Monday, February 21, 2011

Differences in Learning Styles

One of the (many) things I have noticed about homeschooling is that my girls have very different learning styles. Beanie is so smart, almost too smart, so she tends to procrastinate about everything. I just had to tell her three times to start her math. I think she uses my busy brain to her advantage sometimes, lol. She's the master of rote memorization. She also needs a little pushing to make sure she's putting her best effort forth, rather than just enough to get by.

Spunky Girl is much like Beanie, and catches on to things so quickly. She has an incredible number of books completely memorized and "reads" them to Baby Big Girl all the time. Show her something once and she's got it. Now if only we can get her to sit still, lol. She officially starts kindergarten this Fall. -WOW!-

Baby Big Girl is honestly too young for me to give an accurate opinion of just yet, but hey she knows most of her alphabet by sight. So what if it's because she comes from a big family and she sees those letters in our names, lol.

Nanners is a different story though. Nanners has dyslexia.

By no means does this mean that she's not smart - NOT AT ALL.

She just learns differently than the other girls. She prefers that things are introduced as a game. Flash cards and rote memorization are her enemy. I didn't understand this at all in the beginning. I just assumed that she needed more time to learn, so I slowed down the pace. The problem was that she wasn't actually learning, she was memorizing enough to get her through the week and then it would fall away like leaves in Autumn. Once I noticed that when she read things against pink paper she didn't seem to struggle as much. Completely by chance I picked out the pink paper. I was trying to make her work more fun by color coding it, now just about everything she does is on pink paper. The way she explained it to me was that on regular white paper the words are all "smooshed together". Can you imagine trying to read somethingthatlookedlikethis.Theentirepageshewasreadinghadnospaceswhatsoever.Justtypingthismakesmyheadspinalittle,lol.

Now I'm not assuming to be a doctor by any means, but what I know is that this worked for my kid. When it comes to books, we bought a pink overlay and she reads her books with the overlay covering it. Dramatic improvement in her reading skills were witnessed by not only me, but her reading teacher as well.

We don't make much of her dyslexia, because we don't want her to think that there's ever something wrong with her. We are working on finding the right way for her to learn, and it's ever changing. One week something may work perfectly and the next we both end up in tears by the end of the lesson. What we do make a big deal about is how far she's come. After reading her first paragraph written on her own, I cried. Tears of happiness. Tears showing how proud I was. Tears that my baby is growing up too fast.

Days when I want to give up, I will come back to this post and remember how proud I was of her. I will remember the "light bulb" moments that she has when she figures out a word. I will remember just how proud I am of her.

1 comment:

  1. This totally brought tears to my eyes - you go, Nanners! What a rock star!

    You're obviously doing an amazing job teaching her and working to find the ways that all of your girls learn best. You deserve to be proud of them (and you)!