Every child experiences the world in unique ways, and with that comes variation in the ways they learn, process and retain information. Understanding different types of learners and their learning styles can help you identify strengths and preferences about your child’s preferred learning style.
As a parent, part of your responsibility is to cater to your child’s strengths, ensuring they are truly grasping the information. So how do you meet the needs of your child’s learning style? We’ve outlined the three primary learning styles and how you can practically apply this information to help your child learn better and faster.
3 Primary Learning Styles
The three main cognitive learning styles include:
1. Auditory (Learn through hearing)
Auditory learners process information better when it is to reinforce new concepts and ideas, they typically read aloud or use their own voices. They often read aloud or use their own voices to reinforce new concepts and ideas. They can get easily distracted, and hence children with this learning style learn best in a quiet environment.
2. Visual (Learn through seeing)
Visual learners tend to learn, process and retain information by seeing and observing things. They have well-developed imaginations and often think in diagrams, pictures, written directions and more. Too much activity or movement in a room may distract visual learners.
3. Kinesthetic (Learn through doing & moving)
Kinesthetic learners tend to learn through experiencing or doing things. They use their hands to touch or act out events in order to understand concepts better. These type of learners might struggle to sit still for long periods.
How to Support Your Child’s Learning Style?
Not all children neatly fit into one type of learning style. You need to observe and identify your child’s unique learning style and mould their study pattern accordingly. Some study ideas and tips to help your child excel are:
1. Auditory Learning Ideas and Tips
- Encourage them to read out loud, record themselves or ask someone to read the information to them.
- Encourage them to give answers orally while summarising and revising the chapters.
- Record them reading the lesson and then give it to them to listen to it later.
- Allow them to practice spelling words by conducting a mini spelling bee – saying the letters out loud rather than writing them out.
- Get some audiobooks for them to practice reading. For early readers, try books by Dr Seuss and Shel Silverstein.
- If they are finding it difficult to memorise something, encourage them to make a silly song about it.
- While learning a new concept, help your child understand it by starting a conversation about it.
2. Visual Learning Ideas and Tips
- Grab their attention by making a set of flow charts and diagrams in different colours or colour-coded organisers.
- Teach them with the help of worksheets, maps, charts, smartboards or projectors to engage them and help them retain information well.
- Encourage them to use different coloured highlighters and pens while taking notes and a small whiteboard to create quick flashcards and concept sketches.
- Use cartoons or movie characters to teach tough concepts.
- Stock up art supplies for them to create visual representations of what they’re learning.
- Create a quiet space for them to study or do their homework.
3. Kinesthetic Learning Ideas and Tips
- Encourage them to use tracing paper to trace a diagram or use clay to mould the diagram.
- Allow them to choose from a variety of different sized pencils and pens and different textured or sizes of papers to write notes.
- Do role-plays to dramatise critical concepts to help them understand better.
- Encourage them to use bodily movements like finger-snapping or hand clapping when reading to memorise formulae and definitions.
- Help them practice spelling by getting them letter-shaped magnets that they can move around on the fridge.
- Get a stationary bicycle or create a standing desk to help your fidgety kid focus more.
As a parent, you need to do your best to help your children overcome their learning challenges. Your child will develop a broader understanding of the world and retain more information if it is meaningful and presented in a way that meets their individual learning style.