If you’re homeschooling your children, there are a few things to watch for that could indicate your child is getting a bit antsy. If they’ve been fidgeting in their seat, looking for ways to move around during instruction, or seem easily distracted or eager to get up and go, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not paying attention. In fact, it’s likely that they just tend to learn more by doing, rather than reading or listening. These kids are often referred to as kinesthetic learners – movement helps them engage better with the material.
Kinesthetic teaching isn’t just great for specific learning styles. It can also help to keep your homeschooled learners active and healthy. Health problems associated with obesity are the second leading cause of preventable death, behind smoking, so it’s great to keep kids moving and active. If you want to incorporate kinesthetic learning into your homeschooling approach, try some of these activities to start.
Kinesthetic learning isn’t always saved for running around on the playground; smaller physical activities like puzzles can also help. Puzzles allow your child to further develop their fine motor skills while also keeping their need to move satisfied. As for what they’ll learn, puzzles are great for younger children who still need to work on spatial reasoning and problem-solving. An active body makes for an active brain, so make learning a hands-on affair with puzzles suited to your child’s age and development level.
Integrate A Hobby
Not all learning has to necessarily feel like learning. Plenty of learning can be done in unconventional methods, such as teaching your child about a favored hobby. For one example, try fishing. Fishing as a hobby is generally more prevalent with older generations, but more than 60% of participants were under 45 in 2017. This particularly hands-on activity can help children learn about the science behind their ecosystems, local wildlife, and more. After all, almost 30% of forests are owned by the public. All this gets accomplished while your child is staying actively and physically engaged with the lesson at hand. Methods like this can be especially effective for subjects your child isn’t the biggest fan of. If you find your child doesn’t want to sit still for a biology lesson, get them out in nature and see how that changes. Don’t be afraid to look to unique solutions to help your child stay engaged.
Make Sports A Learning Experience
If your kid has found a sport that they love, it doesn’t necessarily have to stay separate from their schooling experience. Most sports involve a fair amount of math and other academic areas. For one example, consider baseball. If you’ve got a child who insists on watching every game, have them work on calculating some game statistics for their favorite players. For students who are still learning the basics of addition and subtraction, consider giving them scores to add up.
Don’t forget to give your student a chance to get up and participate in the sport that’s caught there attention. You may even want to take up the sport yourself and play a bit to get them engaged. It could also be great exercise for you; playing tennis for fun, for example, can burn around 169 calories in 30 minutes for a woman, and 208 calories in 30 minutes for an average man.
Keeping kinesthetic learners fully engaged can be tricky at times, but there are plenty of strategies you can use to appeal to their preferred learning style. Just make sure any tactile exercises are carried out in a clean room! Nothing worse than spreading germs instead of learning. Try out some of these tips for your active learners, and once you get a feel for how your student learns best, try branching off and developing your own teaching techniques.