wplearningstyles

 

Understanding How WP Offers Something for Every Learning Style

Of all the things you want in a curriculum, you’d like to be sure that it is going to really work for your family. So you’ve got to wonder if WP is the right choice for the kiddos you’ve got!

WinterPromise has made sure we can offer tons of great experiences for your kids because we base our curriculum not only on the ideals of Charlotte Mason, but on reaching out to the Multiple Intelligences, or, as applied when talking about how we best “receive information” — the learning styles.

Let’s start by learning a little about the theory of multiple intelligences. This theory was first offered by a man named Howard Gardner in 1983 to more accurately define the concept of intelligence. His theory helps us to understand the different ways that people learn new material, processs their world, and even interact with others. Gardner’s theory puts forward that traditional views of intelligence do not sufficiently encompass the wide variety of abilities humans display, and that intelligence, as it has traditionally been defined, is too narrow, and defines only one or two types of intelligence.

This theory integrates beautifully with Charlotte Mason’s ideals, and in method, her ideals carry out Gardner’s theory. The activities or learning avenues she defined appeal to many of the very “types of intelligences” that Howard Gardner defined. With that in mind, WinterPromise deliberately integrates learning experiences that reach out to every one of the multiple intelligences.

Below, you’ll probably find 2-3 intelligences that are very strong in each of your children, and a couple that they demonstrate relative competency with. As you look them over, see how WP provides experiences in our curriculum that “teach” to that style!

Then you’ll be on your way to discovering what a fit WP will be for your family!

Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences & How WP Integrates Them for You!

Visual-Spatial Intelligence
This area deals with the ability to visualize with the mind’s eye, so to speak and spatial judgment. Students with this intelligence may demonstrate an interest in drawing buildings, creating fashion or home design, illustrating, or artistic pursuits. Learning Avenue Examples in WP: drawing, notebooking, creative activities, looking at a timeline, and highly illustrated books.

Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence
This area has to do with words, spoken or written. Students with high verbal-linguistic intelligence display a facility with words and languages. They are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words along with dates. They tend to learn best by reading, taking notes, listening to lectures, and discussion and debate, and therefore are typically labeled as “good students.”  They are also frequently skilled at explaining, teaching. and oration or persuasive speaking. Students with verbal-linguistic intelligence learn foreign languages very easily as they have high verbal memory and recall, and demonstrate an ability to understand and manipulate syntax and structure.  Students with these abilities should consider becoming writers, journalists, philosophers, lawyers, politicians, poets, or teachers.   Learning Avenue Examples in WP:  reading, narration, timeline cards, writing in language arts and in notebooking, DVDs, and discussion about books and resources read as a family.

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
This area has to do with logic, abstractions, reasoning, and numbers. While it is often assumed that those with this intelligence naturally excel in mathematics, chess, computer programming and logical or numerical activities, a more accurate definition places less emphasis on traditional mathematical ability and more reasoning capabilities, abstract patterns of recognition, scientific thinking and investigation, and the ability to perform complex calculations.  It correlates strongly with traditional concepts of “intelligence” or IQ.  They may become scientists, mathematicians, engineers, doctors and economists.  Learning Avenue Examples in WP:  key fact narration, discussion of important topics, activities that use logic or are labeled “geeked-up,” and chess programs.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
Students who have bodily-kinesthetic intelligence should learn better by actually getting involved physically in the learning experience, especially by trying things for themselves.  They are generally good at physical activities such as sports or dance.  They may enjoy acting or performing, and in general they are good at building and making things. They often learn best by doing something physically, rather than  by reading or hearing about it. Students with strong bodily-kinesthetic intelligence seem to use what might be termed “body memory” – they remember things they have experienced through their body such as verbal memory or images.  Students with this strength may go on to become athletes, dancers, musicians, actors, surgeons, doctors, builders, police officers, and soldiers.  As you see, although these careers can be duplicated through virtual simulation, they will not produce the actual physical learning that is needed in this intelligence.  Learning Avenue Examples in WP:  hands-on activities, experiments, “try it for yourself” types of activities in which the student reproduces history, or games.

Musical-Rhythmic Intelligence
This area has to do with, rhythm, music, and hearing. Those who have a high level of musical-rhythmic intelligence display greater sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. They normally have good pitch and may even have absolute pitch and are able to sing, play musical instruments, and compose music.   Since there is a strong auditory component to this intelligence, those who are strongest in it may learn best via lecture. Language skills are typically highly developed in those whose base intelligence is musical. In addition, they will sometimes use songs or rhythms to learn and memorize information.  It should be no surprise these students are interesting in becoming instrumentalists, singers, conductors, disc-jockeys, orators, writers and composers.  Learning Avenue Examples in WP:  singing, musical games, hearing songs or sound bites from other eras, listening to books read aloud, concerts on DVD, and reading and discussing aloud.

