curriculum

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

18-Curriculum-Resources-For-Homeschoolers-Featured

18 Curriculum Resources for Homeschoolers

Are you looking for a comprehensive homeschool curriculum that’s prepared with multiple subjects, or do you desire to supplement the curriculum you already have with additional trusted homeschool resources?  You’ve come to the right place because this is a list of top homeschool curriculum that has been used and approved by thousands of homeschoolers.

Click the link below to read more!

Now-Available-The-50-States-Notebooking-Unit-Featured

Now Available! The 50 States Notebooking Unit

Our “Learning the United States of America” notebooking pages can easily fit with your current curriculum, providing a fun, easy way for your child to record the facts he or she has learned. They can also act as a standalone, complete unit study, and you and your child can use Internet research and/or the library to gather the facts to record on each notebook page. No matter how you choose to use our notebook pages, they are sure to become an integral.

Click the link below to read more!

How-To-Supplement-Your-Homeschool-Art-Program-Featured

How to Supplement Your Homeschool Art Program

If you homeschool, then you should definitely have an art program. How detailed this program is and what it entails will vary based on your needs and that is the beauty of homeschooling – we get to decide for ourselves. However, there are some basic steps to supplementing your art program that you can use to get started.

Click the link below to read more!

Is An All-In-One Curriculum Right for You?

Like a warm security blanket, the all-in-one curriculum arrives at a new homeschooling parent’s door.

For this parent, the thought of having to put together a curriculum from different sources seems impossible. There are so many, with so many different methodologies. Volumes and volumes have been written about how to homeschool and which curriculums are best. How can one choose?

Click the link below to read more.

How to Use Life of Fred Math Books

How to Use Life of Fred Math Books

Life of Fred math books saved my homeschool!

That may sound dramatic but it’s true. My oldest daughter and I struggled and struggled to find the right math curriculum. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many mistakes I made in this process. Some of those mistakes were sticking to a curriculum that wasn’t working for her for two full years because everyone else said how great it was. My daughter was miserable and frustrated and I was miserable and frustrated. And, at the end of the two years, she was no further in math than when we started. By the time she was in “tenth grade” (I use that term loosely and my fellow homeschoolers know why), she was still two years behind and had 3 more years to go.

Screen-Shot-2015-10-22-at-4.04.41-PMEnter Life of Fred. I accidentally came across Life of Fred Math books in my Internet travels. The concept of teaching math as a story was fascinating to me. My daughter was an excellent reader and the first book wasn’t expensive at all, so I figured “Why not?” and bought the first book.

What happened next was nothing short of amazing. My daughter devoured the book. And, she actually found math easy! (The is where the clouds parted, the sun started shining and angels started singing) The stories were so entertaining my daughter couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter. I even handed it to my husband one night and he was reading the book and doing the math to get to the next chapter!

If you’re not familiar with Life of Fred math books, the concept is pretty simple. It’s math explained as a story. No, not “story problems” like you and I had in school. This is the story of Fred. Fred is a 5 year math genius, teaching mathematics at Kittens University; however, even though he’s smart, he is a 5 year old and has to deal with common childhood struggles like buying a bicycle, ordering a pizza and so forth. Each chapter in “Fred’s life” really addresses a particular math concept. Throughout the chapter, Fred plays with math. Math practice for students comes in at the “Your Turn to Play” sections, sprinkled throughout the chapter. At the end of each chapter there is a “bridge” to get to the next part of the story. The “bridge” is made up of 10 questions. If your child doesn’t get the required number of questions right to cross the bridge, it’s okay. There’s more bridges!

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As you can imagine, we were pretty despondent, staring down 5 years of math to complete with only 3 years to complete it. Because I was concerned about her foundation in math, I started her even earlier in the series and you know what? She completed 6 years of math in just 3 years. This wasn’t because we spent hours and hours each day working through traditional math curriculum. It was because the Life of Fred series. These books are interesting, engaging, make math completely approachable and fun!

When I say “Life of Fred saved my homeschool,” I mean it. It saved my sanity, helped my daughter graduate with a solid foundation in math and gave her confidence!

With all of that said, I am more than happy to present the following buyers guide to the Life of Fred series, by Educents.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Complete Life of Fred Buyer's Guide - by Educents.com

So, why are the Life of Fred books gaining popularity? The books follow Fred Gauss, a child prodigy math genius, during his exciting adventures which encounter every day math situations. Children actually want to read these books.

Your child can start using these books when it’s time to learn how to read, and your child can continue learning with Fred all the way to college! For a complete overview of the entire collection, check out each series of books below.

