It goes without saying that every student learns differently. Reading and/or writing may work best for some, while hands-on (tactile) learning is a better fit for others. So….are you aware of the different learning styles? And more importantly, do you know your child’s learning style?
Visual – Does your learner enjoy book illustrations? Do they perform better academically when there is an example of what they are working on available for them to view? Visual learners work best when they can “see” their world. Try making different colored note cards to assist with studying. Also, learning webs, outlines, and diagrams can also be beneficial. Relying on memorizing facts may not be the best learning strategy for this type of learner.
Auditory – Does your learner excel in activities where listening is important, such as music lessons? Making up songs is a great way to incorporate their learning style into your lessons and activities. Another teaching strategy is to have the child recite aloud what they learned during a particular lesson vs taking notes on paper.
Kinesthetic Learner– This is the art of learning by physically moving the large muscles in the body (using gross motor skills) in activities such as walking, jumping, dancing, running, etc. Allow movement in your learning setting. Make up a dance to go along with multiplication facts. Many kinesthetic learners can’t sit for long periods. My youngest learner is more productive when he stands. So, instead of making him sit at the kitchen table for assignments, he is allowed to stand where he can stretch, squat, or dance while he completes written assignments. It helps him concentrate so that he stays on task.
Reading and Writing Learner – This type of learner benefits from taking notes. Students who strive with this learning style learn best through written words, as they are able to recall information they have read or written down. Older learners will even be able to turn graphic organizers and charts into their own words/sentences for better understanding. Transitional school curriculums usually cater to this type of learner, especially in upper grades.
Tactile Learner– This type of learner thrives best if they can learn through touch. Tactile learners enjoy participating in activities that involve touching, building, or drawing. Try having your tactile learner trace the words when working on spelling.
Our brains all operate uniquely. It is also important remember that finding your child’s learning style may not be a “one-size fits all” kind of deal. Many people, including myself, identify with more than one learning style…depending on the subject matter. Your learner may need hand-on learning for one subject, and work better with an auditory style of learning for another. Whatever their learning style may be, always remember to foster their desire for knowledge and their love of LEARNING.