Monday, September 17, 2012

Multi-age, Multi-sensory, What The?!?!

So one of the biggest challenges to home schooling is teaching to multiple age/grade levels. Kids are supposed to learn with their age group right? That's how school does it. 25 six and seven year olds in a classroom for a year......

Actually, it is so much more natural to teach multiple age groups together than it is to pigeon-hole them into a 'grade'. Kids develop and learn in all different ways and at different speeds. By teaching them in a multi-age setting using multi-sensory techniques, you are sure to address all the learning styles of each child, as well as capitalizing on their strengths and strengthening their weaknesses.

If you put multiple ages together, it allows for the more advanced kids to work with peers on their level. It allows for the older and/or more advanced kids to be mentors to the younger kids. There is no better way to learn something than if you have to teach it to someone else! Use multi-sensory techniques to address the needs of all learners. School focuses on visual and auditory learning and expects all kids to conform. By offering learning through multiple modalities, you can use each child's strength to help them overcome their weaknesses.

The basis of learning comes through the senses. Babies and toddlers learn EVERYTHING through their senses (sight, taste, touch, smell, sound). Babies put everything in their mouth right? They explore their environments through dumping, shaking, banging, throwing, eating, smelling.....This doesn't actually change as we get older. If we tap into using the senses to teach, it will be more meaningful to the child. For a child who has a hard time listening to a lecture on the Boston Tea Party, you could bring them to Boston and walk the Freedom Trail. They will get to see where it all happened, touch the buildings, smell the sea air, hear the sounds of the ships in the harbor....I don't know about you but if I were taught this way, I might actually be able to tell you something about the Boston Tea Party.

Here in the Northeast, we have a tremendous amount of resources, cities, museums at our disposal. Many of them are minutes or just a few hours away. This year, whether you home school or not, supplement your child's education with a trip or experience. It will make the learning so much richer!

No comments:

Post a Comment