When it comes to education, one thing that should be taken into account is the undeniable fact that there are different learning styles. This means that different people learn and retain information in different ways. With this in mind, it makes sense that educators should try their best to present information in a way that their students would be able to thrive academically.
This article will discuss the various learning styles as well as give you some practical tips on how you can adjust your teaching methods to accommodate your child’s learning style. Keep in mind that your child may not fit squarely into one style, however chances are they lean more towards one than the others.
Learning Styles and Homeschooling
Learning Style #1: Kinesthetic
People who are kinesthetic learners enjoy being active and doing hands-on activities. They are likely to constantly need to be moving and active. You can usually tell a kinesthetic learner because they have a difficult time sitting still and dealing with silence for long stretches of time.
They may be the ones that fidget in their seats or make noise in situations that normally require silence. They also might not be the best listeners. However, they are great at anything that requires gross motor skills such as running, jumping, balancing, etc. They are also very “touchy-feely” and enjoy touching and holding things.
How to Teach Kinesthetic Learners
One thing that you can do to help kinesthetic learners is to allow them to do what comes naturally to them. Forcing a kinesthetic learner to sit at a desk quietly is not likely to help them do their best. Instead, find ways that you can implement sound and movement in their day. If they need movement, take away their chair and replace it with a stability ball. Encourage them to listen to music while they study if that is what they need to be able to concentrate. If necessary, give them headphones so that they do not disturb others.
Because they learn best through movement and activity, implement those types of things into your curriculum. Get creative! When learning about history or literature, implement drama.
When learning about the body, allow them to get up and move. You could even incorporate song and dance into learning many concepts. Another great tip is to take breaks to give them a chance to move around.
How to Reward Kinesthetic Learners
Kinesthetic learners appreciate physical rewards such as a high five or a pat on the back.
Learning Style #2: Visual
Visual learners do best with things that they can see. This includes, but is not limited to diagrams, maps, videos, drawings, plays, etc. They also do well with things that are colorful.
They tend to pay attention to details that others might overlook as well as have a propensity towards being highly organized. Because they are so visual, they can be easily distracted by the things around them.
How to Teach Visual Learners
When working with visual learners, you can sketch or draw pictures and diagrams to help them retain information. They also do well when they are able to take notes, use colorful highlighters to focus on key bits of information, make lists, and even doodle. They might need you to model things for them rather than simply telling them how to do something. Some tools that they would probably love are flash cards, puzzles, worksheets, and games.
How to Reward Visual Learners
Visual learners respond to visual rewards such as stickers.
Learning Style #3: Auditory
Auditory learners are those who learn best through sound. They do very well with lecture-style presentations where information is read out loud. They enjoy talking and often need to talk through information in order to understand it. They likely love music (both listening to music and singing). They are also good with words and probably learn languages easier than others. You probably notice that they can remember things like poems and songs after only hearing them a few times. Since they are big listeners, they are more likely to be distracted by background noises.
How to Teach Auditory Learners
In addition to reading out loud, you could also put information to music to help your child to grasp and retain key concepts (the awesome songs from Schoolhouse Rock come to mind). They do well with rhymes, chants, rhythm instruments, clapping, audiobooks, etc. When telling them how to do things, verbally walk them through each of the steps. Also, encourage them to read out loud to themselves when they are trying to study.
How to Reward Auditory Learners
Auditory learners respond best to verbal praise such as “Good job!”
Learning Style #4: Tactile
Tactile learners are those who learn best through doing and touching. They enjoy manipulatives such as puzzles, blocks, models, etc. They are the ones who love using their hands and moving things around. They do not enjoy long, drawn-out objectives or lessons – they prefer short, dynamic lessons. Much like kinesthetic learners, they are constantly moving and touching things. They don’t like to sit still for very long. In fact, having to sit still and be quiet can actually be very distracting.
How to Teach Tactile Learners
If you have a tactile learner, you can use manipulatives such as play dough, puzzles, blocks, play money, and models to teach them. They would enjoy doing hands-on experiments, doing arts and crafts activities, going on interactive field trips, and playing games. They enjoy modeling things and role-playing, so feel free to call on them to come to the front of the class to act something out. They do well with anything that involves using fine motor skills. You should also consider taking breaks to give them a chance to get up and move around, as you should with kinesthetic learners.
How to Reward Tactile Learners
Much like kinesthetic learners, tactile learners respond to physical rewards such as a high five.
Do you know your child’s learning style? Share it in the comments and let us know what techniques have worked for you!