Sunday, December 03, 2006

Learning Styles Continued

In my last post, I wrote about my older son's preference for visual/spatial learning. My younger son, ML, is not quite three so his style is a bit harder to identify but he's showing a definite preference for tactile/kinesthetic (or active) learning. If he can manipulate something, he understands it and remembers. This kid has been loving jigsaw puzzles for over a year - and can pick out the piece he wants from a big pile. Show him where the play button is on the remote control and he'll never forget where it is (and uses it often!) My older son still needs reminders on which buttons to use. Like any self-respecting preschooler, he adores water play and is proud that he knows how to get the temperature just right. Dancing, climbing and jumping are favorites of his. My little ML is very active, however, he easily sinks deep into concentration when doing something engrossing to him like a puzzle or a matching activity.

Some other activities for tactile / kinesthetic learners which you can apply to German immersion:

Crafts. Do a craft and read an accompanying story
Role-play (have kids act out a story they know and help them with the German if necessary)
Dance and sing to German music.
Allow frequent breaks for movement.
Read books with tactile effects. (Lift the flap, glitter effects, touchy-feely). ML loves these kind of books and will "read" them to himself.

Luckily there seems to be a lot of overlap between my two kids' learning styles so I'm not going in two completely different directions most of the time. I wonder what the new baby will be like...?


Corey said...

Sarah, I LOVE these posts! They really are the heart of language learning. Whether families are homeschooling their children full-time or after school in their language, it is so important to understand what learning styles are. Otherwise it is just plain frustrating. The different between night and day! We should write up something for Multilingual Living Magazine once you are back into the swing of things. Thank you so much for posting this.

I've moved my blog to blogger now... yippee, I'm in with the rest of the world now. Stop by when you have some extra time after nursing, changing diapers, burping, running your business, homeschooling and sleeping. ;-)

Leilani said...

I need help preparing my children 6,4,2 by August for a move to Mannheim, Germany. None of us speak German, though we will learn. We can go to an american school...but I'd prefer them to be in the German system to experience Germany and learn german. Any tips to help prepare them would be greatly appreciated.

Tine said...

You mention die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt. There is a music CD of this, where the children can pretend to be the egg, Raupe and butterfly. We used to have the lights switched off and used blankets to make the cocoon. As the music gets livley the light come on and the childeren dance - one of their favourites. Brings back memories, now they are 8 and 10.
Keep writing I love reading your ideas. Am teaching other people's small children German now so am grateful for ideas.

Sarah Mueller said...

What a lovely idea to use the CD and act out the story! Thanks for writing!