Every child is created unique. My five children all have their own personalities, likes and dislikes, and their own learning styles. Today I’m talking about my kids’ different ways of learning and ideas for the kinesthetic learner.
For years I have been in search of just the “right books” for our homeschool curriculum. I have been homeschooling for 11 years now. You would think that I had it all figured out!
I will say that over the last three years I have been quite happy with just about every book I have purchased for my children.
I had never really paid much attention to the articles I would come across from time to time regarding different learning styles. I knew each of my children were unique. I knew each of my children had different passions. But I never really stopped to think about how they learned differently.
I have one child who doesn’t seem bothered by anything, she reads whole novels in a hour, and she retains information like a sponge. She hated lapbooking the few times I tried doing them with her. She loves math and spends hours drawing, cross stitching, and reading.
I have another child who is very creative. She loves reading, creative writing, drawing, and music. She hates math and has a difficult time processing equations. She needs the room to be very quiet so she can concentrate because she is easily distracted.
My youngest child is only six and just now beginning to do regular school work, but as far as I can tell, she will be much like the first child I mentioned. She spends hours drawing detailed artwork, loves to paint and sketch in her nature journal, loves to sit down and read aloud to me.
I have another child who is fascinated by nature – anything to do with the living world around her. She collects bugs, and toads, and mysterious seeds like other people collect stamps 0r figurines. She hates handwriting, likes to draw, but never takes her time and she just cannot sit still for any length of time. She hates having to sit down and work on phonics because it is “soooo borning!” Yet, she is a whiz at math. She loves any kind of adventure such as camping, obstacle courses, and roller coasters. She likes “action!”
This child is a Kinesthetic Learner. According to LearningStyles.org, kinesthetic learners have these unique ways of learning:
- Learns by doing, direct involvement
- Often fidgets or finds reasons to move
- Is not very attentive to visual or auditory presentations
- Wants to be “doing” something
- Tries things out and likes to manipulate objects
- Gestures when speaking
- Is often a poor listener
- Responds to music by physical movement
- Often finds success in physical response activities
- Learns better when able to move during learning
- Likes to move hands (doodling, tapping,) while learning
- Uses movement to help concentrate
You can read more about the different learning styles on their website here.
She loves lapbooking but can’t stand cutting stuff out. Instead of having her cut and paste all of the mini books and pockets, etc. I am now doing it for her! Talk about a freeing experience!
She has for the first time enjoyed making a lapbook! Our first lapbook that I cut out for her was on Owls. Like I said earlier, she loves anything to do with nature. She loved the Owl Study that I found over at Lapbook Lessons.
We are now working on a study of Australia and will be completing a lapbook for that unit as well. One thing that really help her focus is to take frequent breaks. She just can’t sit still for longer than 10 minutes at a time. And that’s okay!
5 Ideas for the Kinesthetic Learner
Realizing that I have a kinesthetic learner was an eye opener for me. Suddenly, I realized that all those lessons I have tried to teach for the last year or two were not what she really needed.
Obviously, you can’t get away from workbooks and book work totally, but I have come up with a few things that I think will make this year better for both of us.
1. Explode the Code.
She just had a terrible time sitting through the Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons book. As soon as we sat down with that book the wiggling began. On the second day of using Explode the Code a light bulb went off in my brain when she said, “Mom, I really like this book because I’m actually doing something.”
2. File Folder Games.
I think that doing a lot of memory work will be easier if she can play a game at the same time. I hope!
3. Nature Walks.
This child loves nature and nature walks are one of her favorite things.
4. Lots of Crafts.
Keep her hands busy with educational crafts!
5. Science Experiments.
She has begged me to do science experiments. In the past I have always put off doing experiments because they seem so time consuming and messy. This year I decided that as a reward on Fridays we will do science experiments.
I am going to print out her lesson plan for the week and each time she completes her workbox lessons I will have her put a star or other sticker on the lesson plan. If she gets all of her stars we’ll do the experiment. Hopefully, this will be a great motivator!
I have found a few neat websites that have experiments for children:
We’ll see how things go. I have a lot of really fun things planned for this year!