Click a title to learn more about each series in the Life of Fred collection:


Life of Fred Beginning Readers Series

Life of Fred Buyer's Guide

If your kiddo is just starting to learn to read, add these Life of Fred readers to your at-home library. They are fun to read over and over together. Incorporate Fred in your early reading lessons! The complete set consists of 18 books. Each book contains 32 pages.

Who is it for? Beginning readers (ages 4 and up)

Concepts covered: counting, using a compass, patience, days of the week, colors, shapes, how to make mashed potatoes, how to build a house, and more.

Titles included in the set: Blue, Bus, Lake, Potato Dreams, Ducks, Rain, Mud, Night, Dawn, House, Windows, Kitchen, Electricity, Dinner, Evening, Garden, Peach, and Going Home

Buy Now

More resources:
Fred Beginning Reader Tips Fred Beginning Reader Tips

Life of Fred Elementary Math Series

Buyer's Guide Life of Fred Blog Post (2)

Life Of Fred is like no other math program out there. It’s a story that begins with book one, and continues all the way through high school. It includes every other subject, such as science, history, geography, and more. Each book contains short, 4 to 6-page chapters, and usually is less than 20 chapters per book. This makes it possible for each child to go at a pace comfortable for them.

Who is it for? Kindergarten to 4th grade

Concepts covered: time, types of numbers, geometry, measurement, facts about stars, morse code, geography, adjectives & verbs, patterns, functions, sheet music, seven wonders of the world, math poems, percents, numbers vs. numerals, division, slope of a line, graphing, notation, the improper use of seat belts, how to prove you are not a duck, reducing fractions, and so much more.

Titles in this series: Apples, Butterflies, Cats, Dogs, Edgewood, Farming, Goldfish, Honey, Ice Cream, Jelly Beans

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More about the Elementary Math Books:

  • Life of Fred Elementary Math books are discounted on Educents.com
  • “This is my first year home schooling and I wish I had found Fred earlier. My son loves to read, so Life of Fred makes math a cinch to teach now.” -Shanna, homeschooler
  • “I see a light shining bright from within my son that was almost extinguished completely. As he watched me place the order for the complete elementary set of Life Of Fred, I said ‘I can’t wait to see how Fred starts, and I want to see how it ends too, so be ready to order more!’ I smiled and assured him that not only would Fred be part of his learning as long as he desired, but that Fred would be gift wrapped for Christmas presents this year for his niece and nephew, my 2 grandchildren. No more costly potholes for this family!!” -Janet, homeschooler
  • “My granddaughter, who truly dislikes math, always wants to start the day with Fred. I have to stop her after four chapters. She would do the entire book in a day if allowed. I never thought I could use math class as a reward! And she is learning besides.” -Bette, homeschooler
  • Life of Fred Math Books in Carisa’s Homeschool
  • The Complete Guide to Using Life of Fred Homeschool Math
  • Featured on Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Picks
  • Samples: Apples, Butterflies, Cats

Life of Fred Intermediate Math Series

Life of Fred Buyer's Guide - Educents

Designed for students under age 10, but already finished the Life of Fred elementary book series. Best for students who can add, subtract, and who understand multiplication and division.

Who is it for? 3rd to 7th grade

Concepts covered: Milliliters, writing numerals in checks ($4000 and not $40.00), idioms, 1/4 + 1/4 +1/4 = 3/4, elapsed time, metaphors, milligrams and pounds, rounding numbers, three-eights of 19,416, and more!

Titles in this series: Kidneys, Liver, Mineshaft

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More about the Intermediate Math Books:

  • Life of Fred Intermediate Math books are discounted on Educents.com
  • “I was not so sure on these books. I heard a lot of good reviews but after we got them, just skimming through I wasn’t sure my 9 year old daughter would like them. I was WRONG! she really likes them! They move at a pace she likes and being one continuous story about Fred’s life keeps her interested and entertained. We will be back for more soon. She just finished Kidneys and is now on liver.” -Melisa W., Homeschooler
  • Samples: Kidneys, Liver, Mineshaft

Life of Fred Intro to Algebra Series

Life of Fred Buyer's Guide - Educents

If your student can solve these equations: 5 + 8, 8 – 5, 7 times 8, 6231 divided by 93, then he or she is ready for the Fractions title. It also might be time for you to begin using a very basic calculator to complete these lessons.

Who is it for? 6th to 12th grade

Concepts covered: less than, cardinal and ordinal numbers, adding and subtraction fractions, lines of symmetry, geometric figures, circumference, reducing fractions, sets and subsets, probability, consecutive numbers, repeating decimals, area of a triangle, square roots, ordered pairs, and more!

