Most kids (and adults too) prefer learning in one, specific way. This is called their learning style and it’s the easiest way for a child to learn how to handle new tasks, understand ideas and retain information. And, even though most kids can learn using different styles, preferences are usually present. So, here’s how to help your future genius with discovering his or her learning style and making the most of it.
Kids who fall into the category of visual learners learn about the world through watching. This is the most common learning style preferred by the biggest number of learners—it’s even the most dominant one in many traditional schools, and today’s curriculum is mainly catered towards the visual learners’ needs. Visual learners need to see, imagine (visualize in their mind) or illustrate ideas, concepts and skills in order to make sense of their learning. They usually remember visual details, prefer to see the subject of the lesion, like to take notes or doodle and write instructions or see them being performed. If you want to teach a visual learner something, simply telling them will not suffice. Show them and they will learn.
Auditory learners learn best through listening, repeating and talking about the subject of their studies. They also retain information the best by talking aloud and prefer things explained orally. Auditory learners might struggle a bit with written instructions and don’t do very well when learning in isolation (like a private room or silent library.) Even though they often look like they aren’t paying attention when you talk to them, they don’t need to make eye contact to stay concentrated. Their listening skills are much better than their visual skills!
These learners thrive when actively involved in the learning process rather than sitting and simply watching and listening. Kinaesthetic learners love to learn through movement and hands-on activities and lessons. They retain information the best when they can actually do the thing they learn about or if they can touch the subject of their lesson! Also, they often concentrate better when pacing while listening or talking. They often tend to “talk” with their hands and remember who did what instead of who said what.
While the three styles explained above are the major learning styles, there’s a fourth one slowly emerging and getting recognition—the logical or analytical style. Kids who fall into this new category (including my children) love to learn through noticing different patterns and understanding how things relate to other things. Analytical learners are also curious to find out how things work and love taking toys and machines apart. They also tend to ask millions of questions, so they can understand the world better. Another thing these little logicians are great at is solving math problems and playing strategy games, since they often show complicated logical thinking from a very young age.
If you just can’t place your child in any of these categories, you might want to seek professional help. I researched several institutions before finding a great early learning centre near me that works with children, spots their learning strengths and helps them realize their full potential. These centres can also improve your kid’s reading, writing and listening skills, which will come in very handy throughout their future education and career!
While most kids have a preference for one of these learning styles, don’t try to pigeonhole your child. Just because they have a natural ability in one area, it doesn’t mean they can’t learn, progress and grow skills in other areas! You as a parent have a job to help your kid deal with challenges and be glad of an opportunity to be challenged. Knowing that the abilities, skills and knowledge improve over time even when the learning environment isn’t perfect is known as the Growth Mindset, and it’s a crucial tool that will help your child in the future.
Knowing your kid’s learning style is very useful if you want to help them learn, improve skills and just have an easier and more pleasant academic experience.