Mon, 31 May, 2021
Different Types of Learning Styles: Know Your Child's Learning Style and Help Boost Their Performance
Conceptually, a learning style refers to how a child prefers to absorb, process, comprehend and retain information. There are different learning styles, and your child’s desired learning style is a factor of cognitive ability, emotions, environmental factors, and past experiences.
In this guide, you’ll learn more about the different types of learners and VARK learning styles. Also, you’ll learn how to identify your child’s learning style and use it sensibly to boost their performance.
VARK Learning Styles
There are generally four learning styles – VARK– Visual, Auditory/Aural, Read & Write, and Kinesthetic.
It is essential to identify and understand your child’s learning style because once you know what type of learner your child is, you gain a better perspective on what works with your child to help them succeed.
How To Decode Your Child’s Learning Style?
Imagine your child is learning a new skill, either riding a bike or learning to dance. Which way do you think your child learns the best?
Looking at photos of professionals performing the skill.
Listening to an expert's instructions on how to do the task.
Reading a book that talks about how to perform the task.
Watching people perform the skill and then trying to do it.
If you choose number one, then your child might be a visual learner. If you choose two, then your child might be an auditory learner. If you choose three, your child is likely to be a reading/writing learner. Finally, if you choose four, then your child might be a kinesthetic learner.
Let’s take a closer look at what each of the learning styles entails.
1. Visual Learners
Visual learners learn best by seeing. Therefore, graphic displays such as charts, illustrations, diagrams, handouts, and videos are helpful learning tools for visual learners. If you think you may have a visual learner on your hands, the answers to these questions may help you know it for sure.
Does your child have to see information to remember it?
Does your child pay close attention to body language?
Is aesthetics important to your child?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then the chances are good that your child is a Visual Learner.
Here are a few traits that a visual learner possesses
- Notices changes in appearance (in people and physical spaces)
- Likes to observe things closely
- Prefers reading a book themselves and going through the images, diagrams, and illustrations rather than someone reading it to them
- Asks a lot of questions to seek clarification
- Doodles or scribbles while listening
- Is tidy and organised, sometimes to the point of being meticulous
- Is talented in art, music, dance or drama
- Is good at puzzles or mazes
- Is good at spellings
Tips to Help Visual Learners Succeed
If your child is a visual learner, implement these tips
Encourage your child to practice using different coloured pens while taking note
Have them use highlighters to mark important parts of their note
Ask your child to draw things they are visualizing
Create mind maps with your child to help them learn the information better
Diagram information or create flow charts for their better understanding
Create a schedule put it where your child can see it
Create quick concept sketches and flashcard
Show your child videos explaining the topic they’re studying
Create a study space in a spot of the house with the slightest movement to ensure minimum distractions while your child is studying
2. Aural Learners
Aural (or auditory) learners learn best by listening to information. This is because they remember things when they are told to them.
These questions may help you know if your child is an aural learner.
Does your child prefer listening to class lectures rather than reading the textbook?
Does reading out loud help your child remember information better?
Does your child prefer listening to a class lecture recording rather than reading the notes?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then your child is an Auditory Learner.
Here are a few traits that an auditory learner possesses
- Sits where they can hear
- Good at remembering people's names
- Likes music and frequently sings, hums, or talks when playing or studying
- Enjoys talking and listening to stories
- Is good at grammar and foreign language
- Is excellent at verbal spellings but has trouble writing them
- Often has poor handwriting
- Is a gifted storyteller
- Often points at what is being read or said
- Easily remembers auditory information presented interestingly
Tips to Help Visual Learners Succeed
If your child is a auditory learner, implement these tips
Play lyric-free music in the background when your child is studying
Ask your child questions
Get your child into the practice of repeating facts out loud with their eyes closed
Encourage them to repeat ideas in their own words
Have your child participate in interaction-based studies or group activities
Make up rhymes, songs, or stories together from the information your child has to learn
Talk through concepts that your child is struggling with
3. Reading and Writing Learners
Reading and writing learners learn best when information is in the form of words. They prefer text-based information. Could your child be a reading and writing learner? Answer these questions to find out.
Does your child love to read the textbook to learn new information?
Does your child take notes while reading textbooks?
Does your child make lists, read definitions & create presentations?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, it is likely that your child strongly prefers the Reading And Writing Style Of Learning.
Here are a few traits that a Reading and Writing Learner possesses
- Enjoys reading instead of being read to
- Prefers to study by themselves to avoid distraction because they focus best in quiet areas
- Is excellent at note-making and organising study material
- Enjoys writing essays, reports, answers, etc.
- Learns well from a dictionary, thesaurus, or manual
- Tends to be better at grammar
Tips to Help Reading and Writing Learners Succeed
If your child is a reading and writing learner, these tips may help.
Give your child information using headings and lists as they quicklylearn clearly written information
Use rhymes or mnemonics to help your child memorise or have them write what they need to memorise
Ask them to read their notes (silently)again and again
Ask them to rewrite information into their own words
Help your child put diagrams and graphs into written statements
Help them use word association to remember information better
4. Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic (or tactile) learners learn best by touching and doing things. They prefer hands-on experience. Want to know if your child is a kinesthetic learner? Answer these questions to find out.
Does your child enjoy manipulating objects and materials while performing a task?
Is it difficult for your child to sit still for long periods of time?
Is your child good at applied activities such as cooking, painting, mechanics, woodworking & sports?
If your response to most of these questions is yes, your child is most likely a Kinesthetic Learner.
Here are a few traits that a Kinesthetic Learner possesses
- Wiggles, taps, swing their legs, bounces, and often just can't seem to sit still
- Learns quickly and permanently what they DO as they are learning
- Talks with hands or gestures
- Always likes to be dressed comfortably
- Wants to touch objects and try new things
- Does not prefer reading or spellings
- Has excellent physical memory and is good at physical activities such as running, swimming, dancing and other sports
Tips to Help Kinesthetic Learners Succeed
If your child is a kinesthetic learner, these tips may help.
Break lessons into smaller chunks and change your child's study locations frequently
Have them do things as they say them or enact what they are learning
Remind them to stretch after fixed intervals
Give breaks when possible to have your child move around
Have your child write on a whiteboard to use the gross muscle movement
Provide hands-on learning tools when possible (models, clay, blocks, etc.)
Once you have figured out what learning style best suits your child, use that learning technique to teach the majority of the concepts.
You probably won’t be able to teach everything in their preferred learning style, but when you do, it’s most likely to make more sense in your child’s mind.