Homeschooling parents have to take many things into consideration when they are planning their educational package for their children. Yes, it would be easy to just pick up a pre-packaged curriculum complete with student books, tests, answer keys, and lesson plans. What could be wrong with that?
Why Not Just Buy a Pre-Packaged Curriculum?
After more than thirty-five years of homeschooling, several things come to my mind – (1) The costs of such a package can be too much for many homeschooling families. (2) The time involved in putting such a package into use can actually be quite intimidating, particularly for families with multiple aged students. (That was the driving factor for me looking into other options just a few years into our homeschooling journey.) (3) And not least of all, not all students do well with prepackaged curriculum. As the following info-graphic shows, children learn best in a variety of different ways – and not all do well with the high level of reading and writing that prepackaged curriculum tend to focus on.
Taking Learning Styles Into Consideration
Whether you are just starting out on your homeschooling journey, or have been at it for awhile and now see the need for a change, it can be beneficial to consider what your students’ learning styles are. I’m not saying that everything has to be taught that way (in only a hands-on manner for kinesthetic learners, or in just an auditory manner for students who learn best that way, for example).
In fact, the best learning often comes from a combination of methods – hands-on, audio, visual, etc. But when you take into account the way your student best learns, instead of blindly following a pre-packaged curriculum, you will often find that the process goes better, with both students and teacher being less frustrated.
Examples of Different Options for Different Styles
Visual learners usually remember 75% of what they see or read. Needless to say, they understand information best when they see it. So instead of struggling to get visual learners to memorize flashcards or just read from the textbook, try watching educational homeschooling videos or looking at charts when teaching a new topic.
For your kinesthetic learners, try engaging them in hands-on activities like field trips or a trip to your local zoo or museum. Incorporate movement and storytelling with these types of learners.
If your child is an auditory learner, there are numerous resources such as audio books, where they can listen to books or read along with books.
And for almost any learner, on our educational journey we found that both travel and games added to the variety and interest of all involved!
Spending Money Differently
And if you go about it the right way, you will find yourself spending less money. Or choosing to spend it on things with more lasting educational value – good quality real books instead of textbooks that are generally used and then abandoned; family memberships at those zoos, aquariums, or museums that you will want to visit more frequently, and so on.
A Smoother Journey
So, if you are wondering how to make your homeschooling journey go a little smoother, I strongly encourage you to take learning styles into consideration and work to make it a more enjoyable and more effective trip for all involved!