Homeschooling

Four Types of Learners: Understand Your Child’s Learning Style For A Better Homeschooling Experience

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Homeschooling: Four Types of Learners

For a more effective homeschooling journey, understand the four types of learners and identify which type your child is.

homeschooling - four types of learners
There are four types of learners and it would be best to identify which one you child is for a better homeschooling experience.

Among the many unique challenges of homeschooling is determining the most effective teaching style that resonates most with your child. This, of course, is also likely a big part of the reason why you’ve chosen a homeschooling journey in the first place: to foster a more supportive and enriching learning environment.

To understand how best to teach, however, you must first understand how your child learns best, because when it comes to learning, one size certainly does not fit all.

Throughout history, scientists and psychologists have worked to develop a number of models and theories in order to better understand the different ways people learn. One of the most popular theories is known as the VARK model, which defines four primary types of learners: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.

Four Types of Learners

According to the VARK Model, these are the four types of learners:

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Reading/writing
  • Kinesthetic

This model, which expands upon earlier Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) models, was pioneered and launched by New Zealand teacher and researcher Neil Fleming in 1987.

Fleming found that each learning type responds better to a certain method of teaching, but that most individuals are in fact multimodal learners. In other words, children are a little bit of each learning type, but will likely have a preferred style that helps them process information more efficiently.

homeschooling - four types of learners - study habits
Different kids have different study habits — all because they have different learning styles.

Knowing these four learning modalities can help homeschooling families find solutions to help their children learn and study more effectively and with less stress.

Learn about the four learning styles below along with how to determine which your child might be and how best to teach them.

Visual

Visual learners have immensely vivid imaginations and process information in pictures, visualizing relationships and ideas in order to understand them. You can have an area in your family room dedicated to visual representations of your homeschooling lessons.

Your child may be a visual learner if:

  • They become impatient or unfocused when required to listen for extended periods of time.
  • They prefer to work alone rather than in groups.
  • They doodle in their notebooks.
  • They enjoy reading and other periods of quiet time.
homeschooling - four types of learners
Our Dindin is a visual learner.

When teaching, try to incorporate maps, diagrams, and other ways of visually explaining information and relationships between topics and ideas in your homeschooling lessons. Also encourage the use of flashcards as a study tool and leverage color coding where applicable.

Auditory

As the name suggests, auditory learners process information best when given the opportunity to listen to it.

Your child may be an auditory learner if:

  • They read and speak in a calculated manner.
  • They get distracted easily by other noises.
  • They lose focus when forced to work alone quietly for long periods of time.
  • They talk through problems out loud, even to themselves.
four types of learners - homeschooling
Reading aloud to auditory learners will help them absorb their lessons better.

If you have a predominantly auditory learner, a great tool to use is a student-friendly homeschool video curriculum. Video is actually a great tool for all kinds of learners as it engages multiple senses and can be leveraged in a number of ways. Also consider making audiobook versions of any homeschooling text materials available and encourage your child to record lessons to listen to again later.

Readers and Writers

Reading and writing learners do very well with traditional education programs that rely heavily on textbooks and notetaking. Essentially, interacting with the written word is more powerful than looking at images or listening to information explained out loud.

Your child may be a reading and writing learner if:

  • They love reading and writing.
  • They write detailed notes and lists.
homeschooling - four types of learners
Readers and writers can be effective in traditional school. But if you have chosen homeschooling, you may want to to teach lessons the way they do in the classroom.

Encourage your child to rewrite their homeschooling notes as a way to study. Also provide them with annotated versions of presentations so they can read along with you, and allow space for them to add their own thoughts and reactions. Written “quizzes” are also a great tool for helping them work out what they’ve learned.

Kinesthetic

Kinesthetic learners retain information by being demonstrative. This is the type of learner you can think of when people say “hands-on.” They learn best by doing and acting out concepts.

Your child may be a kinesthetic learner if:

  • They enjoy sports.
  • They thrive doing art.
  • They spend free time building things.
  • They have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time.

