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choosing the right curriculum for your childs learning style

Choosing the Right Homeschool Curriculum for Your Child’s Learning Style

The beautiful thing about homeschooling is the wide variety of curriculum options available. That can also be the most overwhelming thing about homeschooling. With so many options, choosing one can be a source of anxiety.  Picking the wrong curriculum can create a homeschool environment that’s not enjoyable for anyone.

One important way to make sure your homeschool works for you and your child is to know her learning style. No matter how great your homeschool plans and lessons are, if they don’t fit with the way she learns best, it’s likely she will struggle and become frustrated. Here are some tips for choosing the right homeschool curriculum for your child’s learning style.

How to Determine Your Child’s Learning Style

The first step in choosing the right homeschool curriculum for your child’s learning style is to determine what your child’s learning style is.

Homeschool On is a great resource. It offers a free learning style quiz that will help you decide how to best teach your child. Answer the questions for each of your children, and structure your teaching accordingly for the best results.

Don’t jump too quickly based on those results, though. It’s best to observe your child over the course of time to discover how he expresses himself and his interests then use those observations in combination with the quiz results.  Here are common characteristics of each learning style:

Common Characteristics of Visual Learners

  • Excels in art and other visual activities
  • Enjoys books that include illustrations
  • Good a recognizing faces
  • Works best when provided an example
  • Good a reading maps and charts
  • Likes to play with construction toys and jigsaw puzzles
  • Better than most at observing details
  • Easily distracted by visual stimulation
  • Struggles with:
    • Creative writing
    • Word problems

Common Characteristics of Auditory Learners

  • Excels in music and other auditory activities
  • Frequently sings or hums
  • Follows verbal instructions well
  • Enjoys talking
  • Listens to all instructions before starting a task
  • Asks a lot of questions
  • Learns new words phonetically
  • Excellent memory for names, dates and trivia
  • Likes word games
  • Usually able to learn times tables easily
    • Struggles with:
      • Editing written work
      • Attention to detail in math

Common Characteristics of Kinesthetic Learners

  • Highly active; doesn’t sit still for too long
  • Uses lots of gestures and body language when talking
  • Needs to touch and feel
  • Good a mimicking others
  • Enjoys “moving” activities, such as sports and dance
  • Usually gets started on a task quickly
  • Excellent muscle coordination
  • Distracted when needs to sit still
  • Excellent at disassembling and reassembling gadgets
  • Struggles with:
    • Phonics
    • Analytical work

Choosing the Right Homeschool Curriculum for Your Child’s Learning Style

Once you determined your child’s learning style, read the section below that most fits how she learns. Use the resources and tips to formulate a successful homeschool curriculum!

Choosing the Right Homeschool Curriculum for Visual Learners

According to Wikipedia, “Visual learning is a style in which a learner utilizes graphs, charts, maps and diagrams.”

They need to see the concepts in action in order to fully grasp them. With this information, you can tailor your homeschool lessons to include showing your child how to master the different concepts.

Worksheets work well for visual learners, who often forget instructions or lessons they hear. Having everything right in front of them is always best. (Be sure to check out all of the resources right here at Modern Homeschool Family. We offer plenty of free worksheets for homeschoolers!)

LearningScience.org offers free tools to help your visual learner see how things work. He can create graphs, use a virtual microscope and more at this website.

Toys and games may also help you visual learner master concepts. Playing with money, for example, is much easier to understand and remember than you telling him that a quarter is worth 25 cents.

Learning and Study Tips for Visual Learners:

    • Give written instructions
    • Use different colors for note taking
    • Make and use flashcards
    • Create charts and diagrams
    • Use board and memory games
    • Use books with illustrations
    • Use videos

Choosing the Right Homeschool Curriculum for Auditory Learners

Auditory learners process information best by hearing it. They use listening and speaking to thrive in school settings. They can usually detect changes in tone to really understand what the speaker is saying.

To help your auditory learner thrive, prepare lessons that involve you reading aloud. Lectures are great for the auditory learner. Audiobooks are another great way for auditory learners to understand material.

