There is no one perfect or correct way to learn. Everyone learn’s differently! Every child deserves to have an individualized education framed around their preference. Unfortunately, the public school system simply cannot teach according to one student’s preference; one teacher can only do so much! Our teachers are amazing and the pressure of integrating each type of learning into their lesson plans is instilled in them from day one. As parents or guardians, the best thing we can do to help is to identify our child’s own preferred method/style of learning and help them adjust in the classroom, to optimize their education experience.
While no child is simply one type of learner, they will definitely favor one or two of the below methods below. They can be any combination of the below! There are many different ways children learn. To help identify what kind of learner your child is, see the different types and how to identify these behaviors in your child below!
Much like the name indicates, visual learners best absorb information by watching teachers or instructors perform tasks or work out problems. This is the most common kind of learning. These students are are likely to
- watch their leaders and then mimic what they do in their own practice
- enjoy PowerPoint presentations with a lot of visual explanations, reading books (mostly with pictures), and how-to videos on Youtubee
- excel at video games and solving visual puzzles
- need visual affirmation for their success, such as a gold star or smiley face on their homework.
Fortunately, many teachers integrate this type of learning into their lesson plans, so these students are often comfortable in a public school setting. If you are unsure of the different ways children learn while using this process, or if you think this might describe your child, ask the child to describe a math concept to you. If they use paper and pencil to write out an example for you, they are most likely a visual learner.
These children learn by listening intently to teachers or instructors and working through the concepts in their own minds. They are often able to follow along in lectures, take notes, and apply the taught concept easily throughout their practice. These students are likely to
- enjoy lectures, but view Powerpoints as a waste of time/too slow-moving
- talk quickly and get frustrated if information is not given to them immediately
- give long descriptions of events that have happened (“story tellers”)
- enjoy audio books, listening to music, or giving presentations at school
- need auditory affirmation, such as a teacher or parent saying “Good job!” or telling others about their success
In the public school system, these students often feel like they are always ahead in class and that written explanations are a waste of their time. They will get frustrated in class whenever a student asks for an example, as they are able to learn new things rather quickly after a brief description. To see if your child is an auditory learner, have them recount an event that recently happened at school; listen intently for long descriptions, review of dialogue, and ask a lot of questions. These students enjoy talking and giving descriptions.
Although this word looks (and can sound) scary, “kinesthetic” really just means that your student is a hands-on learner; they are unable to fully grasp a new concept until they do it for themselves. These students are likely to
- struggle in traditional classes because they need individual attention
- find Powerpoints somewhat helpful, but prefer when they have practice problems
- enjoy practice tests and homework, as it gives them a chance to “try their hand” as the concept
- prefer small classes, where they can get direct help from instructor
Although they are by and large the group most ignored in traditional school settings, homework is meant to help compensate for that. If you find your student flying through homework once they get help on the concepts, they are most likely kinesthetic learners.
Different Ways Children Learn
While each child is likely to be a combination of two or more of the learning processes, it is important to figure out the different ways children learn and what type of learning your child prefers, in order to better support them during school. Remember, it cannot be left solely to teachers to frame their lessons around the individual needs of each child; it is best for parents to be as involved as possible in their child’s class curriculum, so they may assist children when they get home by framing homework lessons around their preferred method of learning. However, for busy parents, this can be hard to do! Talk to a LEAP Tutor Specialist today to see how a trained tutor can assist your child in learning they way they want to learn!