I heard Carol Barnier speak at a homeschool convention a few years
ago and loved her. She is a great speaker, and I figured I would
love her new book, The Big WHAT NOW Book of Learning Styles:
A Fresh and Demystifying Approach. She did not disappoint
me. This was an enjoyable read. In fact, it was quite humorous
at times. Some days when you are homeschooling or working with
children, a little humor is needed.
Carol points out that many children are visual learners, and it
works well for them since most information at school is presented
this way. But what about the children who don't fit into that mold?
She answers this question and gives some wonderful ideas. She explains
the best way to find out how your child learns and how to have
fun while doing it. She takes the stress out of wondering if you
are using the right learning techniques with your child. Some of
the ideas aren't anything new but just a reminder of great ideas
you may have forgotten or needed to motivation to try.
There is a brief introduction that explains learning styles. Too
many books spend way too much time explaining and don't give enough
ideas. The concept behind this book is to provide lots of ideas
to use in your classroom or homeschool today. The ideas are divided
into eight areas: spelling, writing, reading, math, history, geography,
science, and any subject. There is a symbol that represents each
of these areas in the right corner of the right page for easy reference.
Within each of those areas, there are tactile, visual, and auditory
symbols at the beginning of each activity explanation to help you
locate the correct activity for a specific learning style quickly.
Websites are included occasionally where applicable. There are
bonus materials included in some of the subject areas. These may
be simple activities or full-blown unit studies. One of Carol's
most successful tools is the "Ditty," which is rhythmical language
used to help memorize important information in a fun way. At the
end of every chapter, there are Ditties you can use with your children.
I personally love these, and many children benefit from them. It's
great having some at your fingertips that are already made up and
ready to use.
Carol gets right to the point, which I like. She gives plenty
of activities to try with your child. She also has a section at
the end of the book that describes things your children wish you
knew about how they learn. This was a great wake-up call for me
and has opened my eyes about how I perceive learning compared to
how my son actually processes information. If you desire to teach
your child in a way that will benefit him the most and will create
an enjoyable learning environment, this book is a must read.