Have you ever hit a brick wall when helping your child understand a concept? Did you take into account his learning style? Everyone has a preferred way in which they process information and learn new skills. Sometimes presenting the information in a way that agrees with your child’s learning style will help the concept become clear.
The simplest model of learning styles is broken into three groups: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Visual learners tend to grasp things by reading or watching video. They tend to be more comfortable with textbooks and workbooks. Auditory learners tend to learn best by listening. They would respond well to being read to or listening to tapes or lectures. Kinesthetic learners are the ones we generally think of as “antsy.” They prefer to learn through a hands-on approach or through activities. Most children start out as kinesthetic learners.
Taking into account the way our children learn helps us tailor our learning environment to fit their needs. It can also give us insight in how to proceed when our children don’t seem to be “getting it.” Just remember three things:
- Beware of labeling. Children tend to view labels as absolute.
- No child learns in only one way.
- You won’t always be there to control the way your child receives information. Introduce material in several ways so that they grow accustomed to a variety of learning methods. Besides being practical – it is also fun!
- Beyond Survival
With a wonderful sense of humor and a load of encouragement, Diana Waring motivates us to really serve our children as their tutors – customizing our approach to fit their learning style, interests and family life, while providing many opportunities to practice using the “tools” of learning.
- Learning Styles
“The Bible describes how different people are given different gifts and talents. Anything you read about learning styles should line up with God’s Word and never be used as an excuse for sin or shortcomings. They should not be used to categorize or label. They should be used to realize the benefits of teaching new concepts through different modes of learning and to help children who are having difficulty grasping or retaining information. In fact, we should not teach to a particular style—else the student would only learn in one mode. We need to teach children to recognize their strengths and improve on their weaknesses.” Explanation and examples from Heart of Wisdom.
- Know Your Students
“Your goal as a teacher should be to make your children eventually comfortable with all three means of getting information. After you have presented a new idea through your child’s preferred style, review the material with some of the other methods to increase your child’s flexibility.” A checklist to help you identify the way your child learns best from Inge Cannon.
- The Way They Learn
Subtitled “How to Discover and Teach to Your Child’s Strengths,” The Way they Learn serves as a good first source for investigating various learning-style models.
- What is Your Child’s Learning Style
“As I have homeschooled and tutored, I have found that a child gains a lot of confidence by just knowing that there are different learning styles and into which style she belongs. It tends to give her encouragement that she is not “dumb” as she may have thought, but that she simply learns in a different way.” Article from Home School Enrichment magazine.