Structure lessons around activities your child can participate in and that gets them up and moving around. Really, all children can benefit from learning activities that get them moving. Don’t take objects away from them that you feel may be distracting them.

homeschooling - four types of learners
Kinesthetic learners need a lot of physical activity. They learn faster that way.

On the contrary, throwing a tennis ball around or walking while reviewing homeschooling notes helps kinesthetic learners process information. Also make sure to schedule in frequent study breaks.

The kids other learning adventures:


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33 thoughts on “Four Types of Learners: Understand Your Child’s Learning Style For A Better Homeschooling Experience

    1. I have to admit that the homeschooling journey is not for everybody. But if it’s just fear, I know you can overcome it. 🙂

  1. This is a great post! My daughter is somewhere between visual and a reader. With a touch of kinesthetic. As a homeschooling mom that’s what I love about what we do, I can adapt to her and because of it she’s flourished!

  2. Thanks so much for this. I don’t homeschool my daughter but try to support her at home with supplementary learning I am still trying to figure out if she is a visual or reading and writing leaner!

  3. I love how you’ve addressed this! I am a teaching assistant and it annoys me how everyone is tested the same and taught the same way when we all learn so differently.

  4. This is so great. I wish this could be better implemented in public schools as well! Growing up I had so many teachers trying to push their way of learning on me and it did nothing but hinder me. Everyone learns differently!

  5. Even when you’re not homeschooling, it’s really good to know what your child’s learning type is so that you can help them learn their lessons better in school. Love this guide!

  6. You’re so right! For the best homeschooling practice, it is important to understand how your kid learns. Although I wasn’t a homeschooler, I hated when teachers had to force things into your head because of not understanding how a student works. Anyway, I am reader and writer since keeping notes is just one of my things !

  7. It is so important to learn how your child gets educated best. I learned that after 14 years of being in a public, traditional school setting that my teen needed a change. She was straight A’s all of her life until 9th grade and then BAM something changed. She was getting B’s and C’s, even had one D. I had no idea what was up, well the learning environment didn’t work for her anymore. Now? She’s home taking classes with an online charter school and will graduate early with a high school diploma at an actual graduation ceremony with a 4.0 GPA. It makes a difference when you learn how your kids learn best and help them find an education that works.

    1. Wow! That is indeed a drastic change. But I’m glad that you were able to closely monitor her and that now she is thriving. 😀

  8. Our kids are in Online school from home, this was the first year. My son’s Math went from failing to a B+. My daughter is an amazing artist, we setup a website for her work. I think they are both visual learners, and Kara also might be a kinesthetic learner.

  9. Though I don’t yet have kids but it is great to know about the techniques even if the kids aren’t at homeschooling. Though in future if I have kids I would like to have them homeschooled. I would like to know more about this process of Kinesthetic way.

  10. This was such an interesting post. It was really fascinating to read all the different types of learners and match them up with my own children.

  11. Homeschooling is not allowed in my country but we try to teach our kid skills before school. She is not yet in ally of your categories

  12. Nice post. Understanding these four types has helped me a lot with my studies. When I finally realized that I’m very visual learner I stopped going to those university lessons to listen the lecturer and instead spent my time doing my colorful notes including photos, etc. Also, while I read, I always remember the photos and tables better than the actual text.

  13. That’s a great post, Sigrid, and I’m sure it will help lots of people considering homeschooling. I’ve been homeschooling my 4 for a decade and wouldn’t have it any other way.

    1. That’s awesome! We are now going on our 5th year of homeschooling. So far, so good. We do have challenges, but I love it better this way than going to traditional school.

  14. Sounds like a lot of the breakdowns when I do training of tutors for my library program. We do all of those categories with Visual, Audio and Kinesthetic being the most frequently mentioned. But kids cross all of those learning styles at different times. Definitely useful information to know though.

  15. These are such great principles to know for any teacher. And even for a parent to know what type of child theirs is. A lot of life is just about understanding each other! <3

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