Thursday, April 26, 2012

Learning Styles in Action

BadDad and I have recently been reading a lot about identifying and working with different learning styles. We feel that as homeschooling parents, it's of benefit to us to tailor our teaching methods as much as possible to bring out the full potential of each of our three children.

Right away we started having discussions about tendencies that we've noticed over the years with each of them, and how they handle learning.

I had to laugh though on Easter morning. The Easter Bunny had brought both M-girl and D-boy new Lego sets; Star Wars for D-boy, and the new, girly, Lego Friends for M-girl.

As I was responding to the pleas of, "Mom, can you help me open this!", I got a good look at the two of them in action. Fascinating!

Five year old D-boy opened his box only long enough to pull out the directions. Then he proceeded to study them meticulously, before he touched a single Lego! He even showed me the illustration that informed him not to open all of the little bags of pieces at once.

About the same time as he was showing me that, eight year old M-girl called out to me, "Mom, can you help me find this piece?" I looked down to her end of the table and discovered that she had already opened the little bags, and dumped the pieces all over. All 300 or so of them.

"Sweetie", I said to her, "D-boy's directions say not to just dump the pieces. What do yours say?"

"Oh", she replied, "I forgot to look at the directions." She dug back into her box, and pulled out the direction booklet.

They've both spent hours playing with their new Legos lately. D-boy painstakingly built his Lego set, step by step. When he was done, it was completely correct. Only then did he add his own touches (he's partial to giving the bad guys Lego mugs, so they can drink cocoa while they're terrorizing the universe).

M-girl finished her Lego Friends tree house quickly. Then, almost as quickly, it fell down. Eventually she deigned to glance through the directions, and made some modifications to her design. She ended up with a solid, slightly customized, tree house.

Truly fascinating. Two entirely different learning styles in action. Two ways to accomplish a similar goal. In the end both ways worked. So, the students instruct the teacher.



  1. I wish I had a lego mug of cocoa to cheers to you. I am your newest bloglovin follower!

    amy @

    1. Thanks for following, Amy! We could all use a lego mug of cocoa sometimes!

  2. Great observations and so true! I had to laugh because I've seen this with my kiddos, too. Even with my husband and I -- I'm the direction follower and he's the "dig in and improvise" kind. LOL Figuring out your kids' best learning styles does make for an easier homeschooling experience!

    1. It's something that I sense, and adjust to as I'm teaching them, but that was the most vivid example that I've seen. My kids have differences in the way that they think and learn, and that's fine as long as I adjust my teaching as needed.