- 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: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles: A Fresh and Demystifying Approach Paperback – March 1, 2009
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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. I have three children learning simultaneously plus taking care of my home, pet, and extended family, plus church responsibilities.
I also wish she would have mentioned, which I've never seen anywhere, that many curriculum are bent towards one learning style. So, consider which learning style and pick curriculums accordingly. Ms. Barnier's ideas are great, but many moms (like me) don't have the execution or planning time to implement a lot of these ideas when one's teaching multiple children. Picking an appropriate curriculum that works for both parent and child is a much more doable option to helping a child be successful in their learning, than planning modifications for every lesson. Supplementary approaches can help when you have time--and that's what this book contains.
There is also another area I was surprised the author didn't address. I believe that there are learning styles, learning differences, and learning disabilities. Learning Styles have to do with preference, learning differences are learning styles to a greater degree--when a child struggles with learning in a particular modality, and learning disabilities occur when a child is unable to learn from a particular modality. I think this is important to note. The reason we talk about learning styles is because we want children to enjoy learning more and to more successfully master what they are learning. Understanding learning styles is usually talked about in the context of struggling students, but it is also helpful to address with students that are doing well. When all students advance in school, it will be helpful for them to know what tools help them study and understand information best. Even when they are taught in a certain way, they will go to the library or their dorm room and study in ways that work best for them.
One last note... my husband pointed out to me that children need to be taught in their weaker learning styles in their stronger subjects--because they do need to learn how to process and learn from those methods as well if they intend on pursuing advanced education. His advice was to modify and adapt the teaching approach for subjects that a child really struggles with. I thought this was a good thing to consider.
I know that my review goes against the grain. Instead of this book, I'd recommend Brain-Based Strategies to reach every learner. It's a much easier book to use and talks about learning styles in a much broader context of how children learn and process information.