A learning style is an individual's approach to absorbing and processing information, which mostly enters the brain through sight (visual), hearing (auditory) and touch (kinesthetic).
By Janhvi Dargalkar
It’s important to identify your child’s learning style, so that you can help them improve their grades and make learning fun.
A learning style is an individual’s approach to absorbing and processing information, which mostly enters the brain through sight (visual), hearing (auditory) and touch (kinesthetic). Your child probably uses all the styles, but if you observe closely, one style is exceptionally strong.
They learn best through their sense of ‘hearing’. They have an inclination towards music and remember lyrics they may have heard once. They are very good listeners and orators. They like hearing bedtime stories and insist you read aloud. They tend to talk to themselves while learning something new and enjoy group discussions and debates. They often say, “Tell me again,” if they haven’t understood.
1. Use narration, recitation and storytelling.
2. Encourage them to read or say things out loud. Play spelling bee games.
3. Teach in a question and answer format, pose lots of questions which they have to answer verbally. Encourage them to answer in class.
4. Record key definitions, concepts in your or their voice, which they can later listen to memorise.
5. After explaining, ask them to repeat what they understood in their own words.
6. They can even better retain knowledge when new ideas are paired with non-verbal sounds such as music, rhymes or clapping.
7. Share relevant podcasts.
They learn best when their sense of ‘sight’ is engaged. They like reading books (with pictures) and draw and paint. They have photographic memory and can recall any incident to the tiniest detail and are good at remembering names. They often say, “Show me,” when they’re trying to learn something new and prefer to see someone perform a task before trying it themselves. They enjoy screens – computers, televisions, or movies. They prefer maps to verbal directions when trying to find a place. They are very good observers.
1. Give them lots of books and magazines that have bright pictures and a highlighter pen and colour codes to mark important points.
2. Encourage them to use visual aids like drawing flow charts, diagrams, graphs and mind maps.
3. Use visual strategies to teach like visuals to teach about a word, note-cards, flash-cards, picture-charts, power-point presentations and live demonstrations.
4. Use a white-board and marker while explaining.
5. Ask them to copy over the notes to help them with recall.
6. Share informative videos of various concepts.
7. Such learners benefit from field-trips where observation skills are used.
Kinesthetic learners absorb information through touching, creating and movement and learn through ‘hands-on’ experience or actually ‘doing’ things. If your child means “Let me hold that,” whenever they say “Let me see that,” they’re likely a kinesthetic learner.
They love building sets and model kits and will often tear things apart to learn more about them. They tap, swing their legs, bounce and often just can’t sit still. They use their hands or bodies to gesture a thought or emotion. They are inclined towards sports. They have vivid imagination skills.
1. They learn best with hands-on projects like creating mini-books, playing interactive games, enacting skits and role playing, conducting experiments and projects.
2. Use aids like Abacus, modeling clay, drawing materials, puzzles, globes, models, building blocks.
3. While teaching them steps for solving a problem, have them to imagine themselves following the steps.
4. They find sitting in long lectures boring. Allow permissible physical movements like standing up or swinging their legs without disrupting other students. Speak to their teacher to sensitise them.
5. They tend to lose interest or get overwhelmed quickly. Plan shorter study periods with breaks. Change teaching location from time to time.
6. As they find reading boring, teach them to use their index finger to add some motion to the exercise.
7. Encourage them to pursue a physical sport.
Thus, by becoming aware of how your child’s brain learns best, you can tailor their learning process to help them study smarter and reach their highest potential.
(The writer is a certified child and adolescence counsellor and psychotherapist with B Positive.)
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