Audible from Amazon can be a great resource for your auditory learner. They have a ton of non-fiction books like biographies for your student to listen to. One of my favorite resources for audio books is Hoopla Digital.   Available through many public libraries, you can access thousands of audiobooks for free!

Songs that bring about learning concepts also help auditory learners retain important information. Singing the days of the week or multiplication facts is likely to help an auditory learner remember them than writing it all down.

Learning and Study Tips for Auditory Learners:

    • Read books and study material aloud
    • Repeat study notes aloud
    • Make up jingles for memorizing facts
    • Provide instructions orally

Choosing the Right Homeschool Curriculum for Kinesthetic Learners

Hands-on and physical activities are the methods in which kinesthetic learners learn best. They can’t sit still long, so lectures or worksheets don’t interest them.

Take walks daily with your kinesthetic learner. Let them be active, and incorporate learning activities into this outside time. Ask them to count the leaves on a branch, or discuss the process of photosynthesis with them.

LEGOs and other building materials are great for STEM learning in kinesthetic learners. Give them the freedom to construct as they wish, asking questions and including learning opportunities in their play.

Flashcards break up the monotony of reading or listening to you teach for kinesthetic learners. Allow your child to help create the flash cards too!

Learning and Study Tips for Kinesthetic Learners:

    • Use a squeeze/stress ball while studying
    • Create practice tests to use
    • Change positions while doing written work (stand, lay down, etc.)
    • Incorporate art or science experiments
    • Incorporate role playing activities

 

Hopefully these tips and techniques will help you successfully cater to your child’s individual learning style. It’s not enough to homeschool your child – you need to teach your child in the best ways for her to learn. Choosing the right homeschool curriculum for your child’s learning style will help your child learn better and make homeschooling much more enjoyable for the both of you!

choosing the right curriculum for your childs learning style(1)

 

Sources: Independent Education Consultants (UK), Grade Power Learning, HSLDA

Educational Opportunities at Epcot for Homeschoolers

Educational Opportunities at Epcot for Homeschoolers

Educational Opportunities at Epcot for Homeschoolers is made possible by OrlandoFunTickets.com, a trusted resource for discount Disney World tickets.

 

As a homeschooling family, you know that learning doesn’t stop because the text books are put away. We seek out opportunities for our children to learn every day; whether it be a life skill like getting the oil changed in your car or reinforcing what you’ve been studying by pointing out real-life correlations. There’s no reason for learning to stop when you’re on vacation either.

Ok, don’t throw the rotten tomatoes at me! I’m not talking about dragging your encyclopedia with you or having the kids do worksheets every night before bed. What I am suggesting is that there are many opportunities for your children to learn new things while on vacation, if you just look for them.

Disney World is widely considered the most popular family vacation destination and for homeschooler with kids at Walt Disney World there are a multitude of opportunities to teach. Every Park has its educational points as Disney heritage involves as much about education as it is about entertaining.

You can bring your kids into the planning process of your vacation. Depending on how old they are, you can ask them to research and compare flights, create a route using Google maps, help plan and prepare snacks or entertainment or ask high schoolers to keep track of the budget.

A quick real-life economics activity would be have your older students help allocate the budget for entertainment and tickets. Have them research the various ticket options on the Disney World website and compare the to OrlandoFunTickets.com. (spoiler alert: if you’re planning on spending three or more days in the parks, get them in advance online. The savings really add up!)

Once you get to the parks, the educational opportunities present themselves, if you’re keeping an eye out for them.

Educational Opportunities at Epcot for Homeschoolers

The very basis of Disneyland was how facts and fantasy combine to bring about the potential realities of tomorrow. There is no better place to find this philosophy in action than Epcot. Educational opportunities at Epcot are part of the nucleus of the entire theme park.

Epcot Education

Walt Disney established the groundwork for Walt Disney World by creating his own municipality. It was based on his optimistic view of the future. His desire was to apply his philosophy of optimal behaviorism to his growing mastery of urban design. In so doing, he would create a new kind of prototypical city that would lead the way for the rest of the country. Various aspects of his unique vision tease us from around Walt Disney World; but when Epcot was created it pointed to many of those ideals. At the same time it celebrated Walt Disney’s experience with world’s fairs.

