Saturday, June 30, 2012

Learning Styles Part 3: Auditory Learners

By Becca Evenson

  • Show emotions through voice quality
  • Prefers to conduct business over the phone (to save time)
  • Turns on the radio first
  • Enjoys listening to the radio, attending a concert, playing instruments or talking to a friend
  • When angry: tells others why (sometimes, everyone)
  • Looks down when concentrating
  • Needs verbal instructions

Auditory Learners
learn best using:
Books on CDMusicTapesDiscussionNarrationMemorization

Friday, June 29, 2012

Learning Styles Part 2: Visual Learners

By Becca Evenson
  • Shows emotions through facial expressions
  • Prefers to conduct business in a letter (provides a written record)
  • Likes quiet to aid concentration
  • Enjoys going to a movie, theater, television viewing; or reading
  • When angry: stays silent, walks away
  • As rewards; gives smiles, stickers, posts work for others to see
  • Looks up or straight ahead when concentrating
  • Wants to watch/observe before attempting something new

Visual Learners
learn best using:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Learning Styles Part 1: Kinesthetic Learners

By Becca Evenson

Understanding your child's learning style affects what curriculum you choose and how you teach. Knowing your own learning style will help you understand that what works for you may not work for you child. There are three basic learning styles to understand.
  • Shows emotions through general body tone
  • Prefers to conduct business while doing something (holding pencil, tapping foot, etc.)
  • Shifts positions frequently at school, church, etc.
  • Chooses physical activities over stationary ones
  • When angry: tenses physically
  • As rewards: gives hugs, pats on back, etc.
  • Fidgets when concentrating
  • Jumps right into doing

Kinesthetic Learners
learn best using:
PuzzlesCraftsScience kitsGamesModelsDioramas

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Becca's Four-year Rotation in a Nut-shell

By Becca Evenson

This list is by no means exhaustive and can expand as your children get older. Keep studies appropriate for learning levels and maturity.

Ancient World History:
Political geography changes
Life sciences: botany, human anatomy, zoology
Ancient math concepts: Roman numerals, the development of the Arabic numbers now in use, abacus use
Art: ancient architecture, clay sculpture
Literature: Homer, mythology of world, Aesop's fables, Confucius, scriptures, Greek philosophers

Medieval/Renaissance History:
World history from approx. 450 to 1650 A.D.
Political geography changes
Earth sciences and astronomy
Artists and composers of the period
Literature: Arthurian legend, Robin Hood, works by the Reformers,
, Shakespeare (plays, ballads and Lamb's Shakespeare as a guide), Saints of the Catholic Church

Early Modern History
World history from 1650 A.D. to 1865 A.D.
Political geography changes
Chemistry and health sciences
Artists and composers of the period
Literature: Dickens, poetry, folk and fairy tales, Early Church History, Jules Vern, Pilgrim's Progress, Mark Twain

Late Modern History
World history from 1865 A.D. to the present
Political geography changes
Artists and composers of the period
Physics, electronics and computers
Literature: Heidi, Conan Doyle, Later Church Literature: Jane Austen, the Bronte Sisters; Uncle Tom's Cabin and other books of the Civil War and Abolitionist period; The Hiding Place and other books of WWII;
Animal Farm and other books of the Cold War Era

These are the basic guidelines I use as I plan for the year. Basic math, grammar, geography, current events, and anything else I throw in are included where needed. Please us wisdom in topics studied. Moral tales, inventions, biography and daily life are well-suited for younger children. Save more alarming topics such as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust and such atrocities for older children better equipped to handle them Also add games, field trips, videos and other supplemental activities to keep things interesting and varied.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Learning Ideas

Summer is a great time for a change of pace...let your hair down.
Let these ideas add you your summer fun and learning.

Step into the past
Visit or volunteer at This is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake or the American West Heritage Center in Logan.
Take a picnic and go to the canyon (or go camping)
Identify animal tracks or homes. Identify plant flora and fauna.
Learn more about provident living
Find on alternative cooking methods. Don't turn on your stove or oven for three days. Learn to make cheese. Learn to make soap. Stockpile your wood for winter
Celebrate the 4th of JulyRead about the founding fathers and then have a costume party. Attend a parade. Or be in the parade.
Celebrate Pioneer Day
Make pioneer costumes. Participate in a primary parade.
Do handicrafts
Learn to sew or teach your children to sew, knit, crochet or any other handicraft. Get involved in 4-H either as a family or by joining a club.
Attend the county fair. Get involved in the county fair.
Learn about finances
Hold a yard sale or find some other family project to raise some extra cash. This can vary from selling produce from your garden at the local farmers market to mowing lawns or doing yardwork. Be creative the possibilities are endless. Frequent yard sales and learn how far a dollar can go. Teens can get their own jobs and save some money for college or missions. Work together.
Participate in the summer reading program at the library.
Get outside
Build a treehouse.
Attend a Luau. Attend local community celebration days. Watch for atisians, rides, perfomances (music, dances). Clean up your property. Take swimming classes or learn to scuba dive.
Reading Suggestions
Field guides. Our favorites are by Golden Press and DK Publishing
Hand-on Pioneers by Yvonne Young Merrill
Wild Days by Karen Rackliffe
The LDS Game Book by Alma Heaton
Scouting merit badge books
365 Art and Craft Activities by Rita Hoppert, Ed. D.
The Long Ago Lake: A Child's Book of Nature Lore and Crafts by Marne Wilkins
North American Birdfeeder Handbook by Robert Burton
Star Gazers Map to the Stars:A Field Guide for the Northern Hemisphere
by Rolf J. Kappeli
Featuring Six Glow-In-The Dark Star Charts with Star Constellation and Key Star Glossary
Enjoy your summer!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Critical Thinking/Logic Studies

