What’s Your Child’s Learning Style?
Does your child love reading and writing? Does he have a knack for music? When she tells a story, does she tend to use her whole body to describe what happened? Is she drawn to groups or does she prefer to work alone? These traits can give a clue about your child’s learning style. A learning style is the method a person uses to learn best and should be applied to maximize learning. When parents understand their children’s learning styles, they can help their youngsters find study methods, environments and activities that help them learn best. (Classroom.com)
Visual learners prefer seeing pictures and images to learn new things. They usually have good spatial awareness skills. Kids with this learning style understand maps and have a good sense of direction. They usually love doodling and drawing. Study habits best for these learners are writing information down, underlining or highlighting as they read, and using colorful diagrams, charts and pictures to enable them to visualize what they want to remember.
People who are auditory learners are typically drawn to music. They may sing, play a musical instrument or have the ability to identify individual musical instruments playing within a piece of music. They may hum, sing or tap their feet while they work. Using music and rhythm to remember information can be helpful for kids with this learning style. Other helpful tactics are to record and play back things they want to remember, or read and recite information aloud.
Kids with a verbal learning style easily can express themselves in both spoken and written communication. Verbal learners have a strong understanding of the meaning of words and consistently will seek out new words to master, which they later will use to communicate with others. Have them try using acronyms or reading information aloud while learning new things. Role playing also can be helpful for the verbal learning style.
Kids who prefer using their bodies, hands and sense of touch prefer the physical learning style. Many of these learners enjoy drama, dancing, woodworking or exercise. They would rather go for a run or walk when something is bothering them than sit at home and think it through. These kids use hand gestures and body language to communicate and are very aware of the world around them. Sitting and listening to a lecture can be a challenge for kids who prefer a physical learning style, so they often fidget and look forward to when they can move around.
To help them learn try actually incorporating the physical objects they are learning about or allowing movement whenever possible. Writing, drawing and using flashcards also can be helpful for kids who have this learning style. Frequent breaks help the physical leaner feel more prepared for study time. These learners also can try standing while reading, using a computer for studying or making review into a gross-motor style game.
Kids with a logical learning style generally excel in math and critical thinking. They can recognize patterns and commonalities in seemingly unrelated content. They often understand and work complex calculations in their head. These kids usually tackle problems in a systematic way, and they enjoy creating lists, agendas, charts and procedures. Kids with this learning style will retain information if they understand the logic behind it. They need not simply memorize information; truly understanding the concepts and reasons for the information helps them to retain long term.
People who are drawn to the social learning style love working in groups or participating in classes. They enjoy sharing their ideas with others and listening to what others think. Kids with this learning style are good at both verbal and nonverbal communication and understand others as well. People typically like being around social learners and seek their advice or input when faced with problems. These learners prefer to work through challenges in a group and often will be found staying after class to chat with friends. Kids with this learning style enjoy role playing, studying in groups or sharing what they have learned with others.
People with a solitary learning style often prefer working alone and enjoy thinking and reflecting on things. They tend to be independent, introspective and private. They are good at focusing on a task and have strong concentration skills. They also may enjoy keeping a journal to reflect on personal thoughts and feelings. Kids with this learning style prefer to study alone in quiet spaces.
Understanding your children’s learning styles is important so you can help them get the most out of their education and identify ways to handle any challenges that may occur because of their preferred learning styles. Also, parents can use this understanding to their advantage, appealing to their kids’ interests when they learn new things. Don’t be surprised if your child seems to possess a combination of learning styles—this is very common. When caring adults understand a child’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning, the school experience and study habits at home can only improve.
Careers by Learning Style
- Visual - Art, architecture, photography, filmmaking, interior design, strategic planning, graphic design and navigation
- Auditory - Performing, conducting and/or composing music, sound engineering and interpreting
- Verbal - Law, public speaking, politics, speech pathology and journalism
- Physical - Construction, sports, dance, drama, mechanics, farming and handyman work
- Logical - Science, mathematics, engineering, accounting, detective work and computer programing
- Social - Counseling, coaching, teaching, human resources and sales
- Solitary - Researcher, author, park ranger and security guard
Sources for study habits based on learning styles: Gavilan.edu, Time4Learning.com/learning-styles.shtml, Classroom.Synonym.com/definition-learning-style-6551473.html