Ever wonder why your child learns best a certain way? It all has to do with their learning style.
A learning style is a predominant way learners acquire, process, and remember new information. It is useful to think of learning styles as a spectrum, with each individual falling along the continuum.
Different students have different learning styles. Some students prefer to learn by listening to lectures, while others prefer to learn by reading texts or working through problems independently.
Recognizing your child's learning style can help you choose study methods that work better for them and make it easier for your child to retain information.
Here are four different ways that children can learn, based on their preferred learning style and how you can help them make the most of their strengths.
1. Visual learners
Children are often visual learners, meaning they learn best by seeing things. They often prefer to see the material they are learning through pictures, movies, or other visuals. Some children may even prefer to take notes by drawing pictures or using color-coding instead of writing down words.
This can make traditional lectures or reading texts difficult for them, as they have difficulty processing information that isn't accompanied by visuals.
If your child is a visual learner, try the following methods to help them learn:
- Use diagrams, charts, and pictures to explain concepts
- Write down key points or create mind maps
- Encourage your child to take notes during lectures or when reading texts
- Encourage your child to draw pictures or diagrams when solving problems
2. Auditory learners
Auditory learners are children who learn best by hearing and speaking. This type of learner is usually very verbal and often enjoys listening to music or audiobooks. They may also find it helpful to talk out loud when trying to figure something out.
Auditory learners often excel at reading aloud and reciting information, and they often remember things better when they hear them instead of seeing them. However, auditory learners can sometimes struggle with written tasks since they prefer to process information verbally.
If you have an auditory learner in your life, try to provide opportunities for them to listen and speak as much as possible. You may also want to give them verbal instructions instead of written ones and allow them to listen to audio recordings of their favorite stories.
3. Kinesthetic learners
Kinesthetic learners are children who learn best by moving their bodies and using their hands. They are often described as "hands-on" learners. You need to be creative in your instruction approach, incorporating various activities involving movement and active participation.
Some common strategies include the use of manipulatives, whole-body movements, and interactive games. It is also important to provide kinesthetic learners with frequent daily breaks to move their bodies and release excess energy.
Kinesthetic learners often excel at sports and other physically active pursuits. They may also enjoy hands-on activities such as building projects, playing musical instruments, or cooking. Many kinesthetic learners benefit from educational programs incorporating movement into the learning process.
4. Reading/Writing Learners
This type of learner often prefers to work independently and may prefer quiet environments. They often excel at tasks that require attention to detail and extended concentration. Reading and writing are usually their strengths.
This type of learner often struggles with tasks that require them to be more outgoing or extroverted. They may also find it difficult to learn in noisy environments or when they are required to participate in group activities.
For children who learn best in this way, it is important to provide opportunities to read and write regularly. This might mean setting aside time for reading each day or having children write in a journal about what they have learned in class.
Now that you have read about the different learning styles, does your child fit into one or more of them? If you are unsure, take some time to observe your child and see how they prefer to learn.
As a parent, it is important to be aware of the different learning styles that children can have to best support their child's education. Each child is unique and will learn differently based on their individual strengths and weaknesses.
If you have concerns about your child's learning, talk to their teacher or an educational specialist.