The resulting park is a permanent world’s fair that is subject to change as new possibilities immerse for our future. World showcase connects us to various cultures and Future World teaches young and old alike. Educational elements have been laced throughout even Epcot’s most thrilling adventures. For kids, there is much to explore and discover.

Invention and Discovery Chart

Though there is no official name (some call them science discs or science circles) and most people pass right over it without a thought, this chart is an incredible educational tool. This chart is part of the ground you walk on as you exit the breezeway on your path to the attractions of Future World West. Although three pavilions lie ahead, you should stop to observe this fascinating chart. One of the best educational opportunities at Epcot, it chronicles inventions and discoveries throughout recorded time. Each disc in the floor includes an important scientific event. These events include the year, the inventor/discoverer, the country and the era in which this took place. You could even take pictures of each one and turn them into flash cards.

Educational Attractions at Epcot for Homeschoolers

Educational Rides at Epcot

Living with the Land is one of the most educational attractions in Epcot, because it gives a brief history of ecosystems and then a tour of agricultural techniques. The attraction emphasis the science behind growing food and the ways we can responsibly cultivate the land to create more food with fewer resources and less strain on the environment.

Spaceship Earth is the most straightforward educational attraction. It’s pure purpose is to teach guests about the history of communication. What an amazing story this is! It sweeps you through the ages from cave paintings to the internet using three dimensional tableaus to illustrate each new development in history. The finale of the ride offers an optimistic glimpse of the future based on the interests of each set of riders.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends may seem like it lacks substance, but beyond the fun characters and the entertainment, there is real education to be had at this aquarium. observe manatees, dolphins, sharks and more as you explore a simulation sea base. Special tours are available at an extra cost that include swimming in the giant tank for SCUBA and non SCUBA certified guests.

Educational Shows at Epcot

Reflections of China is a circle vision film in the China Pavilion at the World Showcase. This 360 presentation provides stunning and poetic imagery that displays remnants of the ancient past and the modern cityscapes that reflect their origins.

The American Adventure is an impressive show that presents the history of the United States in  a nutshell. Told from the perspectives of Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin this moving and educational show features an impressive use of sets and audio animatronics that rivals any classic Disney attraction.

Impressions de France is a film that provides an overview of the diverse regions of France and what it must be like to live there. It’s a treat for the eyes and a more casual presentation, but it shares much about French Culture just off of the impressions the film gives.

O Canada is another circle vision film. The aim of this production is to open your eyes to the wonder and diversity of Canadian geography and culture. Martin Short gives an engaging tour of all that Canada has to offer.

Educational Galleries and Exhibits at Epcot

Norway has an exhibit inside of the Stare Church midway through the pavilion. It’s a small gallery that features Norse mythology. Dioramas depict Norwegian gods in scenes from the myths, illustrating some of the stories found in the gallery.

America has a gallery dedicated to the art of Native Americans. This is a gallery inside the main show building next to the lobby. It’s an ideal way to make use of your time before the theater opens up for the next performance.

Morocco has yet another gallery. This one is easy to pass because the small building has closed doors and very little signage. Inside is an exhibit on the art of adornment, featuring various dress and accessories for Moroccan rituals, customs and traditions.

These are just some of the many educational opportunities to explore in Epcot. Disney World isn’t the only place to find educational opportunities while on vacation. If you’re looking for it, you can find educational value almost anywhere.  Do you know of any secrets or tips that I left out? Share them in the comments below and tell me what you would like to know about next!

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free robotics steam lesson plan featured

Free Robotics STEAM Lesson Plan

This free Robotics lesson plan is made possible by hoopla digital, one of my favorite STEAM unit study resources. Please consider expressing your thanks to hoopla digital on Twitter or Facebook. All opinions expressed are those of the author.

To utilize time well in the homeschool classroom, I often try to integrate different curricular areas into my lessons. That’s why I love using STEAM lessons! STEAM lessons incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math to help your child receive a well-rounded education and develop their strengths. STEAM is also about incorporating futuristic ideas and design thinking. Your child is developing skills that will help them in the future. They may enter a career that doesn’t exist yet. The world of robotics is making so many things possible!

Here’s a robotics STEAM lesson plan to try with your student!