Interpersonal Intelligence
This area has to do with interaction with others. In theory, people who have a high interpersonal intelligence tend to be extroverts, characterized by their sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations, and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group. They communicate effectively and empathize easily with others, and may be either leaders or followers. They typically learn best by working with others and often enjoy discussion and debate.  Students with these abilities may be headed for work as salespeople, politicians, managers, teachers, and even social workers.  Learning Avenue Examples in WP:  family projects, teamwork and responsibility, leadership tasks, people-oriented activities or ministry opportunities, group discussion, talking about the feelings or motivations of characters they’ve read about, and helping others.

Intrapersonal Intelligence
This area has to do with introspective and self-reflective capacities. People with intrapersonal intelligence are intuitive and typically introverted. They are skillful at deciphering their own feelings and motivations. This refers to having a deep understanding of the self; what are your strengths/ weaknesses, what makes you unique, can you predict your own reactions/ emotions.  Not surprisingly, students with this type of intelligence make wonderful philosophers, psychologists, theologians, lawyers, and writers.   People with intrapersonal intelligence also prefer to work alone.  Learning Avenue Examples in WP:  journaling, devotional life, independent activities, character goals, and understanding and connecting with characters in books.

Naturalistic Intelligence
This area has to do with nature, nurturing and relating information to one’s natural surroundings.  Students with this intelligence demonstrate a strong connection to animals, caring for plants or a sensitivity to what they see or experience in the natural world around them.  They may be interested in becoming a naturalist, park ranger, animal trainer, farmer, or gardener.  Learning Avenue Examples in WP:  themed and science programs keyed to natural topics, nature journaling, activities involving animal or nature study, and observation activities.

Existential Intelligence
This area has do to with philosophical and abstract issues of life. Students with this type of intelligence learn best by thinking about analytical questions.  Careers which suit those with this intelligence include readers, writers, philosophers, and religious speakers.  Learning Avenue Examples in WP:  discussing topics together as a family, abstract questions to be answered, clarifying a position or belief system.

So you see . . . WinterPromise allows you to choose experiences that utilize common learning styles when you work together, yet still tailor the experience for kids who really need to receive information presented to their own learning style!   And because you know your children so well, you quickly see which experiences REALLY WORK, and reach your child in that special way!

 

willwpwork

It’s a great question! How do you know WinterPromise will work for your family? Is it the right choice? Chances are, as you look around at curriculum, you’ve got three things you’re considering — Can I effectively use it? Does the cost work for us? Will it be the right fit for us?

Here’s some help that might make you SURE that WP is just right for you!

Can I Effectively Use WinterPromise?
Yes, yes, yes! And yes, of course we’d SAY that, but is it really true? Well, here’s the skinny. WP was designed from the ground up on a foundation of practicality. Practicality to us means that (1) you CAN do it, and (2) you WILL do it. How do we know you can do it? Because every effort has been made to give you an easy-to-follow, glance-and-get-going guide. It’s not a technical manual, it’s simple to use, and the individual guide pages cover just one page, so it’s easy to see your week as a whole and make realistic plans. Resources have this same base practicality. If it isn’t clear, we really don’t want you to have to mess with it. How do we know you WILL do it? Because we’ve created a curriculum that perfectly functions together and has achievable activities for real families. Every year parents tell us that their first year with WP was their first year to EVER finish a curriculum! That says a lot!

Does the Cost Work for Us?
Every family has a real budget they have to work inside, and so this is something a lot of families might wonder. WinterPromise offers some of the best resources in homeschooling, and expects to provide everything you need for a topic you are buying. If you purchase a themed program, you are typically covering your needs for history, culture, art, humanities, social science, geography, and Bible. It can also cover some or all of your reading. With other companies, you may feel as though you need to add the “fun stuff” — a proposition which can be expensive and may not provide the experience you were really hoping for in the first place. Have you ever purchased one of those “fun” resources, only to find that it wasn’t what you expected or didn’t live up to what it promised. That won’t happen with WinterPromise. Families get all these “fun” experiences right within the curriculum, and WP delivers an enjoyable, practical, I-can-do-it experience that families love. It is worth every penny and more!

Will It Be the Right Fit for Us?
Each family has its own unique personality — and is made up of unique personalities! Think about how risky it is to purchase a curriculum like one that is solely a literature approach program that works for a few learning styles, but not for many others. The same is true for purchasing a solely hands-on curriculum. WinterPromise utilizes its own “Experience Approach,” integrating all types of experiences based upon multiple learning styles. Using solid educational advances in multiple learning styles, WP integrates an array of experiences. Some reach out to one or more learning styles, while others utilize different learning styles. This means you can tailor the curriculum to your family, rather than making the curriculum fit you! It means you can do together experiences that fit everyone, and then let some students specialize in some types of activities, and others focus on a different type that fits their own learning style. In this way, WinterPromise is everyone’s curriculum. It will work for you!

