Every child absorbs and processes information differently. For example, some children process information better when it is written, while others have a visual learning style.
There are different learning styles, and each child’s learning style is an amalgamation of their environmental patterns, cognitive ability, and past experiences.
If you help the child to learn according to their learner type, they will absorb information faster and perform better academically.
Here are the different learner types that a child might have:
1. Visual learners
If the child is a visual learner or has a spatial learning style, they’ll be partial to understanding concepts by observing the world around them. They’ll have a good memory when it comes to pictures, diagrams, and infographics. This child will be the one making notes or doodling during class to understand what the teacher is saying.
Here’s how you can help
Give the child an opportunity to draw pictures and diagrams to help them grasp the concepts that they are trying to learn. In the classroom, visual presentations and note handouts can help these children understand lessons better. Since visual learners observe visual cues and take time to process them, they might need a little more time to learn the lessons they’re studying.
2. Auditory learners
If the child is a student who likes to attentively listen to the teacher rather than read or write notes, they fall into this learner type category. They’ll also read out their lessons and use their own voice to reinforce new concepts and ideas. But don’t be alarmed if they are a little bit slower at reading and if they often repeat things when trying to understand a new concept.
Here’s how you can help
Auditory learners might find it hard to stay quiet during study time, so you can get them involved by asking them to repeat whatever concept they’ve learnt back to you. Ask them questions and let them answer whatever concept they’ve grasped. Encourage them to repeat their ideas in their own words and talk through concepts they are struggling with. If possible, have them participate in group or interaction-based activities with other students. While studying, it can also be a great idea to play lyric-free music in the background to boost their memory.
3. Kinesthetic learners
These children learn by experiencing or doing things. They’re more active and can absorb concepts more quickly when they are acting out events or using their hands to touch and handle things. If the child is a kinesthetic learner, they’ll excel at sports or similar activities.
Here’s how you can help
The child might need frequent breaks while studying. A teacher can help by instructing students to act out certain scenes from a book or a lesson, or you can recreate this at home too. Abstract ideas and difficult concepts might be a little more difficult for kinesthetic learners to understand, since these learner types can physically sense what they’re studying. A way around this is to help them incorporate movement into lessons. For example, see if they’re comfortable with pacing around the room to memorize concepts or play learning games with them that involve moving around the classroom or if they can memorize concepts by writing them on a whiteboard.
4. Reading or writing learners
Reading and writing learners prefer to understand concepts by reading rather than listening to their teachers. If the child likes to express themselves through writing, reading articles or books, and looking up words, information on the internet, the child has this learning style.
How to help
You can help these learners by giving them enough time to absorb information through reading and giving them opportunities to write their ideas on paper as well. You can also ask them to rewrite whatever concepts they’ve learnt in their own words, help them convert diagrams and infographics into statements. Another fun activity can be playing word association games to remember information better.
However, do remember that these learner types can overlap and there’s no fixed criterion that a child that prefers one style might not also be comfortable with another. No matter what your child’s learning style is, it is important to embrace it. Understanding the different learner types and designing your lessons around them can dramatically affect your students’ ability to grasp new concepts and excel at school. Designing lessons and helping students learn according to their learning style will also help them enjoy what they’re learning and not be frustrated by schoolwork.
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