Four Learning Styles to Help Your Child Grow
Fun and learning go hand in hand. Think of all the times your kids would laugh and have fun while learning. Ask yourself, “Did they learn quicker? Did they focus longer? Was teaching easier? If you have observed this interaction, as I have, you will probably answer “Yes” to all of these questions!
Kids learn in all sorts of ways. Some are visual learners, others are auditory, kinesthetic, or reading/writing learners. Often a person is more than one. Fun or playing can play an integral part in all of these learning styles. That’s why it is effective.
There are four different learning styles that are very important in determining the way your child takes in information. Each learning style is just as important as another, and discovering how your child learns will make learning more effective.
When a child is allowed to learn in the style(s) unique to them, they will understand the material. They will pay more attention and will excel.
Visual Learning Style
This type of learner takes in information that they can see. The visual learner’s thoughts are more apt to wander during lectures. They prefer to read over listening and write over speaking out loud. They are better able to remember things that are seen or read. These types of learners like handouts and like to see instructions demonstrated over being told what to do. They can be very good at reading maps, and love graphs. They love to read to themselves over being read to.
Visual learners tend to be well organized and are great spellers. They love to read and can become absorbed in a book, often reading for hours. These types of learners are doodlers, diary, or journal writers. They are great note takers and do their best when things are written on a whiteboard. This type of learner is a good test taker and often remembers the information because they have seen it in their notes or on a whiteboard.
This type of learner would work well with flash cards, books, worksheets and educational documentaries. Board games, card games, and picture books would be great for younger learners. If you have chores your child needs to do for the day a list works best for this type of learner.
Auditory Learning Style
The auditory learner learns best by incorporating sound. Whether it’s through a lecture, a group discussion or hearing instructions, these learners need to be a participant in their learning. The great news for the auditory learner is most learning material is geared to their learning style. This type of learner relies on listening and talking as their main way of learning. They understand directions or new learning material best when it is explained to them out loud. They love to talk and sing, are often heard reading out loud or talking to themselves while learning. Group discussions, lectures, and giving directions verbally is what is best for this learner.
A great way to have fun with the auditory learner is to sing silly songs or rhymes, listen to books on tape, tell stories out loud that a child can add to. They love acting out books or stories. These learners are a lot of fun as they like to be silly and role play. Giving characters different voices in stories is fun for all, but especially this learner. My family has several of these learners. My husband used to do voices when he played board games or read books to the kids. There was so much laughter. My kids are grown now, yet they still talk about it today.
Kinesthetic Learning Style
This type of student learns best from being hands-on. They love to be right in the middle of it. They enjoy acting out events, experiments, writing on the whiteboard, and working on projects. Movement like walking will help them memorize and take in information. This type of learner likes to be engaged by doing. It can be hard for this type of learner because they do not like to sit and do their work. love participating in their learning. They love acting out stories and enjoy problem-solving by doing. They prefer not to read and usually are not good spellers.
To help the kinesthetic learner to be at their best give them plenty of opportunities to move. Plenty of outdoor time. Get them involved in sports and activities that keep them moving. Break up lessons into smaller chunks, changing things up often.
Kinesthetic learners are usually gifted in physical activities, like running, swimming, dancing, and sports in general. The kinesthetic learner has excellent “physical” memory. This is the belief that the brain isn’t the only part of us that can hold memory, the body does also. These learners do not like to sit still and move around a lot while studying.
Fun activities to do with the kinesthetic learner are acting out stories with puppets, experiments, making crafts or art projects, and playing with puzzles. They love charades! Map out your vacation and show them where you’re going to go. For this learner, it will make the getaway more exciting.
Writing Learning Style
This type of learner loves written words! They are drawn to writing, reading books, writing in diaries or journals, and researching the internet. The reading/writing learner overlaps with the visual learner. This is the easiest learning style. As a child gets older the educational curriculum is geared more towards this type of learner. Giving them lots of opportunities to write essays, research and read textbooks.
Reading/writing learners have to take notes to learn. They do their best when they can read a text and take notes. Like the visual learner, they love handouts, information written on the whiteboard, and diagrams. The difference is when they receive a diagram or chart they need to change it into written word so they can understand. They learn through the written word.
A fun activity for this type of learner is to find books that interest them. If a child is interested in dinosaurs, search out those books. Research online and find fun facts about the dinosaurs. Practice writing letters and work on phonics. Play a matching game with the uppercase matching the lower case. Practice writing your child’s name with them. Include mom and dad and anyone else in the family.
I hope this information helps you to discover how your child learns. There are fun ways to keep your child interested in learning. Showing an interest in how your child learns shows them that learning is important. By giving your child the tools and opportunities they need early on, we are equipping them with lifelong learning skills. Honing these skills can dramatically increase the child’s ability to absorb knowledge and can ultimately reduce anxiety in school and at home. Help your child identify their learning style so they can be on their way to excelling in school and at playtime!