What Is Your Child’s Learning Style?
Do you ever feel like you and your child are speaking different languages? I mean, we all know that when children are talking about Minecraft and JoJo Siwa (that’s what the hip kids are talking about these days, right?) they’re speaking in tongues. But on a daily, ongoing basis, how well are you communicating? For example, you’re trying to guide your child through their homework, but all they hear is the teacher from Peanuts… wahwahwahwahwah…Please tell me you know what I’m talking about. Any Peanuts fans out there?
Anyway, your first instinct might be to get frustrated because CLEARLY your child just isn’t listening! So maybe we need an earlier bedtime! Perhaps we need to cut back on screen time! Let’s cut out sugar! Or maybe the problem is that you have different learning styles, and therefore really are speaking different languages.
The number of identified learning styles is up for debate, ranging anywhere from three to eight. However, children often have a combination of them, so we don’t need to get hyper focused on the number. What is important is that you spend some time observing your child, and keep an eye out for general patterns. When you are showing your child how to do something, does he grab it from you and want to do it himself? He might be a kinesthetic learner. Does your child respond well when you give verbal directions? She might be an auditory learner. Does your child love to read and writes everything down? That is a clue about a visual learner.
Qualities of the three learning styles
- Very tactile, wants to hold, touch and feel things
- Energetic, might have trouble sitting still in a chair for long periods
- Enjoys movement, physical activity
- Learns by doing, responds well to activities that are physically engaging such as game-based learning, building with blocks or making models
- Responds better when directions are written down, as opposed to spoken
- Enjoys books, art, colors, diagrams, excels in art-related activities
- Observant of surroundings, easily recalls visual details
- Might say things like ‘show me’ or ask for a visual
- Easily follows verbal directions
- Enjoys music and can recall lyrics and tunes
- May read slowly, or read out loud to better understand what they are reading
- Likely to contribute verbally, enjoys speaking and being social
Now that we have identified some of the common traits of the three major learning styles, do you think your child leans toward one? Personally, I lean toward visual learning, but I think one of my children is more kinesthetic. With that in mind, I put together some easy ideas for how to communicate in a style that isn’t my own. Read on…
Speaking Their Language…
- Let your child move! Don’t expect him to sit still and read, maybe he will do better if he is pacing, or standing while working.
- Break work time into smaller sessions, with activity breaks in between. Decide on an appropriate amount of time for your child, such as 5 minutes of homework, then 5 minutes of jumping jacks and repeat!
- Allow your child to be hands-on. If a concept can be practiced with a physical element, try that. For example, math lessons with concrete objects, such as marbles or buttons.
- Provide materials so your child can write, color code, make notes, doodle, draw diagrams, etc. while learning.
- Use bright visuals, and whenever possible provide written directions or demonstrate instructions.
- Allow for a quiet study space with minimal distractions.
- Allow your child an area to read out loud or talk to himself. Also, allow your child to work together with others instead of solo projects.
- Read out loud, everything from directions to books!
- Provide a variety of music options for your child to listen to and encourage learning an instrument.
What learning style do you think your child has? Better yet, what learning style do you think YOU have? Pop over to Instagram or Facebook @islandprep and tell us!
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