For years teachers and students have had to struggle with how to teach and how to learn. Each teacher has their particular style but then so do most students. The problems develop when teachers and students don’t match. You may have noticed that even your own children learn differently than you do causing you to question why they’re not as interested or not “catching on” the same way you did at their age.
You may also be wondering why some teachers were “better” teachers than others or why you liked a certain subject over another. These are actually very important observations. Educational science has studied these questions for years and has determined that when some individuals struggle with learning it may be entirely a question of how they are being taught.
Teaching To Kids’ Learning Styles
There are currently seven “Learning Styles“:
- Visual (spatial): You prefer using pictures, images, and spatial understanding.
- Aural (auditory-musical): You prefer using sound and music.
- Verbal (linguistic): You prefer using words, both in speech and writing.
- Physical (kinesthetic): You prefer using your body, hands and sense of touch.
- Logical (mathematical): You prefer using logic, reasoning and systems.
- Social (interpersonal): You prefer to learn in groups or with other people.
- Solitary (intrapersonal): You prefer to work alone and use self-study.
Your student will most likely not possess one style exclusively but you may be able to see patterns in their learning preferences. For example, a student who is visual may also be a very social and verbal learner and prefers to learn especially difficult topics using their primary skills.
Understanding how your student learns is perhaps one of the most important tasks a parent can undergo while homeschooling. Another is learning how to provide opportunities for learning through the use of these identified learning preferences.
Teachers often use their preferred learning style as their main mode of teaching and if students do not share those same preferences then learning can be very difficult and frustrating.
As a Special Education teacher it was important for me to understand those differences in order to maximize my students’ learning potential. It is just as important for all parents and teachers to do the same. Watch your children and students. Listen to what they want and their interests. Compare the differences between how they learn Aurally and Visually as well as the other styles outlined above. Compare how they interact with others while learning in a group or by themselves. Each observation will bring you closer to understanding their special gifts and will reveal to you more effective ways to teach them using their preferred learning styles.
No student is exclusively one style or another and most utilize a variety of modalities when learning. It is important to expand their abilities to use as many learning styles as possible, helping them to succeed in a world where how one learns often means nothing and only the ability to learn has value.
Time4Learning has developed a comprehensive, multi-modality learning curriculum that allows all students to reach successful levels of understanding by using their preferred learning styles. Time4Learning’s lessons are scientifically designed to reach the vast array of learning needs.
Different Learning Styles – Different Ways to Learn
Beyond learning and teaching styles there are other ways to assist students toward educational success.
Each of us processes and distinguishes information differently based on our personality patterns, how we interact socially and a general like or dislike for the subject matter or interest. We all like to learn about subjects we are interested in and often struggle in areas that hold no interest.
- How a child thinks and the way they sense and perceive their surroundings often affects the way they learn. The connections to memory are also associated with our senses and perceptions creating a complex and often individualized process of learning and memory.
- Personality patterns focus on attention, emotion, and values. Understanding these differences allows you to predict the way your child might react and feel about different situations.
- Social interactions look at likely attitudes, habits, and strategies learners might take toward their work and how they engage with others when they learn. Learners can be independent, dependent, collaborative, competitive, participant or avoidant.
- Interest plays a critical role in learning. When a student is interested in the topics or subjects they naturally learn and retain information at a higher rate. Helping your child develop a variety of interests will naturally increase their level of learning overall.
You may want to start with understanding your individual patterns of learning and how those mentioned above affect how you learn. From your perspective you can then try to understand the patterns of your child. The differences between you and your child or student are not necessarily wrong or right and you will most likely find their patterns are different, sometimes very different than your own. It’s important, however, to capitalize on what works for your child and to help them to utilize those patterns and learning styles toward a greater capacity to learn and remember.
Knowing how your child learns is one way to help them succeed. You should try to:
- Teach the most difficult lessons using your child’s preferred learning style.
- Reinforce lessons using multiple learning styles.
- Help your child improve learning skills in the learning styles he or she is less comfortable with.
In some cases, this requires helping your children understand their own abilities. This may include teaching some compensation and coping techniques.
Your Learning Styles & Needs – Time4Learning Might be the Solution
Children like using the computer to learn.
Time4Learning’s online interactive curriculum engages and challenges children while letting them work at their own pace.
Time4Learning tracks students’ progress and helps children advance through individualized learning paths. This insures complete coverage of the needed skills and concepts to assure success. Parents can use Time4Learning for all their children from preschool, elementary, and middle school. Parents like Time4Learning because it provides a comprehensive educational solution that includes language arts and math, complete lesson plans and activities with assessments and online materials and printable worksheets, making learning fun and homeschooling an effective and successful educational alternative.
Time4Learning has been proven effective, is very affordable, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can make sure that it works for your child.
Sign up for Time4Learning and gain access to an educational system that will engage and challenge your child to succeed. Make Time4Learning an important part of your child’s education today!