Kinesthetic learners need to be hands-on when learning. So often you will find them needing to move, but also to draw, doodle, dance, paint, do things that are hands-on like science experiments. Maybe you will see the need to be hanging upside down while listening. Or is that my child? Sadly, too often our kinesthetic kids are labeled ADHD when in actual fact it is intuitive for them to move.
For some families it is easy to make a decision about homeschooling a kinesthetic learners. I know that it was easy for me when I saw how one of my daughters learned. (Of course I had always planned on homeschooling but this was another great reason why.) She needs to move while learning. Learning comes easier if she is moving or can making things to see how it comes together. I honestly think that if she were in school I would be getting calls about how she can’t sit still and just wants to pull things apart.
HERE ARE SOME KEYS TO HELP WITH HOMESCHOOLING KINESTHETIC LEARNERS:
1. Allow them to move – do not confine them to a desk.
- Sit on an exercise ball or jump on a mini trampoline
- Let them move about and walk around while you read, be on a swing, or dance about while lessons are happening
- Wiggling is ok! Get some fidgets.
- Use quiet toys in lessons like playdough, lego, sorting, threading buttons, etc.
2. Keep verbal lessons/instruction to a minimum.
- Keep lessons short
- Use music for mnemonics and learning facts.
- Act as a scribe for your child if it is a longer assignment
3. Use all five senses
- Add craft projects to what you are learning
- Experiments in Science are wonderful
- Have manipulatives in math
- Use food. Chewing gum is great. Cooking is wonderful.
4. Get outside and outside the house
- Being outside is wonderful and a great place to wander.
- Go on field trips
- Nature walks
- Parks (who says learning has to be at home)
5. Allow breaks.
- Breaks can be very beneficial, esp in making shorter lessons and allowing greater concentration.
- Allow doodling during lessons
- Allow for discussion rather than written tasks all the time
- Use chalk, post-it notes, magnetic letters – things rather than just pencils and markers – things that feel differently in the hand
- Use ball games to learn facts — bouncing or throwing balls in time to memorize math facts is helpful for all children.
- Play games with flash cards, board games and alphabet games.
Do you have any other ideas that work for you in homeschooling a kinesthetic learner? I would love to hear them. And if you have any questions about homeschooling kinesthetic learners, please do not hesitate to ask.
Want to know what your child’s learning style is, if you aren’t sure. There are some good assessments here.