There is more than one way to be smart and there is more than one way to learn. Many children struggle with traditional text book and workbook curriculums. The struggles aren’t because the children aren’t smart, the struggle comes when the child is forced to use learning channels that don’t fit with their learning strengths. Yes, they need practice using all modes of learning, but when the subject is already difficult for them, the easiest way to master the material is to take advantage of their strongest learning modes or type of intelligence.
Every child has a certain level of ability in each of the different types of intelligence and those levels change as a child grows and matures. Finding the curriculum that fits your child’s strongest type of intelligence will give them the opportunity to experience success in mastering new material, building confidence in their learning ability.
If a child is weak in any area of intelligence, that mode of learning can be used to teach a subject the child already finds easy, thus strengthening their ability to learn using that mode.
For more information about the different types of intelligence and to learn which ones are dominate in your child click here.
I highly recommend you start with my book Every Child Can Succeed and its companion Teacher Planner. It will allow you to identify your child’s most dominate type of intelligence. Use the resources below to find a core curriculum that fits and then use information from the other types of intelligence to round out your child’s education, tapping into all the forms of intelligence within.
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Good with words
These are the children for whom text book curriculum was written. These kids don’t usually struggle with the ability to do traditional school work. The may have other learning or behavior issues, but when all else is well, text book and work book curriculums work great.
Memoria Press (classical education)
Sonlight (heavy focus on reading)
Good with logic, math, likes to neatly fill in the blanks. Classifying and categorizing information into charts and graphs works well to build on logic intelligence.
Critical Thinking Company www.criticalthinking.com
Tapestry of Grace http://www.tapestryofgrace.com uses the Socratic method of discussion in the upper grades effectively enhancing critical thinking skills
Do you want to introduce your logical, practical child to the arts? Here is a great resource for investigating the connection between math and music: http://www.ams.org/samplings/math-and-music
Visual, artistic children. Great memory recall of things they have seen. Do best when they can sketch things out, build with blocks or model with clay.
Dianne Craft.org has some wonderful math facts cards and other resources based on picture stories. Ideal for visual children
CurrClick has a wonderful array of lapbook materials in every imaginable subject and topic, perfect for spatial learners
Dinah Zike has an assortment of books which show you how to use manipulative and book-making projects to teach almost any subject
When asking visual students to show what they have learned use projects such as:
- making a diorama,
- building a historical recreation,
- creating period costumes,
- doing a painting,
- drawing pictures
These methods will be a far more accurate evaluation of the information they have retained then you will get from paper and pencil based testing.
Movement based children who move their whole body while they are learning. They do best with active games, manipulatives, role playing, or any kind of physical expression.
Prepare and Pray is a little known but wonderful 36 week curriculum for kids who are fascinated by the outdoors, practical skills, and real-life learning. https://www.prepareandpray.com/ It combines the best of quality literature and rigorous academics with a focus on hands-on learning.
Math U See is probably the single best math curriculum for kids with strong kinesthetic skills
All About Spelling – teaches spelling and phonics with a solid, well-researched, effective hands-on method.
Many curriculums use the narration method as a means to help students tell what they have learned rather than relying on written test. This is a fabulous way to help your wiggly student engage their whole body as the share what they’ve learned.
The Charlotte Mason method is best known for narration
Story of the World Activity Guides are based on the Story of The World books, known for their quality and academic rigor. The guides have a wide range of hands-on activities you can choose from to help your kinesthetic learner comprehend and retain the lessons.
Auditory learners. Music helps them learn, discordant or distracting noise bothers them more than other children.
Sing, Spell, Read and Write – the best way to introduce young, musically inclined children to phonics
Audio Memory books – they have a wide selection of topics, all set to catchy tunes – you know, the ones you get stuck in your head and they go around, and around, and around all day long? Your kids will never forget what they sing.
Books on tape! Most local libraries have a large selection or can order them for you through inter-library loan. This is the perfect way to help non-readers with strong auditory preferences learn to read. It’s also great for getting around to those tough classics you want them to read but have challenging, more formal vocabulary.
Pandora radio – a free subscription online and you can have all the brain-enhancing classical music you’ll ever need. Playing classical music in the background has been shown to improve retention and comprehension in any student.
Help your child find the music in math with the American Mathematical Society’s music in math resources http://www.ams.org/samplings/math-and-music
The Charlotte Mason method incorporates spoken narration into the curriculum, capitalizing on the musical child’s strong auditory memory
These lovers of people are not typically strong students. Their strengths lie in their ability to empathize with, and understand, other people. Highly abstract concepts are hard for them. Children in this growth stage are going to do best with group work, or teaching the material they are learning to a younger sibling (or set up a classroom full of stuffed animals!)
History taught using biographies of real people
Co-op groups are going to be a valuable resource
Avoid anything requiring long periods of quiet time alone in front of the computer or a workbook
Learning games – board games, card games, dice for counting, will all enhance retention for social learners. This is a great compilation of options for every subject http://www.iamhomeschooling.com/games
Introverts. In many ways the exact opposite of Interpersonal learners, they need quiet reflective time to absorb what they’ve learned. Will excel and even take on their own course of study if there is a sufficient motivation. Material needs to have personal relevance to their life; they need to know why they need to learn something.
Almost any curriculum will work with this group provided it is not full of twaddle and mindless busy work. The key with intra-personal kids is not which curriculum so much as it is how you present it:
Self teaching, self-paced curriculum such as Robinson Curriculum
In-depth, interest based studies
Challenging classical curriculums such as Memoria Press. For older children For Such a Time as This materials or Cornerstone Curriculum worldview materials. You won’t find any more challenging, rigorous curriculum for these highly intelligent students.
Age appropriate opportunities to make their own decisions about what to learn, when and how.
Let them help determine goals, schedules and organizing systems.
Anything nature or animal related will appeal to kids in this stage of intellectual growth. Anything you can do outside, in a nature preserve or natural history museum will stick with them better than paper and pencil work. If you lack outdoor opportunities, ant farms, small animal habitats and indoor gardens provide lots of opportunities for creative thinking, scientific questioning, and real life learning.
Take their school work out of doors whenever possible! Get involved with 4H
Unit Studies – Prepare and Pray, mentioned above, focuses on outdoor activities
Beautiful Feet Books has a unique literature study based on horses which my daughter really enjoyed when she was in the animal loving stage.
Nature explorers and highly curious about the world around them, kids with a strong naturalist intelligence tend to be quiet thinkers who care deeply about the environment. Don’t underestimate their intelligence! Let their science classes gravitate toward animals and nature. In high school there is no reason they can’t take environmental science instead of physics.
Discovery.com has a whole page of free animal related lesson plans
Here is another not-to-be-missed resource from The Homeschool Mom – Animal Lesson Plans
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