Monday, June 30, 2014

We All Learn Differently

Today I am excited to have a guest post for you from Dianne Miller, author of The Little Bunny Series.  Read her great post about different learning styles, and the visit her blog to get some great freebies and other resources.

When my first daughter was six months old, I popped her in a bouncy chair and taped gift bows to the tray in front of her. She spent hours patting and crunching the bows. I changed them out as they became tattered. It was an endless parade of colors and textures to entertain her.

When my second daughter was six months old, I popped her in the same bouncy chair and enthusiastically taped gift bows to the tray. She looked at them. Her big brown eyes took it all in and then moved around the room. The bows never enticed her.

At their earliest ages my two daughters had completely different learning styles. The learning differences would stay with them through their entire education.

The older daughter loved to do things, scooping up snails in the creek and biking around town with friends. 

My younger daughter loved to reflect, reading long book series and playing quietly with dolls. The older one went on to win science fairs and the younger one took Latin for six years.

There are seven different learning styles:

-Visual, also called spatial, prefers to learn with pictures.
-Musical, also called aural, prefers to learn with sound and music.
-Verbal, also called linguistic, prefers to learn with spoken and written words.
-Physical, also called kinesthetic, prefers to learn with movement and experience.
-Logical, also called mathematical, prefers to learn using logic and systems.
-Social, prefers to learn in groups.
-Solitary, prefers to learn alone.

We all have a mix of learning styles. But usually one is our strongest. My elder daughter is obviously kinesthetic and my younger daughter is logical. As an artist and children’s book author and illustrator, I am gangbusters visual.

Our school systems have made leaps and bounds in the last twenty years addressing these different learning styles. Learning differences are openly discussed and lesson plans are written to embrace them. But the very nature of learning to read, write and do arithmetic favors the logical and verbal learners. Once we observe how our children learn, we can incorporate fun learning games into homework and study time.

My older daughter had a terrible time adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers. Until one day I drew the number line on the front walk and had her step out the math problems. When we reached subtracting a negative, she said “Don’t tell me, I know it.” She turned from facing forward to add to facing backwards to subtract and then turned around again to face forwards to subtract a negative. Not only did she get the answer correct, she understood the reason it was correct.

Here are a few fun, easy things to do with your preschooler to help discern and encourage their different learning strengths.

- Clap the numbers as you count, 1 clap, 2 clap clap; physical, logical and musical learning.
- Play a game of opposites as you run errands, we’re in the car, we’re out of the car; physical, verbal and logical learning.
- Sing silly songs, both the classics and ones you make up; musical and verbal learning.
- Play eye spy, “I spy with my little eye a red balloon”; visual and verbal learning.
- Read signs aloud wherever it is fun; verbal learning.
- Pour sand, sprinkles or glitter into a tray and draw letters and numbers; physical, visual, logical and verbal learning.
- Whenever there is a number of items add and subtract them, three strawberries plus two strawberries is five strawberries; physical and logical learning.

Over time your child’s learning style will start to become apparent. Although the schools are too overburdened to create a curriculum just for your child, you can reinforce what they are learning at school with fun activities at home that suit their learning strengths. 

Dianne Miller is a landscape painter who lives in Virginia with her husband and two daughters. Her work includes the Little Bunny series written for her children when they were preschoolers. The simply written and illustrated books gently guide Little Bunny through the challenges of life. You can find tons of original, free printables and the Little Bunny series at:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

July 2014 Free Traceable Calendars

Calendars are a great way to add real world applications to your math lessons.  Your child can practice writing numbers, counting, recognizing even and odd numbers, and so much more.  You can download this free traceable calendar for July here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sponge Bob Color By Number Division Freebie

Spongebob Squarepants- Basic Division Color Cartoon fun math practice Free worksheet

Oh... Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS!  Your kids will love practicing simple division facts with this free color by number worksheet featuring everyone's favorite Krusty Krab employee!  
Spongebob Squarepants- Basic Division fun Cartoon math practice free worksheet

You can download this free worksheet at Coloring Squared.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Division Color By Number Freebie - Phineas and Ferb

Dr. Doofenshmirtz- Advanced Division fun math Phineas and Ferb cartoon practice FreeDr. Doofenshmirtz- Advanced Division math practice Phineas and Ferb cartoon free worksheet

One way to get my boys to practice math facts is by making it fun.  They love Phineas and Ferb, so they are going to love these color by number division sheets for Dr. Doofenshmirtz.  You can grab this freebie from Coloring Squared.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June Hidden Highlights Picture

[Hidden Pictures Preview]

I always loved Highlight's Hidden pictures as a child. Share the fun with your child, as you help develop their concentration and attention to detail.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

June 2014 Free Traceable Calendars

Calendars are a great way to practice real world math with your little ones.  I especially like these traceable calendars for the little ones who are just learning to write their numbers.  You can find this freebie (along with tons of other resources for younger learners) from Childcareland.

June 2014 Traceable Calendar Freebie