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The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles: A Fresh and Demystifying Approach Paperback – March 1, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carol Barnier has been helping people reach, teach and better understand the nontraditional learner for years. In her books, workshops, and media appearances, she has the uncommon ability to couple her trademark humor with truly useful information you can use immediately.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Emerald Books; First Edition edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932096604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932096606
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.6 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles by Carol Barnier

This is my new "Favorite Homeschool Book." Everyone in education should have a copy. Here's why:

1. It explains learning styles and the problems of labeling children with any system

2. It shows you how to use multiple learning styles to teach your children - the best way to learn!

3. It provides hundreds of ideas for teaching your children using all the senses. The ideas by themselves are worth the price of the book.

This is not the kind of book you read once. Instead, you need to keep it someplace handy where you will read, reread, and try out the ideas one at a time. As you discover activities that work for your child, mark them for future use and try some more.

The book is divided into sections: Section one explains learning styles and how to use the book. Section two contains ideas for spelling, writing, math, history, geography and science, as well as one chapter that provide review ideas for any subject.

Activities range from textured writing and jump rope spelling to singing the elements and learning the planets by rotating around trees. A bonus unit study on geography is included to demonstrate how to teach using a book or movie as the basis for your study.

There are ideas for all grades from K-12 and many can be used for every grade. By using this resource, you're bound to find a way to reach that child who doesn't seem to be learning, as well as enrich the learning of those who are already well on their way. I consider this an essential resource for homeschoolers. It would benefit classroom teachers as well, as most of the ideas can be used in a classroom.
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I ordered this book and expected to love it. I was very surprised when I didn't. It's not a book that you can quickly reference. It's a book you have to read in its entirety. This is a bit tricky for a mom like me. I had read the preview pages online before I ordered it, but I still thought there would be some appendixes with helpful lists in them. The author's perspective about learning styles is that you have to try a lot of different approaches and keep what works and throw out what doesn't. Trying A LOT of different approaches is the key part of that.

The author feels very strongly that you must teach a child they way they are able to learn. And this is one place where I disagree with her. (pg. 25) She states that the goal isn't that a teacher is comfortable teaching, but that the child is comfortable. I understand what she was getting at. It's true that too many teachers only teach the way they learn and refuse to be flexible. But, I think that, actually, parents have to find a middle ground with their kids. A curriculum or teaching method has to work well for both parent and child. Sometimes a curriculum will work for one but not the other. Not good! It must work for both. It must make sense to both. If it doesn't make sense to the teacher, then the teacher will either a) procrastinate or b) not understand what he/she is teaching. If it doesn't make sense to the student, then learning isn't happening.

As for having to try lots and lots of approaches, I fall more in the camp where a quick survey (oral or written) is a good place to start---a place to start, not the final answer. I don't have time to try and use multiple approaches with every child.
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I'm a homeschooling mom of 5 children ages 10 yrs- 2 yrs. I've been homeschooling for 5 yrs and have spent many hours researching and reading items online, at homeschool conferences, etc. Last summer I bought this book after listening to the author speak at a homeschool convention.

No single homeschool resource has fired me up as much as this single book! I couldn't put it down. Carol Barnier has WONDERFUL and creative ideas for making our homeschool fun and exciting. These ideas aren't way out there--they are very practical and easy to implement. My kids and I have reaped the benefits of her creativity and ability to "think outside the box" throughout this school year and I am very grateful to have found such a wonderful resource to teach my "hands-on" learners.

If you are looking to make your homeschool--or just your time with your kids--both fun and educational, you will want to take a look at this book!
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By Penny on February 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book at a convention after hearing several presentations there by author Carol Barnier. Two back-to-back Barnier presentations focused on strategies and activities Barnier uses at home. She described one idea after another, rapid fire, and I wrote furiously during those two sessions, trying to capture her ideas into my notebook. When she mentioned that more ideas are in this book, her newest, only very recently available for purchase, I knew I wanted my own copy. As soon as that second session was over, I headed straight to her vendor booth and bought the book, which she autographed for me.

I have taken it with me to my daughter's music and occupational therapy sessions so that I could study it while I was waiting.

I think it's a little bit like the story about what happens if you give a mouse a cookie. If you buy this book, you're going to need some 3x5 index cards to go with it. And when you're making your 3x5 cards, you're going to want some envelopes to go with them. After you prepare the envelopes to go with the 3x5 cards, you're going to want some paper clips, some magnets, some string and a pole. And you'll learn some ditties, too.

Barnier homeschooled a child who needs to move in order to learn, in order to process information. And she used some creative, yet simple, strategies and activities as "keys" to unlock the door to learning for that child. There's nothing in the book that costs a lot of money. You don't have to be an artist or crafty. They're all quite do-able. And fun!
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