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Do you know your child's learning style?

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Do you remember more about a subject through listening than reading? Or do you remember things more easily by “picturing them” in your head? Do you prefer listening to the news on the radio or do you understand a news article better by reading about it in the newspaper?

Most of us say the things we want our children to learn or remember. But do most children (or even adults) learn by listening? Do you often say to your child: “I have told you this a hundred times! How many times must I repeat myself before you can put this into your head?” Perhaps, the solution to the problem is not through oral repetition. Perhaps your child will learn better through different approach. Perhaps it is time for you to observe him or her more closely. What is your child's learning style?

Learning style is the way students of every age are affected by their surroundings, their feelings, physical characteristics, social needs, and interests. Everyone has a learning style but, like fingerprints, it is different for each person.

People learn through different senses. But most individuals have a preferred sense of learning. We use the perceptual area we are strong in-hearing, seeing, touching – as the major avenue for learning. Educational psychologists call this learning modality. There are four different types of learners according to learning modality: auditory learners, visual learners, tactual learners, and kinesthetic learners.

Children who learn easily by listening are auditory learners. They can recall at least 75% of what is discussed or heard in a normal 40-45 minute  period. These are children who can store spoken words in their brains almost like a recording and can play them back effortlessly.

Most children (and most adults as well) are visual learners. They learn easily and well by viewing, watching, or observing. They can retrieve details and events by concentrating on the things they have seen, whether words or pictures.

Children who are tactual learners use their fingers and hands while concentrating. They remember more easily when they write, doodle, draw, or manipulate objects in some way. Painters, repairmen, bakers, tailors – those who do creative things with their hands are often tactual learners.

Young children who seem to have problems in conventional classrooms often are kinesthetic learners. They appear to mature more slowly than average children. They do remember much of what they are told or what they are shown. But they learn most easily by experiencing, doing, and being involved.

Children learn best only when they use their learning style characteristics to advantage. Otherwise, they study, but often forget what they try to learn. Parents who are aware of differences in learning styles may use this knowledge in teaching their offspring – from basic household chores to the larger “lessons of life.”

By Rosita B. Espiritusanto




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