Titles in this series: Fractions, Decimals and Percents

Buy Now

More about the Intro to Algebra Books:

Life of Fred Pre-Algebra Series

Life of Fred Buyer's Guide - Educents

Fred does physics before algebra. What’s the difference between math and physics? In this series, students use math and science to solve quirky, real world scenarios – all while having fun with Fred of course!

Who is it for? 3rd to 7th graders

Concepts covered: numerals, area of a rectangle, the speed of light, nine forms of energy, Hooke’s law, static versus kinetic friction, photosynthesis, metric system, Gregorian calendar, conversion factors, unit analysis, freedom versus liberty, steps in solving word problems, venn diagrams, germination of seeds, digestion, negative numbers, whole numbers, chromosomes, DNA, circumference of a circle, and more!

Titles in this series: Pre-Algebra 0 with Physics, Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology, and Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics

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More about the Pre-Algebra books:

Life of Fred High School Math Series

Life of Fred Buyer's Guide - Educents

Life of Fred is preparing for college! In this series, students learn algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and a few other lessons from Fred. The Zillions of Practice books are keyed directly to the chapters and topics in the associated book. Each problem is worked out in complete detail to offer additional help for a student who may have gotten stuck along Fred’s mathematical journey.

Who is it for? 8th to 12th grade

Concepts covered: infinite numbers, ratios, graphs, plotting points, averages, multiplying polynomials, solving fractional equations, Pythagorean theorem, milkshake marketing, absolute value, surface area of a cone, imaginary numbers, slopes of perpendicular lines, complex fractions, linear equations, Cramer’s rule, ellipses, graphing in three dimensions, geometric sequences, Pascal’s Triangle, right triangles, quadrilaterals, entrepreneurship, geography of Kansas, piano music, sines, cosines, functions of two angles, a preview of calculus, and more!!

Titles included in the series: Beginning Algebra, Zillions of Practice Problems for Beginning Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Zillions of Practice Problems for Advanced Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry

Buy Now

More about the High School Math books:

Life of Fred High School Language Arts Series

Life of Fred Buyer's Guide - Educents

Each book contains 19 cohesive lessons on grammar, language, writing, common mistakes, and basically the entire English language. The creator suggests doing these four books once every year during your students’ high school years.

Who is it for? 5th to 12th graders

Concepts covered: the seven parts of speech, punctuation, spelling, similes, silent letters, rules for making outlines, the difference between a metaphor and metonymy, and so much more.

Titles included in the series: Australia, Begin Teaching, Classes, Dreams

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More about the Language Arts books:

Life of Fred Chemistry

Life of Fred Buyer's Guide - Educents

In a single lecture hour, Fred completes a whole year of high school chemistry.

Who is it for? 8th grade to college

Concepts covered: exponents, atoms, conversion factors, mass vs. weight, Avogadro’s number, Kelvin scale, atomic number, isotopes, compounds, noble gasses, finding the atomic mass, early chemistry, oxidation numbers, balancing equation, and more!

Buy Now

More about the Chemistry book:

  • Life of Fred Chemistry book is discounted on Educents.com
  • “It’s solid science presented in a way that’s understandable, not intimidating, and fun. You learn math, you learn history and you learn science, all through the Life of Fred – through his experiences and teachings.” -Lisa, Homeschooler
  • “It reads like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but the chemistry is solid.” -Lisa’s husband, PhD in Analytical Chemistry
  • Sample of the Chemistry Book

Life of Fred College Math Series

Life of Fred Buyer's Guide - Educents

This series is geared toward advanced high school math students, students preparing for college, or any adult who wants to brush up on their math skills while reading fun stories. Students will learn calculus, statistics, linear algebra, and advanced math puzzles (equations, not word problems).

Who is it for? 9th grade to adults

Concepts covered: functions, speed, slope, curvature, polar coordinates, Bayes’ Theorem, probability, descriptive statistics, field guides, solving systems of equations, vector spaces, linear functionals, math theory, abstract arithmetic, and more!

Titles included in the series: Calculus, Statistics, Linear Algebra, and Five Days of Upper Division Math

Buy Now

More about the College Math books:

Life of Fred Financial Choices

Life of Fred Buyer's Guide - Educents

Let Fred help you teach your children about financial management, decisions, and choices. It’s very likely that you, the adult, will pick up a tip or two while teaching.

Who is it for? Useful for middle school kids all the way to adults

Concepts covered: entrepreneurship, spending, investing, retirement, debt, calculating interest, how to start a business, insurance, taxes, real estate, successful spending habits, stocks, mortgages, REITS, mutual funds, and more!

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More about the Financial Choices book:

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