What is Your Child’s Learning Style?
Academic success is not just about aptitude in math or reading. It’s about making sure that your child’s learning experience is tailored to your child’s own needs and skills. Through Kumon Math and Reading assessments, for example, your child’s academic program is individualized based on the needs of your child and the specific math and reading skills that he or she has already mastered.
One way to help your child become a better student is by identifying your child’s specific learning styles. As Clinical and School Psychologist Gloria S. Rothenberg, Ph.D., explains, “Learning styles can foster talents where the learner’s strengths lie, or they can disrupt learning when some area is weak and compensatory skills are lacking.” In that sense, identifying the best learning style for your child and the areas where they have weakness can help improve their overall academic performance.
Below are three typical ways that your child can learn along with tips and potential obstacles that your child may encounter based on his or her learning style.
Visual learners tend to learn by using visual representations of information such as through pictures, graphs, and diagrams. Using color, layout, and spatial organization can help with your child’s understanding of key concepts. However, a child who is a visual learner may experience difficulties when given verbal or written instructions, as well as when asked to follow multi-step directions. He or she may rely on visual cues such as watching others to complete tasks. When studying with your child, be sure to incorporate both visual and verbal cues as well as presenting your child with opportunities to explain information to others using words.
Active learners use objects such as math manipulatives or flash cards in order to facilitate their learning experience. These learners also enjoy working in groups to figure out problems. If your child is a tactical learner, be sure to incorporate physical objects as much as possible as they can help your child learn concepts. Flashcards, for example, can help tactical learners process information more quickly because they are objects that can be physically moved. However, tactical learners may experience difficulties studying when physical objects are unavailable. One way to help is to encourage your child to practice his or her mental math activities.
Verbal learners process information best when it is read or spoken to them . Some may find it easy to express themselves through writing and speaking. A child who is a verbal learner may want to imply the use of mnemonic devices for recalling information, such as “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” or “Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction” to help remember the Order of Operations. This type of student can have difficulty processing information when it is presented visually, such as in diagrams or flow charts. This type of student should practice reading and analyzing information when presented in diagrams or sketches. This can help reduce the time spent learning and absorbing information. Be sure to present you child with opportunities where he or she can create charts, tables, and diagrams to help present information.
Share what type of learner you think your child is and what activities you have employed to help them learn.