People have different learning styles. Have you ever noticed that people tend to absorb and learn things differently?
I mean just take a look at your siblings, friends, parents, and classmates and you will see that we all have different preferences of assimilating and understanding the world. This is because we all have different learning styles.
This was true when we were a child and this is the case even as an adult. There are several learning styles. But it can be narrowed to few main ones.
These are the three (3) main learning styles:
Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic.
For the longest time, teachers focused on teaching using one or two learning styles. It was mainly the style that they were comfortable in. However, that did not cater to all students. Therefore, some kids missed out on being taught in a way that they could easily understand.
You can imagine how being excluded feels like! In fact, some were even mistaken as dumb which was quite the contrary! If they were taught in their suitable learning style, they could master any art or skill.
Now a days, teachers are more aware about this fact. They are encouraged to teach in styles that cater to all students. I would say it sounds pretty fair right?
As a parent, if you understand and know your child’s learning style, you can help them learn more effectively.
However be careful not to put your child in a specific box because even though they have a dominant learning style, they will often dip into other learning styles in order to better understand the world they live in.
Let’s look at these 3 dominant learning styles:
Children who operate in this learning style tend to learn best through watching and observing. As the name suggests they are ‘visual’ learners and interpreters. For them to truly understand what they are learning, they need to be able to visualize, imagine, see and demonstrate their skills, ideas, and knowledge.
Characteristics of Visual Learners:
- Like to SEE what they are learning
- When given instructions they like to write them down as well as to see them being demonstrated and shown
- Prefer to have paper and pens at their disposal
- Notorious for doodling while they listen
- Easily recall visual information
- Like color-coding as well as reviewing tables, maps, and charts
- Like to discuss what they are learning with others
With these learners, the best way to support them is to SHOW them how to do something versus telling them what to do. For them it’s essential they SEE what needs to be done.
Dominantly auditory children learn with their EARS. Therefore instead of reading (visually) instructions they prefer LISTENING to them and sometimes recite information out loud so that they can HEAR it. Sometimes they like to study with background music, or it could be too distracting for them and they just want silence.
Characteristics of Auditory Learners:
- Don’t like working alone and much rather enjoy discussion groups
- When learning something novel they tend to talk to themselves(they want to hear)
- Need oral explanations
- Like using word associations
- Talking out loud helps them to remember and recall information
- Sometimes may struggle with written instructions
- Sometimes they sing the information, in order to remember it
Their listening abilities are way more advanced than their visual skills, even though at times it may look like they are not paying attention when you talk to them.
Kinesthetic learners AKA Tactile learners
These are your active learners who like to learn by TOUCHING, DOING and by being active. They are not big fans of sitting still and focusing. They assimilate information better by doing hands-on activities and by writing things down.
Characteristics of Kinesthetic Learners:
- They like underlining and highlighting
- Really like hands-on activities, DIYs, playing games and building models to name a few activities
- Like to actively participate in the learning process
- Tend to talk with their hands
- When talking and listening, they tend to move up and down and like taking regular breaks
- Like to learn by touching so that they can ‘feel’ what they are learning
- Track words on a page with their fingers and like reading aloud
- In order to remember information they like to write things several times
Due to the fact that kinesthetic aka tactile learners don’t really fall in the custom auditory and visual learning styles, they can sometimes be mischaracterised as trouble makers or having ADHD, which might not be the case.
Take the time to find out your child’s dominant learning style
As parents, it is important to try and identify your child’s primary learning style so that you can reduce the level of frustration from both parties and strengthen your parent-child relationship. In this way, you can better understand, support your precious one and communicate to them in a way that you know will yield higher chances of understanding and learning. Equally don’t be afraid to inform their teacher, this allows them to be more aware of your child’s learning needs and required support. As mentioned before, your children will dip into the other learning styles, however, they will have a dominant one and that’s your job to find out!
If you want to create awareness and help other parents understand more about their child’s learning style. Pls SHARE this article and save any child from being misunderstood.