Oooh – You say — but I guess I have one more thing I’d like to ask — What if I’m not Super Mom? Will WinterPromise still work if I would rather keep things simple? Oh, of course! WinterPromise provides you with high-impact choices that let you enjoy your own trimmer version and still immerse yourself in an easy-to-complete, well-rounded study! You really can have it all! Really!

treequote

In our program Animals and Their Worlds, children choose a tree to study for the year, as the seasons change!!

Charlotte Mason and Winter Promise would both agree that children & nature should always go together!

Not Too Much to Carry 5

I remember when I first met Charlotte Mason.  Okay, not really “met,” but got to know.  I was immediately struck by Charlotte’s intuitive understanding of children and how to education and train them.  I was also hugely impressed by how counter-culture Charlotte’s ways are in today’s world.

If you haven’t gotten to know Charlotte Mason yet, and you are hoping to be a good homeschooling parent, a great “Mother-Teacher” — or at least aiming that direction :), then you should “meet” Charlotte, too.  There are a lot of summaries of Charlotte’s ideas online, but here are the basics:  Charlotte Mason was a British educator who worked with children for years.  She believed in exposing children to great ideas, wonderful literature, God’s Word in liberal amounts, and beautiful artwork, and she called for challenging them in a way that gave them a love for learning.  She believed in teaching history, getting children to tell back what they know, and — most of all — Charlotte believed in joy!

As a Momma myself, this is what perhaps convinced me that I wanted to be a “Mother-Teacher” like Charlotte.  After all, if I couldn’t bring my children joy, and teach my children the joy in curiosity, in exploration, in discovery — what was motherhood for?

As I delved into Charlotte’s methods and thoughts, I found new ways we were kindred spirits.  It was a thrill to hear from someone who did not believe that raising your children meant teaching them to cram for exams, run around to endless extra curricular activities, and fall into bed exhausted at night.  Charlotte’s ideas were freedom.  Freedom to develop a lifestyle that was not at all like school, not at all over-busied, and above all — not self-focused.

The freedom we found was like finally breathing again.  It meant so much more, you see, than just that we’d found a homeschool method that worked for us.  In fact, we’d found a lifestyle!

We’ve had a chance to live the Charlotte Mason lifestyle for a lot of years now, and we’ve just seen our lives change so radically from what they were before.  Here’s what I’ve learned along the way:

1.  I have never spent one moment thinking about how I wish I done things differently.  Our lifestyle works for us, and it works for our family.  It is a servant to, not a master of, our souls.  It supports our family — it does not “run” our family.

2.  My children have had enough free time to think big thoughts on their own, and that has allowed each one to blossom and develop in their own unique way.  They’ve had to time to explore the world their way, to be curious, to investigate, and it has made all the difference in how they relate to the world.  They reach out to the world and experience it, a true contrast to how many children have to depend on “packaged” experiences in classroom or sports arenas.

3.  The time we’ve had together that wasn’t “overplanned” and “over-scheduled” reaped so many more benefits than I could have imagined.  As my kids have grown up, I can see each day how much that has meant to their development.  They are comfortable with conversation, deep relationships, reading, and self-improvement.   We’ve had so much time together, time we used to mold our kids’ character and develop their relationship to Christ.  We’ve had time to teach them skills and common sense, courtesy and manners, and simple leadership skills like timeliness, follow-through, accountability, servanthood, and working as a team.

I really could go on and on.  In short, I am thankful every day that Charlotte’s simple wisdom traveled across time to whisper to me the things for which my “Mother-Teacher” heart was longing.  She pointed the way to a Christ-centered, family relationship-focused lifestyle that changed our lives.

So, when God gave us the opportunity to create a curriculum that would allow homeschoolers to really enjoy their journey, it only made sense that we build it the Charlotte Mason way.  We’ve included many of the concepts that Charlotte Mason advocated, and added a few we fancy Charlotte would have if she were living in this century!  We’ve made it easy to do yourself, without having to pull a bunch of things together on your own, so there’s still plenty of time to invest in the character of your kids.  Plus, we made sure to include the kind of life learning that so benefitted our own kids, and really stuck with them as time went by.

So, now, I whisper all of this to you, too!  Don’t wait!  Go out there and get some Charlotte Mason in your life!

It may be that WinterPromise offers you a start on that lifestyle, and we’d love that!  But be sure to meet Charlotte Mason in any case, so that you can develop a lifestyle that suits you as “Mother-Teacher,” and develops the promise in your own family!  You’ll never be sorry that you did!

Kaeryn