Understanding your child’s learning style can aid you in assisting with homework as well as enable you to help teachers understand your child as they progress through school. Helping teachers understand the way your child learns new information can go a long way toward setting your child up for academic success.
A learning style is a regular preference across time and subject for organizing and processing information.
Some common learning styles are visual, auditory and tactile. Students with a visual style like to “see” things. A chart or graphic representation may help them to incorporate new knowledge into their existing knowledge base.
An auditory learner prefers to take in new information by listening. Verbal directions or language based information are preferred.
A tactile preference demonstrates itself by a tendency to manipulate items and gain information through hands-on exploration.
Learning Styles- Further Explored
For example, when learning how to multiply, a visual learner might need to see pictures of objects. An auditory learner might benefit from talking through the steps as they are demonstrated and a tactile learner might enjoy using sticks or coins to work out the problem.
Another interesting learning style revolves around the way a task is approached. Some children approach tasks reflectively and others impulsively. Reflective learners may need a lot of time to collect information before solving a problem. Impulsive learners may work at a quicker tempo and spend less time analyzing a situation before engaging in instinctual problem solving. This type of style may require several attempts before hitting upon a solution.
When working at home with a reflective learner, you may want to provide time and resources for your child to gather information, review examples and consider a variety of options before responding. An impulsive style learner may need to try several different solutions quickly before choosing the correct one.
Each style is “right” and should be encouraged throughout learning.
You may find it interesting and rewarding to begin identifying your child’s learning style(s) and preferences. It can come in handy during homework time, parent-teacher conferences and in discussions with your child as he/she grows and develops.
This link gives more information on learning styles and even includes a learning styles quiz to help you identify the style that aligns best with your child.