Teaching a verbal learner can be very frustrating for a parent who is not accustomed to teaching this learning style. But with a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, teaching the “talker” can be fun and rewarding for both parent and child.
The verbal, or linguistic learner, simply put, is someone who learns best by discussion. They usually enjoy reading more than their peers, and generally they excel at public speaking and debate. While this child excels in verbal activities, they may struggle with the ability to effectively put their thoughts down on paper.
A homeschooled child who is a linguistic learner may pose a special challenge to a parent who is set in their ways, and who may find it overwhelming to step out of their comfort zone, revamping their teaching habits to accommodate this learning style.
The first step in reinventing your teaching style is to have an open dialogue with your child. At any grade level, whether it is kindergarten or senior year, your child can help you to create a new plan to effectively educate them in a way that complements their style of learning.
Ask yourself, what is working for my child? What is not? For example, if you generally have your child write a report after they complete a book, and it does not seem to help their comprehension of the material, why not try a more oral format, such as verbally giving the report, or better yet, creating a “book club” within your home, and discuss the books together over meals.
Some other ideas to help you expand your teaching style to incorporate a more “verbal” approach can be as simple as:
- Pencils down: Well, during the lecture, anyway. Studies show that taking notes during a lecture can actually hurt the linguistic learner, by interrupting their focus. Instead, try having your child verbally summarize what they have learned, after each lesson. This can be mutually beneficial for both the teacher and the student. Your child can create a firmer grasp of the material, and you can rest assured that the material is being learned.
- Keep it engaging: The linguistic learner tends to focus on the pitch, inflection, and tone of a persons voice. Make sure that when you present material to your child, you keep your voice lively and exciting. Reading in a monotone voice directly from a book is a sure fire way to disengage your child. Instead, learn the information first, and then teach it to your child in your own words.
- In other words: Any subject can be taught to the strengths of a verbal learner. For instance, math can be tweaked to this learning style by creating word problems out of equations that seem to be giving your child difficulties (For help creating word problems, click here); History and English can be taught with verbal strategies as well. Try having your child read the material, and then “teach” you. This will create an opportunity for your child to show you how he learns best. For more ideas to teach your child using verbal strategies, click here and here.
Although it might seem overwhelming at first to change up your teaching style, at the end of the day, you will save yourself and your child a lot of frustration, by looking outside of the box, and giving a new strategy a chance. If nothing else, always remember to use your words.