Disclosure: I am a WriteShop Ambassador and may possibly be compensated for promoting WriteShop's products and our experiences with them. However, all ideas and opinions are my own.
I find it super interesting how different two children from the same family, raised by the same parents can be. Sure, they have similarities - people always tell me how my babies look like little carbon copies of each other - but as they grow, they develop their own personalities, preferences, and likes/dislikes.
For example, my daughter is a chatterbox. If we drive somewhere, you can almost bet that she'll provide you with a running commentary of anything and everything: "How long do you think it'll take to get there? I hope it's not too long. Did you see that tree? I think that was one of those willow trees. That flower is pretty. Oh look, that was a bright blue car..." and so on and so on. My oldest son however is a man of few words in the car - he prefers to bring a book (or two or three) or to doodle/draw. When the kids both attended summer camp a few years ago, my daughter would happily chat away about everyone she talked to, all the crafts they did, and every game they played. My son on the other hand was content just to ride along in silence. "How was your day?" I'd ask. "Fine," he'd reply...and that was the extent of it. (Later on after he'd had time to relax, I'd get some details.)
Visual: A visual child learns best through the use of pictures, images, and seeing things. This child usually enjoys drawing, coloring, maps, or diagrams. They are good at visualizing things and often like film, photography, art, or design.
Aural/Auditory: This type of child learns best through listening or music. They often like reciting, repetition, or hearing something read back. They may be musically inclined, play an instrument, or enjoy humming/singing while working.
Verbal: The verbal child likes written and spoken words, as well as being read to or reading to others. They usually prefer reading and writing over other activities. They may also like tongue twisters, poems, phrases, and rhymes.
Physical/Kinesthetic: This child uses their body, hands, and sense of touch to learn. They usually like moving, running, sports, and exercising. They are often very "hands-on" and would rather take something apart than read about it. They may not like sitting still and instead feel more comfortable walking or moving.
Logical/Mathematical: The logical or mathematical child likes reasoning, systems, patterns, and connections. This child often likes to-do lists, checklists, outlines, and planning. They are usually very good with numbers and may also like computers/programming, strategy games like chess, or science.
Do any of those learning styles sound like your child? Some children are a mixture of more than one, while others may have a definite preference for one in particular. It's helpful to know what learning style your children prefer so you can incorporate activities based on their style to help them learn better. For writing in particular, here are some ideas of different things you can try that may appeal to different types of learners:
- Lapbooks - WriteShop Junior is a writing curriculum for 3rd - 6th graders. One unique thing it offers is the Fold-N-Go Grammar Pack - lapbook style folders that help kids to learn grammar and writing skills. These are fun to create and assemble, and help kids to review things they've learned.
- Mad Libs - Not only do Mad Libs help to teach different parts of speech, but the silly stories your children come up with will get your whole family chuckling! There are tons of Mad Libs themed books you can buy but if you search online you can also find lots of different printables and games. (Such as Mad Libs printables or Mad Takes.)
- Graphic Organizers - Graphic organizers are a visual way of organizing ideas or thoughts. Obviously good for visual learners, these can be charts, graphs, maps, or diagrams. WriteShop Junior utilizes these to help students to organize their thoughts on a specific idea or to help them think of details to go along with a letter or story.
- Writing Prompts - Sometimes it's hard to come up with ideas to write about, especially for kids who are more physical rather than verbal. Writing prompts featuring different subjects, holidays, and themes can help to curb writer's block.
- Songs and Music - One of the most popular programs that utilized music to teach was Schoolhouse Rock. (Remember Conjunction Junction or I'm Just A Bill?) You can still find them on YouTube or Amazon for your kiddos that are into auditory learning. Check out this website that has a lot of different grammar and language arts related songs.
- Writing Games and Activities - Sometimes you just need a fun writing game or activity to get the creative juices flowing. Creative kids that thrive on kinesthetic, auditory, or logical activities may enjoy making a book, creating a themed journal, designing cards, playing a vocabulary game, making sentence strips, and/or writing poems or letters.
- Dictation and Design - One thing I really like about WriteShop's curriculum in general is it's use of dictation. This has been especially helpful for me when my kids were younger or just at a stage where they struggled with writing. Let your kids dictate their story, letter, or poem to you and then let them draw pictures or design something to go along with it.
I'd love to hear from you - what kind of learners do you have in your household? Have you done anything creative to help them learn writing skills? Please share in the comments!
Sources: Learning Styles Online