How do we output what we’ve taken in? Most output is either oral or written, but movement output can’t be discounted. Oral learners hate written tests and essays with a passion. They do, however, usually perform much better by answering questions out loud, or by talking through their paragraphs or essays while someone else types them. Learning how to use a computer can be a big help to oral learners, but they may still need to be encouraged to practice out loud before typing it. Discussions are the way to go for this type of learner; forget about workbooks with many empty lines. Of course, oral learners will have to be taught gradually how to write effectively as they get older. Standardized college entrance tests can’t be done orally, neither can the boss’s written report.
Learners who prefer to write will thrive with those empty workbook pages and essays. If you ask for a paragraph, you’re likely to get several. Discussions and speeches are much harder for this type of learner, but should still be encouraged.
The wigglers will still have to give some answers verbally (orally or written), but should also be allowed to act out scenes from books and move while reciting, as appropriate.
What’s the right setting for learning? Are your children loners or groupies? The setting can make all the difference. Some kids need to absorb the energy of a group and need to bounce their ideas off others in order to learn. Unless you live in Timbuktu, co-ops, library groups, scouts, church groups, and other opportunities abound. The more your little groupies are involved, the better.
Other kids are too distracted in a group setting and prefer to process information on their own (or with just you). They prefer to compare their new experiences with their own prior knowledge and perceptions. While a few social gatherings are a good thing for your loners, don’t expect them to be enthusiastic with a different co-op meeting every day.
Next month: Orderliness and Series Conclusion
Bethany LeBedz is a veteran homeschooler, professional editor, writer, and speaker. You can check out her business website at www.bethanylebedz.com. Bethany contributes regularly to Heart of the Matter Online, has a regular column in the Home School Enrichment magazine, and occasionally writes for other magazines, websites, and newsletters. She lives in North Carolina with her family and she enjoys music, reading, scrapbooking, sewing, genealogy, and keeping up with friends in her spare time. Be sure to follow her blog, Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom, at www.bethanylebedz.blogspot.com.