Like us, many of you are getting in gear with school again. This brings to mind the basic learning styles.
Since the kinesthetic learner is a hands on kind of kid and learns by doing,
the visual learner excels by seeing and watching demonstrations,
and the auditory learner does best with verbal instruction,
your child will benefit by you identifying his/her learning style and accommodating accordingly, whether you are homeschooling, helping with homework, or teaching life skills.
Most children have one dominate way that they learn best, yet will likely have some characteristics that are common to all learning styles.
Here are a few questions that will help get started discovering what your child’s learning style is:
1. How does your child learn to read or how do they learn spelling?
Kinesthetic - tend to be restless when reading and struggle with spelling
Visual – recognizes words by sight
Auditory – learns to read well by phonics, enjoys reading out loud, and spells words by the way they sound
2. What is your child’s handwriting like?
Kinesthetic – may begin their written work neatly, but as space gets slimmer, neatness declines
Visual – neatness and appearance of their penmanship is important and usually makes letters proper size and spaces words neatly
Auditory – letter size may be the same, not differentiating the size of capital and small letters
3. How does your child remember things?
Kinesthetic – doesn’t do well with things that are seen or discussed
Visual – tends to jot down notes; remembers faces, but forgets names
Auditory – memorizes well with repetition; is usually good at remembering names of people
4. When problem solving, how does your child react?
Kinesthetic – impulsive, reacts physically
Visual – list problems, organizes and plans in advance, usually purposeful
Auditory – seeks solutions by talking problems out
5. How does your child express emotions?
Kinesthetic – reacts physically
Visual – reacts with facial expressions
Auditory – reacts verbally; changes tone and volume of voice
6. When faced with new situations, how does your child respond?
Kinesthetic – touches, feels, and tries things out
Visual – observes
Auditory – talks and asks questions
7. During inactive times, what does your child do?
Kinesthetic – brings something to do or otherwise fidgets and finds reasons to move
Visual – finds something to watch; doodles or views surroundings
Auditory – talks, or makes sounds such as singing, humming, whistling
8. How does your child converse?
Kinesthetic – uses gestures to express himself/herself and often will use words such as get, take…
Visual – may be quiet rather than talkative, brief when describing; uses words such as look, see…
Auditory – may be a talker, has lengthy descriptions; use words such as listen, hear…
9. What approach does your child have towards appearance?
Kinesthetic – comfort is priority rather than style
Visual – meticulous; not likely to vary much in appearance of clothing
Auditory – can explain choices in clothes; matching clothes may not be priority
10. When given written instructions, how does your child respond?
Kinesthetic – may dive in and attempt to do task without paying attention to the directions
Visual – will likely read instructions carefully and methodically follow them
Auditory – may feel overwhelmed and prefers instructions to be explained
If your child is Kinesthetic:
Not only is working with hands important, but they learn better with whole body movement.
Allow for frequent breaks.
Fiddling and fidgeting is not usually an act of rebellion, and this student will learn better in a comfortable spot, rather than a desk or chair.
(I took me a while to grip this with my oldest child when I began homeschooling my little energetic five year old. I had created a school room, with a school desk and the works, and had my sights on this perfect little environment with a perfectly well postured little student, only to discover that he fiddled with his pencil and did gymnastics at his desk. In contrast, I had his full cooperation [almost, anyway :)] with projects and learning games.)
Incorporate plenty of field trips, experiments, puzzles and games, computer work…
If your child is visual:
Use plenty of pictures, charts, and outlines as learning aids.
Maintain a quiet environment for this student.
Be aware that doodling on paper doesn’t mean they aren’t paying attention.
Encourage to note take or highlight.
When giving verbal instruction, write down key elements for them. (Dry Erase boards with colored markers works well.)
If your child is auditory:
This student may work better by quiet music in the background.
When appropriate, allow this student to answer questions orally.
Reinforce work by discussion.
Explain things well and paraphrase key points.
Reciting and repetition helps this student with memory work.