food and drink, available as needed, help some children's learning efficiency.


Affects mood, as some energizes, soothe, or depress; favorite colors in environment contribute to positive thinking and motivation.


Creating your own schedule

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