There was an interesting article in Baby Center about children’s learning styles. According to the article, children are either auditory, visual or physical learners. The purpose of figuring out which style of learning your child favours is that you can help your child do better at school and increase his interest in learning by capitalising on this knowledge.
What are the different learning styles?
“Auditory learners understand new ideas and concepts best when they hear the information. If you peek into a classroom, they’re the ones who learn a tune in a snap just from hearing their teacher sing it, or who can follow directions to the letter after being told only once or twice what to do. Other auditory learners concentrate better at a task when they have music or white noise in the background, or retain new information better when they talk it out.”
“Physical learners (also known as “tactual-kinesthetic learners” —”tactual” for touch, “kinesthetic” for movement) discover the world best when they’re using their hands or bodies. In some ways, all children are natural physical learners. As babies, they rely on their sense of touch to grasp new ideas and concepts. Remember how yours discovered his toes — and almost every other body part — by putting them in his mouth? By the time children reach preschool or kindergarten, many have begun to adopt other learning styles, but some children maintain a strong affinity for physical learning.
While many physical learners are both tactual and kinesthetic, some are decidedly one or the other. If your child prefers to feel things in his hands, he’s primarily tactual. These are the kids who enjoy hands-on activities, such as cutting construction paper to make collages and fiddling with beads and other objects when learning how to count.
If your child learns best by immersing himself in a physical activity, he’s kinesthetic. These kids like to move and get their whole body involved in activities. Your child is probably kinesthetic if he is very expressive, he likes to act out stories with his whole body, wiggle, dance, and move his arms or if he jumps around a lot even while listening to you.”
“If you peek into a classroom, it’s easy to spot a visual learner. He’s the one sitting in the reading nook leafing through a book, or the one who’s playing with a puzzle or shapes and letters. If your child is a visual learner, you’ve probably noticed that he has keen powers of observation: He watches your lips move as you speak or pays close attention to what you do when you’re demonstrating something. That’s because visual learners rely primarily on their sense of sight to take in information, understand it, and remember it. If they don’t “see” it, they’re not able to fully comprehend it.
Educators have identified two kinds of visual learners: picture learners and print learners. Many children are a mixture of both, although some are decidedly one or the other, according to Mariaemma Willis and Victoria Hodson, authors of Discover Your Child’s Learning Style. Picture learners think in images; if you ask one whether an elephant is gray, he’ll probably summon up the image of an elephant that he’s seen at the zoo or in a photograph. Print learners think in words; they quickly learn to read and easily can memorize the correct spelling of words. They’re also the ones who like to practice writing and forming letters. If you ask a print learner if an elephant is gray, the first thing he’ll conjure up is the word “elephant,” and then he may try to recall what he’s seen in a book about the animal.”
For more information about learning styles, you can check out the book: “Discover Your Child’s Learning Style“.
What do you think are your children’s learning styles?