Are you homeschooling a child who struggles with reading comprehension? Perhaps they struggle with or show the signs of a visual processing disorder such as dyslexia. They might wear glasses or have trouble seeing. Perhaps they just don’t like reading or writing. Some children learn best when they hear the lessons rather than read them on their own.
Children who fit these traits are probably auditory learners. They enjoy and learn best from sound: conversation, discussion, video, and music.
Auditory learners prefer to learn by hearing instead of by seeing or doing. Of course, using all kinds of learning methods, including visual and kinesthetic, will enrich your homeschool. So even if you find you have an auditory learner, don’t discard other avenues of learning. But when your auditory learner is struggling, it’s a good idea to revert back to the preferred auditory methods listed below. These techniques will provide the smoothest learning experience.
Reading Techniques for the Auditory Learner
- Research shows that being read to by a parent is more helpful than watching videos or listening to audiobooks, so keep reading aloud to them. If they have a disorder or delay that affects their ability to read to themselves, don’t be afraid to read their Readers to them.
- Of course, audiobooks are still a great option.
- Have your child follow along visually in a book while listening to either a Read-Aloud or an audiobook.
- Videos, especially documentaries with vivid explanations or a lot of dialogue, can help auditory learners process the action onscreen. Sonlight offers videos to help in math, science, and Bible, grammar, and more.
Discussion Techniques for Auditory Learners
- Discuss your homeschool lessons using discussion questions provided in your curriculum and also letting conversation flow naturally.
- Encourage auditory learners to talk to themselves or use active play where they include dialogue to act out scenes.
- Allow them to talk aloud while doing assignments. Letting them hear their own voice often helps children process information better.
- Include toys for active role-play, where they can narrate scenes and
- Your child might enjoy group activities or co-op classes where they can talk about what they are learning with other people. Take part in a homeschool science fair, art exhibition, or geography bee.
- Have your auditory learner present their daily homeschool lessons to the family at mealtime or to a parent before bedtime.
Writing Techniques for the Auditory Learner
- Instead of having your child draft their writing assignments by hand, help them record what they want to say. They can listen to the playback to identify needed edits.
- In fact, sometimes a good video recording of a writing assignment can be used in place of the actual written work. Help teach them to edit the video or do a couple takes until their report says exactly what they want it to say.
- Play music while doing subjects such as math or writing, or any quiet work.
- Do math problems out loud on a dry erase board together, and use a video instructor program such as Math U See to provide auditory instructions for working the problems.
Music Techniques for Auditory Learners
- Educational music is perfect for auditory learners, whether it’s music appreciation or academics set to catchy tunes. My favorites are Geography Songs and Bible verses set to music.
- Play music frequently throughout the day. Use trial and error to determine if songs with lyrics are distracting to your auditory learner. Try classical and contemporary. See what works!
- Allow them to create their own songs (or parodies of songs they already know) to help them retain what they are learning.
Fortunately, Sonlight homeschool curriculum works well with auditory learners. Rich Read-Alouds are included at every level, even in high school, so your children are getting the bulk of their lessons through listening. Even books scheduled as Readers can be used as Read-Alouds as needed. In the Instructor’s Guides, Sonlight suggests discussion questions for every book you read—perfect for the auditory learner.