Sunday, October 11, 2009

Multisensory Teaching

Earlier this week I had the privilege of attending a mini homeschool conference. We had the benefit of hearing Marion Soderholm speak. Marion is a Learning Disabilities Specialist and a homeschool mom. She has
graduated her son and daughter to college and beyond. You can visit her website at . Even if you have children that are “typical” learners, you will benefit from Marion’s experience. Marion spoke about Multisensory Teaching/ Learning.

The Four Ways to Teach/ The Four Main Types of Learners

I. SHOW the concept to your student. Visual, they must SEE it!
II. EXPLAIN the concept to your student.
Auditory, they must HEAR it!!
III. DO a project, etc. with your student.
Motor, they must DO it!!
IV. ASK your student to explain back to you what
you just taught. Verbal, they must SAY it!!

As Marion spoke she reminded us to “pay attention to what God’s saying to you”. This is good advice. It is so easy to be driven to distraction with all that is going on around us. T.V., internet, radio, sports, classes, chores, telephones, school, shopping….

Are we taking the time to really listen to what the Lord is saying to us? What is your purpose? What is your plan? As you are working with your student, what does that child need? What kind of learner are they? Are you teaching to their need, or to your preference? Are you looking at how the Lord designed them? How he uniquely wired their brain?

Marion often quotes, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an
expected end.” This reminds us that each one of God’s children has a purpose.

Listening to Marion speak, reminding me of something that I learned while I was using KONOS with my children. I remembered a quote that Jessica Hulcy shared with us, “God put the wiggle in the children. Don’t you dare try to take it out” Henrietta Spears. (1890-1963) Jessica Hulcy shared with us over and over what she called the 5 “D’s” of Learning. And it goes hand in
hand with what Marion was talking to us about.
I. DO- to captivate attention
II. Discover-to foster thinking
III. Dramatize- to visualize
IV. Dialogue- to internalize
V. Drill-to crystallize
While some of those are the same as Marion, what I am hoping you walk away with, is that there are many times we need to think outside the box. I have found with my children, if we can be active while learning, it helps to bring our subject matter to life. You can do art type projects to go with your subjects. Or take a field trip to a location where they can see something first hand. How about literally eating a feast the way someone they are studying in history would eat? Large timelines and maps also help with points of reference.Watching videos about your subject is another way to make it come to life. While learning about hand dominance, how about going through the day using the non dominant hand. Or while learning certain parts of speech, try having a conversation without using that part of speech. Mad Libs is another fun way to learn parts of speech. Have fun with your children while they embrace all that God’s Creation has to offer them.


  1. I was noticing that as I read the ways to teach a student, that the curriculum I've found to be best for my LD son uses those methods to teach Phonics, I already knew it worked better for him, and why, but its good to have it confirmed.

  2. Dear thriceblessed,

    That is wonderful that you have found what works for your son! I know for sure what you mean about being validated!! It goes to show you, that mom's really are intuned with their young ones!

    Have an awesome day!