Everybody perceives the world in a uniquely specific way. It is important, therefore, to be aware of the different ways children process information in order to better encourage learning.
A comprehension of learning styles can not only help you understand you child more fully, but your own preferences, too – meaning that you can combine your strengths with theirs to provide a complementary educational environment.
To get started, read on to find out about some of the most common learning styles as categorised by psycholgists.
Visual learners prosper when they are encouraged to visualise information. The use of images to outline facts, as well as maps, charts and diagrams to translate data are of immense benefit to them.
Visual learners have a tendency to daydream, however, so try to keep them stimulated. They are likely to enjoy art, drawing, and constructive toys, like Lego and jigsaw puzzles, so incorporate these into classes or play time. Technical processes and machines may appeal to them, also.
The most tacticle of learner types, kinaesthetic learners learn through physical sensations. Hallmarks of kinaesthetic children include a high level of activeness and an inability to sit still for long. It might feel more natural for them to communicate with an increased level of gestures and body language.
To ensure their attention doesn’t wane early on, diversify concentrated workbook-related tasks with activities that allow them to keep moving. Practical lessons, with hands-on projects, or field trips, will enable them to touch, feel and interact with the world around them.
If a child is particularly vocal, they might not be attention-seeking – they could, in fact be auditory learners. These learners might excel in reading, spelling, music and memory games. This is because they process information phonetically, so they can sound out and process different sounds more effectively.
To encourage an auditory learner, engage them with word games, tape recorders, oral storytelling and musical instruments.
It’s also the case that many people learn in a variety of styles, of with strong tendencies towards certain types, without necessarily fitting into a certain category completely. Using all of a child’s senses can be beneficial for everyone, and it’s important not to close off certain subjects or material to a child simply because they show a preference for one approach.
Once you’ve detected a child’s preferences, use their likes and dislikes to present more challenging and varied educational material to them – just remember to do so in a way that suits them.