By Becca Evenson
It is important to remember that critical thinking is developed with the assistance of someone more advanced than the student.  These activities work best when done with a parent or older sibling; they do not work in a vacuum.  Teaching critical thinking is also difficult if it is not practiced by the adults in the child's life.  Do your children hear you discussing the "pros" and "cons" of a certain activity?  Are current events discussed and reviewed?  Are you careful with the decisions made for your family, or do you take the path of least resistance?  Remember, children learn what they live!
Early discovery learners spend much of their time learning critical thinking skills automatically.  As toddlers, they observe, and then attempt, such tasks as setting the table, building with blocks, or returning books to the shelf, they practice creating patterns, establishing order, and comparing size and shape.  Doing chores teaches them to create order from chaos. The ability to accomplish a job even when they do not want to is a skill that will serve them well when faced with paradoxes and challenges as they learn.

As they grow, find ways to encourage them to classify, match, sequence, and explore.  Look for opportunities to use the following skills:

·         patterns

·         opposites/comparisons

·         classification

·         cause and effect

·         listening counting/ordering sets

Also look for ways to produce or acquire games/activities that allow them to spend time with the following: 

·         nesting cups/building blocks

·         matching games, lotto boards (such as bingo), dominoes

·         phonics/phonograms

·         word games

·         dot-to-dot pages

·         hidden pictures

·         sequencing cards/activities

·         puzzles

·         picture books without words

Critical thinking games to consider for purchase:  (Consider asking for some of these when Grandma wants ideas for birthdays or holidays.)

·         Think-It-Through Tiles (Discovery Toys)

·         Giant Pegboard (Discovery Toys)

·         Playful Patterns (Discovery Toys)

·         Number/picture slide

·         Camelot Jr. (Smart Games)

·         Mighty Mind (Leisure Learning Products, Inc.)

Later discovery learners have already begun establishing a mental picture of the way the world works.  Take that opportunity to introduce activities and habits that will assist them is building a correct, clear concept of the world around them.  Otherwise, they may begin to rely on an odd (sometimes humorous) logic all their own!  Just remember to keep things concrete and literal.  The time for abstract games will come soon enough.

·         Mad-libs

·         word searches (use while they are still learning to spell)

·         brain teasers

·         Encyclopedia Brown books

·         puzzles, tangrams, pentominoes, soma cube

·         word problems

·         I own a game called Drive Ya Nuts (Mattel).  It is no longer available for purchase, but if you look for it on Google , there are a number of sites that have directions for making your own version.

Critical thinking games to consider for purchase (These also work for later learners.)

·         Rush Hour (Thinkfun)

·         Square by Square (Thinkfun)

·         Cuisenaire Rods and books (Cuisenaire Co. of America)

·         Wrap-ups (Learning Wrap-ups)

·         Labyrinth Board Game (Ravensburger)

·         Tilt (Thinkfun)

·         Blokus (Mattel)

·         Izzi (Thinkfun)

·         Cool Moves (Thinkfun)

·         River Crossing (Thinkfun)

Analysis learners are beginning to understand abstract thought, and humor.  They can seem to question everything you say and expect.  Stay calm.  They need to learn how to challenge other's thought processes with courtesy, and logic.  As you talk them through the challenges, you teach them to think for themselves (which is what we want them to do when faced with the world's logic and values!).  Now is the time to introduce current events and opinion as a regular part of their academics.  Go ahead and ask them questions for which they do not have the answers.  Then help them go find them.  You can also encourage their ability to pick things apart with any of the following:

·         logic problems

·         crosswords

·         vocabulary activities

·         grammar study

Critical thinking games to consider for purchase

·         Equate(Conceptual Math Media)

·         Q-Bitz (Mindware)

·         Wrap-ups (Learning Wrap-ups)

·         Visual Brainstorms 1and 2 (Thinkfun)

·         TipOver  (Thinkfun)

·         Rubik's Cube

·         any game listed for later discovery learners

Application learners should be preparing for life after their teen-age years.  Proficiency in expressing themselves with clarity both verbally and on paper should be a major focus of their studies. Continue with the things they were doing previously, simply add the following:

·         editorial writing and analysis

·         formal logic study