Learning Styles and Math

The truth is, we don’t all learn in the same way.  We have our own, unique learning styles.  The three most basic categories of these are auditory, visual, and tactile/kinesthetic.  Some children might learn better while listening to the teacher, or maybe looking at illustrations and graphs.  Others might learn better doing hands-on activities.

Like my son, many kids with ADHD do better when they can touch and move while they are learning.  As a homeschool mom, I have researched educational methods that complement my son’s individual learning style, which is primarily a combination of visual and tactile/kinesthetic.  Since I am relatively new to homeschooling, I have so much more to learn.  The amount of resources available is actually overwhelming.

For now I will just give some input on math.  This past year, we’ve been working with the RightStart Mathematics program.  The really great things about it are all the manipulatives and games that are included, so my son can touch, see, and do.  Also, the instruction seems more interactive and conceptual than many math programs I have come across, and the lessons have been easy for me to teach.  I won’t say it’s perfect.  My son still has difficulty focusing sometimes, which leads to some frustration and conflict.  This conflict is largely avoided, however, by taking more frequent breaks and limiting the length of the sessions.  Overall, I definitely recommend the Right Start program.

The following are recommendations by other homeschool parents for kids who are more visual and tactile:

*Math-U-See
*Touch Math
*Teaching Textbooks

All of these programs have really great websites which allow you to make an informed decision.  I’m strongly thinking about Teaching Textbooks for next year, just to see how it is.  It is interactive and mostly computer-based using CD-ROMs.  My son is such a techno kid that he might really like it.

For more information about learning styles, I recommend the following books:

Discover Your Child’s Learning Style by Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Kindle Hodson

and

Multiple Intelligences:  New Horizons in Theory and Practice by Howard E. Gardner

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