Have you noticed that EVERY child is UNIQUE? Your child has their own way of learning, their own interests and unique strengths. There are tons of expert (and non-expert) advice floating around about HOW your child should learn and WHAT your child needs to learn. How are you supposed to know which way is best… and why is your child not wanting to sit for 20 minutes to complete worksheets like your neighbor’s child?
THE ANSWER: We are UNIQUE and so is our LEARNING STYLE!
How do we teach our children in a way that fosters a love of learning? There are four main components to support your child’s love of learning.
- Identify YOUR child’s Learning Style:
Have you ever wondered why some children like to fill out worksheets and other avoid them? Howard Gardner, a Harvard University Professor, developed the theory of “multiple intelligences” categorizing all the ways that children learn.
These 8 “learning languages” identify our unique learning styles. Identifying and using learning activities based on your child’s learning style, will support stress-free and FUN experiences for your family!
The 8 “learning languages” are:
- Linguistic - "Word Smart" – These children learn best through listening, reading, writing and literature. Language rich conversations about different themes are fantastic for children that learn this way.
- Logical-Mathematical - "Numbers/Reasoning Smart" – These children learn best through solving problems and mechanics. You can find these children building anything out of, well …. everything!
- Spatial - "Picture Smart" – These children learn through pictures, art and 3-D materials. You can find these children looking at photos of buildings, signs and searching ”Where’s Waldo” puzzles.
- Bodily - Kinesthetic - "Movement Smart" – These children learn through obstacle courses and dancing. You can find these kids playing sports, climbing the jungle gym and always on the move.
- Musical - "Rhythms and Songs Smart" – These kids learn through music, dancing and singing. You can find these kids playing musical instruments, singing familiar songs, learning a variety of dances and creating living art of their own.
- Interpersonal - "People Smart" – These kids learn through discussions and projects. You will find these children as “leaders of the group”, organizing and directing their friends to get a job done.
- Intrapersonal - "Self Smart" – These kids learn through self-expression. You can find them drawing pictures, creating art, journaling and spending time in calm places.
- Naturalist - "Outdoor/Nature Smart"- These kids learn best from being outdoors. You can find them hiking through the parks, burying their feet in the sand, watching a caterpillar up close and covering their little bodies in mud!
Which learning style fits your child? Are you having a hard time deciding on just one style? That is because humans are complex. We have a variety of interests and every new life experience leads us to new interests. Children have multiple learning styles and providing learning experiences rich in all of these learning styles allows your child to practice skills in new ways.
- Create a Rich Learning Environment
How are we supposed to incorporate these styles of learning into our home? You don’t have to!
EVERY second of EVERY day is an opportunity for your child to learn something new. In my College Education classes, I learned that there are two main teachers in a child’s life: their parents and their environment. Children engage with the world in a magical way, sharing their excitement with everyone around them. How are parents supposed to figure out when their child is learning and what their child is learning? Besides…. Homeschool moms and dads are busy. Answering all the “what is this” and “but why” questions can be overwhelming!
How do you incorporate teaching your child all of the skills they need to learn into the “busy-ness” of taking care of a family? We are here to help!
Pre-K YOUR Way Activities guide families through simple and fun ways to incorporate learning in every environment. Each activity includes simple step-by-step instructions, a materials list of items (based on where the activity is taking place) and specific academic and social skills that activity is teaching. It is important to provide your family with a variety of experiences, spending time indoors, outdoors and in the community. Our activities help you teach them wherever you are!
- Provide Simple Materials that Spark Curiosity and Imagination
Every environment offers different materials that support children’s development. Providing a variety of different materials within your home environment supports your child’s development of new skills. But what are you supposed to have at home? There are so many toys, so many different “new and improved learning tools” that are released on a daily basis. How are you supposed to keep up?
Are you shocked when you find your preschooler playing with an empty box instead of the $50 toy they got for their birthday? That “box” is now a spaceship, a den for their pet bear or castle for the King! As adults, we tend to forget that children are creative, curious and filled with imagination! Children can learn with anything and everything. You do NOT need to provide expensive toys or the latest “new release” that everyone is raving about.
All of the materials needed to complete the Pre-K YOUR Way Activities are items typically found around a home or found at a local convenience store. For example, some activities may require empty boxes, pillows, tape, crayons, paper, sidewalk chalk, blankets, clothes, suitcases, ice cubes, socks or flashlights! Asking questions that prompt children to use items in a new way fosters creativity and problem-solving skills.
- Facilitate the Development of New Skills
Now that we have talked about your child’s learning style, the environment and simple materials… it is time to talk about your role in their education. Adults take on a unique role when teaching preschool-aged children. Young children learn best through experiences - usually in play. It is our job to ask questions, prompt critical thinking and monitor their academic and social skill development.
So I bet you are thinking.. How am I supposed to do all of that?
That’s where the Pre-K YOUR Way Program comes in. Our program is filled with simple, play-based activities which define the adult and child’s role within each activity. Each activity includes specific learning objectives, a materials list and step-by-step directions.
Since all children are unique, our Curriculum is divided up by skill level, not age. Each of the three levels teaches different social and academic skills derived from Preschool and Kindergarten readiness assessments. To find out which level meets your child’s current skill level, download our free Sample Guide which incorporates Learning Objectives for each level.
I created these activities so families can have FUN as they move through the daunting task of teaching their child social/emotional and academic skills. My hope is that by completing this program, children and families will feel supported while playing, learning and growing together!
About the author:
Jeana Kinne, MA has spent over 16 years in the Early Childhood Education field. She has worked as a Preschool Teacher, Preschool Director, Preschool Consultant and with children with Special Needs. Jeana created the Pre-K YOUR Way Activities to guide parents in learning simple teaching techniques which keep their child engaged, excited to learn. She hopes that through learning and growing together, families will create life-long memories. Learn More About Jeana Here!
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