Tuesday 20 August 2013

My teaching style goals for 2013/14

Personality wise I am a very strong sanguine with a slight touch of choleric.  This as some of you might know results in a lot of talk but sometimes not quiet enough action!  If I had my way I would love to read read read and make loads of lap packs.  Unfortunately the season of life I am in results in very little energy (I've spent far too much of it on anxious worry as of late.  Yes I'm learning to let go and let God but that my friends is not as easy as it sounds...)

In order to understand teaching styles one also needs to understand learning styles and a multitude of other factors that influence this area of your life as a home school parent.  It's important to note here that learning and teaching styles having nothing to do with intelligence. They are the vehicle by which we impart and receive information.

A few years ago I embarked on a journey of discovery of just how complex we have been created.  It is not my intent to share everything about this topic today, however I shall touch upon a couple of areas and point you to those better equipped to help you understand these vital areas in yours and your child's life before sharing my goals with you.

I first heard about teaching/learning styles around 10 years ago when I attended a conference with Diana Waring.  One of the workshops was titled: Different Strokes for Different Folks.  If you are ever at a conference and this is an available elective I would highly recommend it. Chapter 6 in Beyond Survival (as you can see from the cover of my book it's well loved) covers this topic in detail.

If you look into this huge area of human development you will come across a plethora of ideas.  There is left / right brained, personality,  seven intelligences learning modalities, gender and the list goes on. Bill and Diana did a wonderful job of simplifying the information. In this workshop they used information from the book: Learning Style and Tools.

After doing this particular workshop I came away with a much better insight as to how people learn and how this in turn effects the way we teach.  I am a visual learner.  I am quite happy to watch you do the experiment or read about it in a book.  Sir N however loves to do everything hands on.  Sigh

She recommends the following resources
  1. People Types and Tiger Stripes: Practical Guide to Learning Styles  by Gordon Lawrence
  2. The Way they Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
  3. Learning Styles by Marlene LeFever
The Seven Learning Styles
I discovered that there is a Learning Styles website where you can read more about the seven learning styles.
  1. Visual (spatial):You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
  2. Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
  3. Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
  4. Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
  5. Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
  6. Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
  7. Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study
 They also have a FREE learning styles inventory available.

Intelligence's pay a huge role in how our children assimilate information.  I have enjoyed learning about this influence over our children's inbuilt style of learning
 Teaching Styles
  • Formal Authority - Teachers who have a formal authority teaching style tend to focus on content and feels responsible for providing and controlling the flow of the content and the student is expected to receive the content.
  • Demonstrator or Personal Model - This type of teacher acts as a role model by demonstrating skills and processes and then as a coach/guide in helping students develop and apply these skills and knowledge
  • Facilitator - Teachers who have a facilitator model teaching style tend to focus on activities
  • Delegator - This type of teacher will often give students a choice designing and implementing their own complex learning projects and will act in a consultative role.

You can take an online teaching style self evaluation.

For More information

For me I still have a lot more learning to do about this area of education and how it affects my home school.  For now I do know that Sir N enjoys hands on learning, hates writing, and would rather be outside building forts all day.

Seeing as I am not a hands on learner and he is my one goal this year is to pursue a more hands on approach for him so that we can have a more delight directed approach in our homeschool.

My aim over the next six months is to follow this advice from over at The Mom Inititative:

  1. Observe patterns of behaviour. What excites your child, what frustrates them? 
  2.  Listen to the way your child communicates. Listening carefully can teach you how you need to talk to them. 
  3.  Experiment with what works and what doesn’t. Remember that even if an approach to learning doesn’t make sense to you it may work for your children. 
  4. Focus on natural strengths, not weaknesses. You can’t build much on weaknesses, but strengths provide a much better foundation. 
  5. Learn more about learning styles in general. Find out what your own style is and how you can relate to your child’s learning style.
I would love to know your thoughts and how you approach this delicate area in your home school


This post is part of the Homeschool Help series brought to you by a group of homeschool Mom's from around the globe.  Do not forget to visit and read their inspirational insight.

This week


  1. As always Chareen...you've provided a thorough and concise post. Thanks!

  2. Wow Chareen
    You have compiled an incredible list of excellent resources!! Yes, so much of success as a hs mother/father comes down to the child's learning style and the parents teaching style. Often the focus is about the child's style but the teaching style imo is also very important. I have done a bit of this over the years, certainly aware of it but off to follow some of your links:)

    1. What resources have you used or read Erin ?

  3. Great post. Learning styles really interest me. Thanks so much for so many great links.

  4. I like your blog! My children are grown with children of their own, but I think I can benefit from all you have to offer and pass it on!

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you Daily and welcome to my space :)

  5. I'm glad you mentioned they way kids learn I think that is so important in their education. My son needs to learn through experimentation and my daughter learns by listening. While I believe she would thrive in a typical school environment, I think it would be an extreme challenge for my son. I'm so grateful I have the opportunity to teach the way that works best for each child.

    1. I am finding it a challenge to teach one that has a very different learning style to me, but in a good way. I agree with you I am grateful for the opportunity


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