Robotics STEAM Lesson Plan

Lesson: Robotics

Grade Level(s): 7-9

Robotics STEAM Lesson Plan Introduction:

One of the strongest movements in the STEAM field is robotics. Allow your child to research innovative designs made possible because of advancements in the field of robotics. Career fields involving robotics are definite opportunities for young learners as they enter the future work world. For starters, students can learn to create their own robots with helpful STEAM resources found on hoopla digital.

This lesson begins with a video, ”What Will the Future Be Like?”. Then, your child will spend time researching careers in robotics with an engaging text book, Robotics Careers. Finally, your student will create a robot with simple materials you can find at home. The lesson should take about 5-6 hours to complete.

Robotics STEAM Lesson Plan Materials:

Robotics STEAM Lesson Plan Procedure:

STEP ONE:

Watch ”What Will the Future Be Like?” PBS video. The approximately hour-long video, released in 2013, has some futuristic inventions that may be close to reality in 2019. Use this video to discuss what robotics has done to innovate education and the work world. What jobs could be replaced by robots? What does that mean for your child as they look for future-ready careers? What innovations are they the most excited about? What ideas would they create to help the future of communication, education, medicine and more?

STEP TWO:

Now that your child has explored the future with robotics and other innovative tools, have them look into careers related to robotics. Even though some careers are becoming obsolete because of robots, the future with robots is responsible for creating many jobs that don’t even exist yet! Have your child research Robotics Careers through the book of the same name. Your student may also choose to use reputable websites and reach out to engineers, computer scientists, and others in the field of robotics. Have your child fill out the graphic organizer as they explore the different occupations in the robotics field.

STEP THREE:

It’s time to create! After exploring futuristic ideas and careers, let your learner make their own robot from projects in Robotify It! Robots You Can Make Yourself. Make a bouncy solar bugbot with the directions on pages 10-13 in the book. Although the text is also appropriate for elementary students, middle level students will enjoy creating these unique robots with objects found at home. Your homeschooler will love this hands-on, engaging activity. Explore other robot creations in the book as well.

Materials Needed:

  • Book, Robotify It! Robots You Can Make Yourself
  • plastic lids or bowls
  • paper
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • craft foam
  • pushpin
  • ruler
  • solar cell with wires
  • double-stick adhesive foam
  • needle-nose pliers
  • three paper clips
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • wire stripper
  • vibrating DC motor with wires
  • electrical tape
  • clear tape
  • googly eyes
  • chenille stems
  • pom poms

Follow the simple procedure on pages 10-13 to make a robotic bug powered by sunlight in 13 easy steps.

This lesson plan gives your child an opportunity to research through video, nonfiction text, and hands-on learning. Give it a try in your classroom for your next STEAM integrated unit!

free robotics steam lesson plan printable_Page_2

 

This free Robotics STEAM Lesson Plan is brought to you by hoopla digital.

hoopla digital is a category-creating service that partners with public libraries across North America to provide online and mobile access to thousands of movies, television, music, eBooks, audiobooks and comics. With hoopla digital, patrons can borrow, instantly stream, and download dynamic content with a valid library card. All content is accessible via hoopla digital’s mobile app and online at www.hoopladigital.com. hoopla digital is a service of Midwest Tape – a trusted partner to public libraries for nearly 30 years
For more information about the company, visit: https://www.hoopladigital.com/about.
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hoopla digital for homeschool

making math meaningful for teens

Making Math Meaningful for Teens: Practical Homeschool Advice

Spending time with teens to make math relevant to them now can help them build strong math competencies to achieve success later. So how can parents engage their teens in math-focused activities that both can enjoy? Here are tips to help you capture your teen’s interest and make math meaningful in many ways, through encouragement, entertainment and empowerment.

DIY rainbow rice sensory bin featured

How to Make Your Own Rainbow Rice Sensory Bin

Sensory bins are and excellent tool that can be created easily and inexpensively. Not only are they fun to make and play with but the benefits of using sensory bins in your homeschool are numerous. One of the easiest and least expensive sensory bins to make is a Rainbow Rice Sensory Bin. Just like the name implies, you’ll use rice, and a few other materials.

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