Literature Based Education Even with a Kinesthetic Learner
*As a BookShark Ambassador I receive curriculum in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*
One of the many reasons we decided to homeschool in the first place was because our son is ALL OVER THE PLACE. He is constantly moving. Jiggling, jumping, running in circles. Hopping, tapping, fidgeting with everything in front of him. So, when we decided on a literature-based curriculum, I was nervous at first.
Could he sit still long enough to listen? With all of the books and reading I would be doing- would he be able to retain what I was teaching? These are absolutely valid fears. Especially for those of us with rambunctious little boys. They’re loud and they move A LOT.
But- books can be their best friends too. You just have to give them space to move.
Now that we’re in our 3rd year of homeschooling, I’ve perfected some ways to help my kinesthetic learner. Even with our Literature based BookShark curriculum. A few simple ways you can help your kinesthetic learners.
BookShark makes it super simple to get hands-on with their curriculum. I’ve shared before about their Hands on History kit and they’re constantly adding more sets to go with their different levels of curricula. I’m testing out the Level 1 set for you as we speak (more on that ASAP), and am hoping to get my hands on the Level 2 to go along with what we’re learning right now. These sets allow you to do some fun crafts and hands-on activities while you’re teaching. Many of them your children can even do on their own, with little parental involvement. We’ve enjoyed every activity we’ve done thus far. And it really instills what we’ve learned about and helps it stick.
Take it Outside
On nice days we love to school on the back deck or read while swinging in the hammock. Or our new favorite- ‘driveway schooling’. A new term we’ve coined after breaking out the sidewalk chalk and practicing our spelling words and math facts. It seems so simple- but it REALLY works. Taking our learning outside is great for a little one who doesn’t like feeling cooped up. We’ve even randomly put out baseball bases and ran around them during school time. Not being a kinesthetic learner myself, this has been a learning curve. But, lots of fun!
Reading Aloud Doesn’t Mean Sitting Still
There is lots of reading with BookShark. At first, I thought that meant curling up and sitting still, while cuddled up together. But, most days it doesn’t look like that. (Some days it does!). Sometimes it’s reading while swinging. While coloring. While building Legos. Maybe I have my son draw a picture to go along with what I’m reading. Or sometimes he rolls around on the floor while listening. It’s not my thing. And at first, I really worried that he wasn’t listening. But he is! It’s just how he learns. He can repeat back everything I’ve read to him. And more often than not, he’ll ask me to read even more. One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is that I don’t have to MAKE him sit still. If he learns better by doing and moving- we’re gonna roll with it.
Breaking Up Our Day
It’s hard to get all of our school work done in one sitting. Having been schooled traditionally, I had to throw out the mindset that we would sit down and get all of our subjects done at once. This year, I’m finally getting the hang of things and have started breaking up our day a little bit.
Morning tasks: I write 2 or 3 tasks on our white board that Steven has to do before we start school. Sometimes he does them before breakfast. Or occasionally after playing for awhile. But, we don’t start school until he finishes these tasks. These usually include him reading his Level 2 Intermediate readers, doing a workbook page of some sort, and practicing his spelling words or Spanish. Nothing too extensive- but enough that he can take his learning into his own hands a bit. This will also help him be a better independent learner later on.
Tea Time: One of my new favorite things that we’ve started doing a couple of times a week is Tea Time. In the afternoon, I brew some tea (or cocoa, or even juice or chocolate milk on occasion), we have a snack, and we do some of our school work. We usually read our fables, poetry, or even sometimes our read alouds. This is also a great time to break out the art supplies, listen to music, or just have a nice chat about what we’ve been learning together. It’s a nice, calm way to continue our school day, that doesn’t feel like ‘work’. We’ve both really been enjoying this- and I’m so glad we added it to our homeschool routine this year.
I hope that these suggestions help those of you who have little movers and shakers like I do. Don’t discount a curriculum with a lot of reading, just because your little ones move around “too much”. The great thing about a flexible curriculum like BookShark is that you can completely tailor it to fit your family’s homeschool needs. Even if they’re a kinesthetic learner.