When you were in school did you struggle to learn from certain teachers? If you are not nodding your head, I am sure you at least thought “YES!”. If not, please comment on which school you went to, I need to send my children there! The most likely reason is that because those teachers didn’t teach in a way that matched your specific learning style. What is even more likely is that the teacher did not try to accommodate learning styles. If a teacher is not questioning if the child is a visual or auditory learner, that is a huge red flag.
Whether or not the teacher focuses on learning styles is one thing. However, it is important as parents to identify what learning style your child needs. You may want to start by asking yourself: is your child a visual or auditory learner? Or do they have a different learning style that is neither of those? Knowing this about your child will help you help your child. You will be able to help them navigate through school, hard lessons, etc. by knowing if they are a visual or auditory learner, or if they use a different type of learning style.
This is also a huge starting point if you are homeschooling a child. If you are homeschooling a child with special needs, it will be crucial to identify their learning style before anything else.
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What are Learning Styles?
Learning styles are forms in which people are best able to learn new concepts. While most people focus on visual or auditory, there are actually seven possible learning styles.
A person could fall into any of the learning styles below:
Most people fall into one of these learning styles. While most fall into visual or auditory, there are many children that fall into the others. Some may even be a combination of a few. but most fall into only one or two categories tops.
Verbal learning takes place either through writing information down or listening to someone speak about new topics. It can even be a combination of the two where the person takes notes while someone speaks.
Visual learners prefer to use pictures and spatial learning to help them grasp new concepts. For these learners, things like graphs and informational pictures are very helpful.
Auditory learners prefer to use sound or music to learn new things. These people would learn better when new information comes in the form of a song or, by simply having music on in the background.
Logical learners prefer to use mathematical logic and reasoning to understand new concepts. Instead of being presented with information, these learners prefer to figure out the answers and concepts via logic and reasoning.
Being a social learner means that the person learns better with someone else or, in a group setting. Having other people to talk through new information is very helpful for social learners.
Solitary learners prefer to learn things in a self-study manner by themselves. Self-guided lessons are the types of lessons that solitary learners work best with.
Being a Kinesthetic learner means that your child prefers to use their body to learn things. Kinesthetic learning is also known as hands-on learning.
How to Identify the Learning Style Your Child Prefers
Sometimes, it is hard as a parent to learn what your child’s learning style is. There is almost learning involved with learning the learning style! This is especially hard when your child is not a visual or auditory learner.
When you are trying to identify the best learning style for your child it is best to expose them to all seven types. Pick something like a story and find different ways to present it. When you are working with your child, try mixing up the different styles. Maybe one day you can make songs out of things and the next you can try self-guided learning. It will take a week or more of cycling through the different learning styles to see which your child prefers.
Keep in mind too that what your child prefers may not be the best way they learn. They may love making up songs, but they may retain more when they read something. Try seeing how much they remember from whatever you showed them depending on what learning style you used.
Over time you will start to notice which of the styles your child will thrive with. For example: if your child easily remembers things that are in song form they are an auditory learner. If your child prefers to explore things on their own they are a solitary learner. If learning happens best when they can do an activity hands on, they are a kinesthetic learner.
It is also helpful to know what is least favorable for your child. Knowing what learning style does not work for your child can help make sure that if they are using that learning style in school that you will know the learning may need to be supplemented with a different style.
Talk to the Teachers
If your child attends daycare or school, don’t be afraid to talk to their teachers. They will gladly let you know what they have observed. Your input from home can be helpful in the classroom too. Work with the teacher to make sure your child can learn best in the environment that they are in. Many teachers are taught that their children are visual or auditory learners, so if your child is a kinesthetic learner or another example, speaking to the teacher could be a huge help.
While they will thrive with their favored learning style, it is good to remember that learning styles change over time. This is why it is important to continue to make sure that they are exposed to all of the other learning styles. Helping your child find his or her learning style will make sure he or she is more well behaved both inside and outside of school because there will be less frustration.
No matter what learning style things are being taught in, kids are sponges and are eager to learn new concepts. If they find something interesting but, they didn’t quite understand it because of the style it was taught in, help them make it into a lesson they can learn in their favored style.