How To Identify Your Child's Learning Style
This is part one of the four different series article on identifying your child’s learning style with the goal of improving his or her performance in school.
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Does your son has trouble spelling or does your daughter finds it difficult sitting still for history class, don’t worry. It may be that he or she simply has a different learning style.
Children receive and process information — that is, learn — in different ways based partly on their environments but mostly on their genetic profiles. Experts have identified three primary learning styles into which nearly all children (and adults) fall: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Even at a very early age, observational clues can indicate a likely learning style.
Once you identify whether your child learns primarily by looking, listening, or doing, you can help shape his or her educational experience so that it prioritizes this primary learning style, while at the same time not ignoring the importance of well-rounded learning. Yes, every child learns in a slightly different way, experts say, figuring out your child's own learning style can help assure academic success. In some cases, it may even help do away with labels, like "attention deficit disorder (ADD)" and "learning disabled (LD)."
Here's a step-by-step guide to identifying, understanding, and making the most of your child's learning style.
Watch how your child expresses himself or herself.
When a child is more comfortable learning in a certain style, he or she will also be more expressive through that same style. For instance, auditory learners express themselves best through words. At times, it may seem as if auditory learners aren’t paying attention because they are always trying to talk over you. Kids who are auditory learners also have a tendency to read out loud instead of quietly to themselves.
Visual learners are more apt to express themselves and reveal their emotions through facial expressions, and may seem to be always watching others’ faces. By watching others, a visual learner is actually storing these images for future use
Kinesthetic learners express themselves through body language, and may seem unable to keep their hands to themselves. They often imitate others, particularly when it comes to movement (such as hand gestures and walking style). Also, these types of learners don’t worry about getting their hands dirty. They like to touch everything, whether it’s people or objects.
Consider your child’s interests.
A child’s primary learning style is also normally reflected in his or her interests. For instance, auditory learners usually show an interest in music and sounds. They may be able to remember all the words to numerous songs, while possibly struggling to remember what they just read in a book. They may be easily distracted by noises and loud sounds, usually find games and activities far more exciting when music is involved, and probably love music class in school.
Visual learners often have interests both in reading and watching TV, due to the common thread of visual stimulation. They may also enjoy looking at photographs and other interesting objects. Visual learners often have extensive vocabularies (due to their time spent reading) and may have imaginations that are equally large.
Look for an interest in physical activities with kinesthetic learners. They like to do everything from swimming and running to playing baseball or basketball. Gym or art class may be kinesthetic learners’ favorite subjects, as they are able to keep their hands busy. These types of learners also enjoy games, but often can’t sit still long enough to read.
See how your child solves problems.
We all draw from our strengths when attempting to solve problems, so kids tend to utilize the attributes that correlate to their learning styles. Auditory learners tend to talk through and discuss possible solutions to problems, for instance. You may hear them mumbling to themselves as they tackle homework assignments, or they may ask you to help talk them through a tough math problem.
Visual learners use their eyes to solve problems, which mean they quickly notice if something is out of place or amiss. They often excel at matching games or anything that tests their ability to look at something and identify changes at a later point in time. They also tend to keep a neat and tidy room, as they are quick to observe things that are out of place.
Kinesthetic learners will usually try to solve problems with their hands. For instance, they may count with their fingers while trying to solve math problems. They often like flash cards as a learning tool, since they can interact with and touch the cards. They often love science projects and building contraptions meant to do a specific task.
Talk to teachers and people who interact with your child regularly.
No matter how active you are as a parent or how closely you observe your own child, sometimes other people will pick up on tendencies and indications that you miss. A daycare provider, private home teacher, or pediatrician (to name a few examples) may be able to provide keen insights into your child’s learning tendencies.
You’ll want your kid’s teachers to be involved in shaping your child’s learning experience after you determine his or her learning style anyway, so involve them earlier in the process as well by asking for their insights on your child.
As it stands, schools mainly teach by print and auditory.
They teach by saying ‘read, answer the questions and listen to me talk' and that only covers a small percentage of children, If your son is a hands-on learner, Of course school may be hard for him; he may need to move a lot and they don't do that in school. That is why it is important to learn everything you can about your child’s learning style so you can use it to his or her advantage.
The good news is that growing numbers of teachers are now focusing on learning styles and reaching out to all types of learners. But if your child's teacher has not been trained in learning styles, don't despair, instead, talk to them. Let the teacher know that you have tested and tried this with your child and he got it. You think you could work together using this information. In most cases the teacher may even be interested in reading a book or article on learning style and that can help make school better for your child.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article as much as I loved writing it for you. I hope you’ve also got a torn of value from it too.
I appreciate you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read this material. If you liked what you read and these ideas make sense to you, then why not follow the footsteps of my other successful students.
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