I had the greatest high school French teacher. She used every possible means to teach us: drawings, conversations, physical movement. I still remember when we would talk out of turn, she’d shoot her arm in the air and say, “Lever la main,” or in English, “Raise the hand!” If you’re asking yourself, “What type of learner is my child?” you want a teacher like her because she covered it all.
Every child is different, and it can be hard to know how to help one learn when you’re not sure how he or she does it best. Here are 4 learning styles and ways to engage each type to give kids the best shot at success.
Every child is different, and it can be hard to know how to help one learn when you’re not sure how he or she does it best.
When you think, “What type of learner is my child?” and what comes to mind is images of, well, images, it’s a sign your child is a visual learner. Visual learners like…
- graphs, maps, and charts
- sketching a thought or concept
- books with illustrations, doodling
- having the whole picture presented instead of just parts of a lesson
If you have a visual learner, try adding color to notes with highlighters and incorporate visual tools like a whiteboard or a photo. If your daughter is studying the Grand Canyon, search for it on the internet so she can know what it looks like.
This is the hardest one for me. Often when something is explained with just words I’ll say, “I’m going to need you to repeat that or put it in writing.” But here are some things auditory learners like.
- having concepts explained to them verbally and asking questions while working
- listening to a lesson instead of taking notes
- reading aloud and being read to
- talking to themselves or humming
If you have an auditory learner, encourage him to read his notes aloud and come up with rhymes or songs when he studies. Let her teach you about a concept. And (for older kids) ask the teacher if taking an audio recording of a lecture is an option.
If you’re wondering what type of learner is my child and you recall that the fidget spinner was a lifesaver for you, then you might have a kinesthetic learner on your hands (Ha! Puns!). These kids often struggle in a conventional classroom, but they like…
- jumping right into a task
- lab work and other lessons that let them use their hands and other senses
- sports and movement
- playing games to study
If you have a kinesthetic learner, use props, flashcards, and models and allow them to pace and take plenty of breaks while studying.
The more words the better for these types. Reading/Writing learners are not afraid to tackle large amounts of information and can be stereotyped as bookworms. They also enjoy…
- storytelling (and they’re usually good at it!)
- research and notetaking
- working quietly and independently
- word games
If you have reading/writing learners, encourage organized note-taking, allow them to tell you what they’re learning, and consider a magazine subscription to dive deeper into specific interests.
What type of learner is your child and how can you tell? And what kind of learner are you?