Why You Need to Understand Your Child’s Learning Style
When children dislike school or have trouble keeping up, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint where the problem lies. One common cause of classroom issues is learning style.
Learning style refers to the way information is processed. The three most common styles are visual (sight), auditory (hearing) and kinaesthetic (touch / movement)
While everyone uses a mix of styles, most people have a dominant or preferred style. This means they find it easier to understand and retain information when it is presented in a way that appeals to their preferred sense.
Why Learning Style Matters
In recent years there has been a strong push for teachers to adapt learning materials to cater to different needs. While this is clearly an important step forward, teachers are extremely busy and don’t have the time to adapt every lesson and resource to meet all needs.
By understanding your child’s learning style, you can ensure they are getting the support they need. This allows you to promote learning at home and make it enjoyable for your child.
Understanding their learning style is also very beneficial for students because it helps them become more reflective learners and assists with self-esteem.
How to Identify Your Student’s Learning Style
The easiest way to work out what your child’s learning style is to observe them at play or leisure. What do they like to do when given a choice? What toys do they prefer to play with? What do they least enjoy?
Auditory learners are more likely to be passionate about music and have no trouble remembering lyrics. These learners enjoy interacting with others. They might even talk to themselves while playing alone. Many love the ritual of reading bedtime stories together.
You can support auditory learners with homework by reading questions and tasks out loud to them. Ask them to repeat instructions in their own words and give verbal answers before they write them down. Auditory learners respond well to spelling bees and verbal games. Mnemonic devices are also helpful for them.
Many visual learners love to paint and draw. Because they process information better through sight, they are more likely to enjoy reading books with pictures. Many spend a lot of time in front of screens watching films and playing video games.
Parents can support visual learners by ‘showing’ them how to complete a task rather than verbally explaining it. They like information to be presented graphically. It’s important to make learning materials bright and visually engaging. These students enjoy using highlighters and creating graphs and diagrams. Mind maps, flash cards and videos are also excellent tools for visual learners.
These are ‘hands on’ learners who absorb and understand through touch and movement. Children with this dominant learning style are likely to enjoy building models, making cubby houses and exploring the world with their hands. They often want to tear things apart to find out how they work. Kinaesthetic learners tend to be active and may have trouble sitting still in class.
Parents can support these learners by encouraging hands-on projects, interactive games and role-playing. They often enjoy science experiments and model kits. When assisting with homework, it’s important to find ways to get them physically involved. This might be as simple as following along with their finger as they read.
There are many benefits to understanding your student’s learning style.