From an Intro Letter: The Concise Learning Styles Assessment
by Jill J. Dixon, B.S.Ed., M.Ed.
Consider the importance of knowing your studentís learning styles.
Knowing, teaching to, and providing opportunity for your student to learn through his primary and secondary learning styles is the key to successful education!
We realize that is a bold statement. Be that as it may, we cannot emphasize it enough! We are convinced that when parents and teachers discover their student's primary and secondary learning styles, they have cut the Gordian knot of educational dilemma. They have set out on the happier road of a lifetime of successful, joyous learning - both for their student(s) and for themselves.
Very often parents experience the set backs of the status quo schooling process, simply because some of the same methods and materials of that process are incorporated into the home school setting. Those bad experiences not only involve frustration and discouragement concerning the teaching/learning experience itself, but also very often include the added fact that money is spent needlessly in an effort to try to solve those dilemmas. Furthermore, parents often move not only from one curriculum to another, but also change entire methods of approach in the quest for the "right" answer. Even though parents eventually land in a workable methodology and curriculum, this is mainly due to the joining of a workable "approach" and curriculum to their child's learning styles. Because of the time, frustration, and expense involved in this process, it is not the best route to take. Conversely, the answer lies not in such an approach, but simply in discovering whether your student is primarily a visual, auditory, or tactile/kinesthetic learner and then determining his second and third level strengths. Once you are equipped with this knowledge, you will know how he best learns and will be in the driver's seat regarding things to look for in the multitude of methods and curricula available to the home educator today. In fact, so powerful is the proper ascertaining of your student's learning styles, that once they are determined, your child can succeed in ANY curriculum because all of them can be adapted to meet the learning style demands of your student! Although certain curriculums are better suited for particular learning styles than others are, any one of them can be adapted to suit your student.
As stated by Mrs. Dixon, "During my years of consulting, testing, and tutoring students, I have learned that the first area that must be addressed in order to provide an adequate educational plan for a child is his primary style of learning.
A primary learning style is the main way that a child takes in, processes, and relates information. Many hours of frustration, family conflict, and money spent on useless products can often be avoided by simply assessing a studentís primary learning strength. I have observed children acquire labels from school systems and psychologists, simply because they were taught by methods that were in total contrast to their particular style of learning. I have seen parents pay hundreds of dollars to tutors and specialists to correct problems that could easily be solved by simply changing teaching methods and materials. I cannot stress enough the importance of learning your childís primary learning strength before you begin an educational plan."
FEATURES OF THE CONCISE LEARNING STYLES ASSESSMENT
∑ This tool was devised for students ages seven through adult in order to discover the primary and second and third level learning styles of each assessed student.
∑ It determines the strengths of all learners, whether they are auditory, visual, or tactile/kinesthetic.
∑ It contains no "fluff" or unnecessary material, but rather comes right to the issues involved. (There is no "weeding through" the book for the few valuable pages.)
∑ It is very easy to understand and administer and score.
∑ Another of its unique features is that it determines not only the primary learning style, but also the level of strength of the primary and secondary learning styles! This is an invaluable feature of the assessment. It is one thing to know that "Jerry" is primarily a visual learner. It is quite another thing to know that he is primarily a visual learner with average tactile/kinesthetic attributes and weak auditory processing skills. Or, for another of the very many possibilities: it is one thing to know that "Jannie" is primarily a tactile/kinesthetic learner. Yet, it is much more advantageous to know that her auditory processing skills almost match her tactile/kinesthetic abilities, while her visual skills are very weak. Armed with this kind of knowledge, parents can make meaningful inquiries into various curricula and methodologies in their curriculum pursuits. They can also be well equipped for making decisions when it comes to mixing various curricula - something that is done as often as not. Remedies can also be applied to learning deficits due to teaching and processing methods when parents understand their children's unique learning styles!
∑ The assessment also contains an instructional guide with "teaching tips." These instruct parents on the best ways to teach to the different learning styles of their students. As we've indicated elsewhere, very often the misdiagnosis of learning difficulties with all of those attending complications, as well as frustration from homeschooling in general, can be avoided simply by the discovery of your student's primary and secondary learning styles and then teaching to those strengths (and weaknesses) accordingly!
(Editor's note: This resources are available through the NATHHAN Lending Library.)