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3 Different Types of Learning Styles

by on 15/11/2013     80 2581

When I was in Primary school, my father would get really exasperated with me because I would squirm and fidget when doing my math homework, I would be careless and somehow no matter how hard I tried I always end up not focusing. In addition to all, that I am distracted and I needed to listen to music while I was studying. I can’t seem to remember vocabulary or how words are spelled unless I had my headphones on.

Your child’s method of studying drives you crazy…

My father used to think I did that on purpose and was not serious about my studies. It drove her crazy and she insisted that I take off my headphones and sit still while I was doing my work. Concentrate!! Concentrate!! She would yell at me each time.

Is that a familiar scene in your home? Well, I think you will be glad to know that if your child does that he is not goofing off or trying to drive you up the wall. In fact he is merely using strategies to help him learn better.

How to identify your child’s learning style?

First of all you need to understand the different types of learning modalities. There are basically three: -

  • Auditory Learners – Kids who are auditory learners learn by talking and listening.
  • Visual Learners – If your kid is a visual learner it means that he or she learns best through watching videos, images, or through live demonstration.
  • Kinesthetic/Tactile Learners – These kids need to learn by actually doing it. They learn best through practical experience.

Parents pay attention!

Does your child express him or herself though facial expressions, words or body language? For example, while helping them with a project for school like building a volcano, when you are explaining how to build it: -

  • If your child’s facial expression changes (e.g., puzzled, frustrated, nod when he comprehends) he is most likely a visual learner. Another clue would be that he is interested in video games, watching television and surfing the internet. His problem solving skills would most likely be looking around for solutions.
  • If your child starts asking questions, talking and expressing through words than he is most likely an auditory learner. If he is an auditory learner her would most likely enjoys music too. His problem solving methods would involve discussions.
  • If he or she is a tactile learner they would pick up the parts examine it or turn away when they are not interested or bored. They would express themselves through their body language and is quite into physical activity. Most kinesthetic learners use their hands to find a solution. So most likely he would pick up the object and fiddle it to learn and understand.

So now that you know how to identify your child’s learning style, what next?

You can help them base on how they learn.

Auditory Learner
If your child learns best by listening, you should try methods of teaching that involve reading out loud to them, talking and engaging them in conversations and discussion, music, and perhaps by oral drill. Example: - To teach them how to multiply you might, quiz them out orally by asking “what is 4 times 6” or even spelling a word out loud.

Visual Learner
When helping your child learn, use written methods or visual methods, letting them watch a documentary or writing down problems and solutions. Perhaps even making charts, graphs, and diagrams, when teaching them.

Kinesthetic/Tactile Learner
Your child will learn best when they are using their body or hands to touch. Use methods that involve physical activity, muscle movement and hands-on projects.


About the Author

Kopi Soh has a MA in Psychology, Specializing in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. Her area of specialty is in working with children, adolescents, couples and families. She is also an artist and has published two self-help best sellers distributed by MPH, available in all bookstores throughout Malaysia.