If your child has difficulty in school it may not be anything more than a case of his or her learning style matching up with the way the subject is being taught. Children, as well as adults, have different styles of learning. What is easy for one child may be difficult for another.
There are three basic learning styles; visual, auditory and kinesthetic. People with a visual style of learning may find it easier to understand pictures, diagrams or slides. Auditory learners may understand most easily when instructions are spoken to them in a step-by-step manner or by listening to someone discuss the process. Kinesthetic learners use the sense of touch and feeling when learning. These are the people who usually prefer hands on experience. Before you jump to conclusions about your very young child being a kinesthetic learning, keep in mind that most children under the age of five are, by nature, kinesthetic learners, because their brains have not yet developed to the stage of active learning using other senses.
Most people learn through a combination of these learning styles although one style of learning may be stronger and therefore easier for them to learn in that particular manner since it is the dominant style of the individual. You can help your child to learn quicker and more effectively if you pay close attention to his or her learning style. It’s not terribly difficult to do.
Is he drawn to visual aids such as pictures and posters? Is he imaginative? Does he look directly at you when speaking? Does he remember faces or places easily? If the answer to these questions is yes then he is more than likely a visual learner.
Is your child distracted by noise? Is it difficult for him to concentrate with others around? Is he a good listener? Does he like to talk on the phone? If this sounds like your child his style of learning is probably auditory.
Is your child a hands on type of person? Is he among the first to jump right in and try something new? Does he prefer to figure things out on his own? More than likely his style of learning is kinesthetic.
If you’ve ever noticed, you’d see that schools and other learning institutions use a variety of teaching methods that incorporate all the learning styles. One teacher that has a classroom full of students is unable to cater to the individual needs of each child’s unique learning style and so the best way of assuring that each child will learn is to utilize each learning style.
But some children do require individualized attention to their particular learning styles and as a parent, you are in a better position to see that those needs are met. Once you have determined your child’s particular learning style, homework and studying will become less of a chore for your child and for you. For example, if your child’s learning style is visual you can help him by drawing pictures. Get him to draw along with you. Don’t worry if drawing is not your strong point. It is the visual act that aids your child in learning and helps to stimulate his active imagination.
By helping your child to understand how he learns and by teaching him to use a variety of methods that relate to his personal learning style, learning will become easier and less stressful. His grades will improve and he may even enjoy doing his homework. Well, a parent can dream, can’t she?