Strategies for Immersion Kinesthetics
by Kim Jaworski, Homeschool Resource Specialist
If you have a kinesthetic learner, or a kid who doesn’t like to sit still or one who prefers to be doing something not just reading about it, consider these simple ideas to adapt your lessons to a more kinesthetic approach. Most of us learn better if we experience something, as opposed to just reading about it in a textbook. Neurology studies have shown that the more of our senses that are engaged in learning the better we remember. That’s certainly a boost to learning! There’s nothing wrong with adapting your curriculum to your situation or needs. The beauty of homeschooling is that we can adapt and accommodate learning preferences. Just choose the option that best fits the topic you’re working on.
- Along with the kids, make a game about your current subject and then play it to master the info or skill set. Cheap games (like monopoly or chutes and ladders) can be found at thrift stores and remade into your own games.
- As a group, or individually, come up with lyrics to a familiar song to help you memorize information you are learning. Weird Al does it all the time. You can, too!
- Create a play, some simple sets (cardboard works) and do a few rehearsals. When studying history, these can be re-enactments or ‘a day in the life of _______’ type formats but you can really adapt this to any topic. Then perform for family and friends or film it to watch later as a family.
- Make up a poem about your topic. A limerick or a more serious format. Whatever works.
- Create a demonstration (like show and tell) about your topic. You can video tape it, too. It can be like a cooking show or a lesson or a fake commercial or newscast format.
- Build a model – a model of a thing, a model city or a model creature or animal. Use repurposed things from around the house or supplies from the dollar store.
- Take a field trip to a relevant destination—nature center, historical site, factory tour, zoo, museum…
- Make a painting, drawing or series of sketches about what you’re learning.
- Model it in clay—sculpture—or papier mache
- Build it out of legos
- Create your own video documentary about studying the topic. Show the research, where you went, interview someone knowledgeable. OR interview each other about what you’ve learned.
- Photograph it, or do some photo journalism
- Grow it (obviously, this only works with plant studies or small animals or mold)
- Create a newspaper front page or mock website about your topic. What info would you include? Be sure to come up with interest-catching headlines.
- Write a short story—fiction or non-fiction, or create a comic book. Maybe your topic of study could be fictionalized as a superhero with strange powers or your tale could involve time travel.
- Design an educational museum exhibit about your topic
- Make a map of the place you’re studying, include important land marks.
- Make a time line about the period you’re studying or the series of events that led to an invention or discovery.
- Create a project display (like at a science or project fair) all about your topic
- Create an experiment to test different outcomes. If you’re studying plants and their needs – what happens if one tomato seedling gets water, one gets miracle grow and one gets flat 7up?
When you take the time to immerse yourself fully in the topic you create an indelible memory, something just reading from a text and taking a quiz can never hope to accomplish. And the kids learn SO much more than just the facts!