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Learning Styles

Learning Styles

God created each of your children in a unique and gifted way to make a contribution to the people around them. You know your children best and when you learn how your children learn, you can foster that natural curiosity that God has built in them. Understanding your child’s learning style will help you individualize your child’s education and keep that love for learning alive.

One way to look at learning styles is through three modalities: visual, auditory, kinesthetic.

Visual Learners

Visual learners learn best by observation and imitation. They enjoy books with illustrations, charts, diagrams, and graphs. They are your doodlers and note takers. Visual learners will notice visual details and remember where something was on a page or in a book! They easily build their sight word vocabulary for reading and spelling.

Tips for teaching:

Visual teaching aids – flashcards, puzzles, wall charts, maps, graphs, diagrams

Written directions

Note taking

Drawing

Highlighter (for key concepts)

Videos with ‘how-to’ demonstrations

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners learn best through listening. They talk frequently and can often be found singing or humming. They enjoy music, remembering lyrics to songs and poems and repeating rhythmic patterns with ease. Auditory learners sound out words and tend to spell phonetically.

Tips for teaching:

Auditory teaching aids – audio books, CDs, podcasts, repeat-after-me games

Read-a-louds

Rhymes and songs for memorization

Vocalize what reading

Oral narration, recitation, repetition of material

Lectures

Oral instructions

Kinesthetic Learners

Kinesthetic learners learn best through movement and by doing. They enjoy hands-on activities, manipulatives, and games. Active learning through dramatization, drawing, building, and experiments are helpful for kinesthetic learners. They are the ones who take things apart and put things back together. Sandpaper letters may be helpful for writing and spelling.

Tips for teaching:

Frequent breaks to engage in a physical activity; e.g. a short walk, jumping jacks

Movement activity coupled with auditory and visual learning tasks; e.g. taking a walk while listening to a podcast or squeezing a stress ball while reading

Games, puzzles, finger/hand motions, pantomimes

Math manipulatives

Sitting on an exercise ball while doing book work

Many young children begin as kinesthetic learners. As they mature, you may observe a tendency to one of these learning styles. Incorporating appropriate activities can help your child learn and retain information and may also guide you in your curriculum choices.

That being said, it is okay to teach your children through other learning styles, especially as they enter the middle grades.

Resources:

The Way They Learn, Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

Getting Started Next Step: Educational Approaches


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