Have you ever asked yourself what the best approach may be to teach your children new knowledge and skills?
Especially if you are a homeschooling parent like me, this thought may have crossed you mind too.
I have prepared an outline for you, including the learning theories and styles which are most referred to and associated with learning.
Learning through Sensory Stimulation
According to the sensory stimulations theory effective learning occurs when the senses are stimulated. In relation to this theory the VARK questionnaire was established which tests a persons’ preference for learning best. Most people are multimodal learners which basically means that they prefer all learning styles, Visual, Aural, Read/Write, Kinesthetic, but some more than others.
Children learn best if their senses are stimulated while learning and this could be achieved by changing learning materials and learning activities to keep them actively interested in the lesson. In Waldorf schools children form letters out of play dough and experiment a lot with different materials during their lessons. Some of these lessons take place on the actual place of action, for example a visit to a farm to learn about the work as a farmer and the animals.
Learning through Reinforcement
The reinforcement theory developed by B.F. Skinner outlines that desired behaviour will be learned by positive reinforcement in the form of rewards, either verbally or through tangible rewards. Some schools use this technique by mentioning how well a child has done something to the child directly or written under the child’s work. During assemblies special certificates are handed out to children who have done especially well during the week, most of these certificates are for rewarding good behaviour in class or during break time. This way of reinforcement can easily be incorporated for a home educated child.
Learning through Facilitation
The humanist approach or facilitation theory, outlines that learning will occur by the educator acting as a facilitator, which means that children have a natural eagerness to learn and will do so, if the teacher (parent) and learning environment offers a stimulating atmosphere. This approach is the basis of Montessori schools worldwide, which was founded by the Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori. Children are inquisitive from birth onwards; they try to understand the world around them; by asking chain questions, trying something new, and keeping themselves busy all day long.
Learning in a Homeschool Environment
Home schooling works wonderfully by using a mix of learning styles and approaches to engage your child during a lesson, because sometimes one approach could work for some children but maybe not for all children.
Most children enjoy experiencing new concepts, engaging in a new activity and using their imagination to solve a problem. Their interest can be enhanced when they are able to access a variety of media, in form of books, brochures or EBooks, looking at or producing posters, graphs and videos during the teaching sessions.
If you are not a home educator yet, but would like to start homeschooling your child or children, I invite you to visit the ‘Professional Home Educator Academy‘, which will help you to set up a successful home-school environment.
All the Best,