Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for Hands On: A Guide to Multisensory Teachng

What does multisensory teaching have to do with creativity in your homeschool? Well in order to teach with a multisensory approach it takes a little creativity! There are curricula out that and 'll help you with a few but some subjects are a little tricky to teach this way.

As a kid, my favorite  teacher was my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Arnold. She loved teaching and using hands on activities to do so. Keeping us involved helped us learn so much more! I've learned the same with my own children. When they are involved in the learning they enjoy it much more when things are taught using several of the senses. Not sure where to start with multi-sensory teaching? I'm here to help!

What is multisensory teaching? 

Often when we teach we will either read a book or tell a bunch of facts and then the students are expected to answer questions or complete a worksheet based on what they just learned. This technique is great for auditory or visual learners who do well with this type of learning. Many children (and adults too) learn better by doing something. That's where multisensory learning helps! 

Instead of just reading a page and doing a worksheet the student is involved in the learning in several ways. This may be by moving their body is some way, using math manipulatives or crafts. To summarize, multi meaning, many or multiple and sensory pertaining to the senses makes multisensory mean many senses. Multisensory teaching = teaching while involving many senses!

Now for the fun part of how to do this! 


Bible lessons your children probably already get in this way at Sunday school! The teacher reads the verses and uses some visual way to illustrate the story and then the children either make a craft, play a game or color a picture pertaining to the story. This is a simple thing you can carry over to your Bible lessons at home. 

Language Arts 
From the time children are little we are reading stories to them and talking to them. They pick things up quickly and easily this way and we've all been told many times how beneficial it is to our children when they hear us read aloud. 
For tactile experiences you can have preschool and kindergarten age children trace sandpaper letters, make letters out of yarn or other materials or even make letters out of Jello! My son had a lot of fun doing his kindergarten with the Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book during our kindergarten year. Each week he had a new letter to cover with the rods, try to make it different ways and then make pictures that started with the letter.

Once they get older though, they can read to you, act out a story they've read or draw a picture about what they read. Some of the ideas from the D is for Dress up would be great to use with what you are reading about!

This is one that most of us probably already do to some extent. When children are little we are counting things with them. Everything from cars to stairs to chocolate chips! As they get older we start asking questions about taking some away or getting more. Involving kids in cooking teaching them fractions and time telling skills.

Once they get older things seem to get a bit trickier. My oldest daughter, Chelsea does best with hands on math.  I've heard great things about Math-U-See, and Rightstart Math. Both use a multisensory approach to teaching math even for older children. The one I'm really excited about though is called Shiller Math. The reason why I'm excited is because it's a Montessori program (you'll have to wait for another post about that!) and after hours of searching it's the only Montessori math with programs for both younger and older children and covers material through pre-algebra. Lessons are taught using the materials and then the student can try and retry the skills until they become familiar with it and comfortable.

This one may be a little trickier but it's also one reason why I love our My Father's World curriculum. With history you'll definitely want quality, living books to learn from  for whatever time frame you are studying. From there you can do crafts, games, dramatizations or videos to use a variety or sensorial activities and help kids get a better grasp on what you're reading about.

Unlike history this one can be quite easy to teach with hands on methods! After you've done your reading there's numerous experiments, field trips, reports and nature studies that can be done! Unfortunately for me, these are some of the things that tend to get pushed aside when we are busy but they are an important way of teaching science so that our children understand what they are learning instead of just reading about it. If you only have time to read though you can have your students draw a picture of something they've learned that day or just simply write it in a few sentences if you're really strapped for time. 

Spelling Can Be Easy When It's MultisensoryMost of the time when I think of spelling I'm reminded of the weekly spelling lists that you practice for the week and then are tested on at the end of the week. Some kids do great with this method but if you want to make it multisensory it's going to look very different! Like I said before, I have a kiddo who thrives with multisensory. We've tried Spelling Power which I loved but having a perfectionist with that program wasn't working. That's why we're going to be switching back to All About Spelling  With Alll About Spelling you get to move the letter tiles, hear the words and read them. The combination helps make it fun and easier to learn.

Even without the curricula mentioned here you can use man of the techniques and ideas in addition to your regular lessons. Get creative and make things more interesting for you and your kids with hands on activities!

What are your tips for multisensory teaching?  

Note: This post includes affiliate links. These do not effect the cost for you only blesses my family with a small portion. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

09 10