Children learning styles and preferences vary. Children learn best when information is presented to them according to their preferences.
As parents, we can help our children to learn effectively if we can discover their learning preferences. Understand each child learning strength and weakness allows us to adopt the appropriate teaching tactics.
Learning styles are broadly categorized into:
Though most children fit into either one of the category but there are some who is a combination of two styles. Children may shift from one style to another through time as they grow and develop. In general, visual and/or kinesthetic learning preferences are more common.
You can do a daily observation. Note down some of the signs and reaction when information is presented to your child. Be patient. It may take a while for us to be familiar to the consistent signs from our children.
It took me a long time and after many observations to discover my boy learning preferences. I adopt teaching methods and tune in to his styles. It makes teaching and learning more effective for both of us.
You can refer to learning style inventory for a checklist to help you out.
Once we discover our children learning preferences, we can:
- Set the right expectation with the child.
- Teach child coping skills.
- Help child gain confidence using appropriate styles and environment to improve child accomplishment. Helping the child to gain confidence is very important as it set the fundamental interest in learning.
- Select school which has staffs who understand learning styles. Adopt such practice can affect child's behavior positively.
- Schedule appropriate curriculum and learning activities accordingly.
Discover the preferred way our children learn helps to tailor teaching method accordingly. Understanding the weakness of learning style is equally important.
Children with auditory weakness tend to have difficulty following verbal instruction.
My boy was slow in understanding instruction. It was a struggle reading to him. Instead of listening attentively to the story, he would interrupt me with questions on the pictures in the book.
As I begin to understand his weakness, I show him the steps taken to do a task instead of simply giving instruction. Story is told by focusing on the pictures rather than reading from the word.Child with this weakness prefers visual schedule such as pictures or cues instead of verbal instruction.
For children with visual weakness, signs include appearing to be disorganized or disoriented. Such children can be guided using charts, diagrams or graphs.
Kids who either feel bothered by certain texture of things or try their best to touch everything they can get hold may have kinesthetic weakness. Very often such kids are likely to benefit from language-based instruction.
A parent knows her child best. Understand a child learning strengths and weaknesses can make all the difference to help our children learn.
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