Understanding how your child learns best is crucial for their academic success and overall development. In this blog, we delve into the fascinating field of learning styles, exploring the diverse ways in which children absorb, process, and retain information.
Whether your child is a visual learner who thrives on images and diagrams, a kinaesthetic learner who benefits from hands-on experiences, or one of the types in between, this blog will help you identify and support their unique learning preferences.
WHAT ARE LEARNING STYLES?
Throughout childhood, babies and toddlers progress through distinct developmental stages. Initially, all young children start as kinaesthetic learners, with auditory and visual preferences emerging in later stages.
Research indicates that while individuals are born with a predisposition towards one learning style, this preference can vary and intertwine with other styles depending on the nature of the task at hand. Very few individuals strictly adhere to a single learning style, as there tends to be overlap between the different types.
You can think of learning styles as preferred ways of learning that create the least cognitive resistance to comprehension and recollection. There is no superior learning style, and they are unrelated to an individual’s intelligence.
The 4 Different Types of Learning Styles
The four main types of learning styles are:
- Visual (Spatial) – Learning through images, spatial understanding, and visual aids.
- Auditory (Aural) – Learning through listening, music, and sound.
- Reading/Writing (Verbal) – Learning through reading, writing, and text-based materials.
- Kinaesthetic (Physical) – Learning through hands-on experiences, movement, and touch.
Let’s take a closer look at each one in detail…
Visual (Spatial) Learning Style:
Visual learners primarily rely on visual aids and spatial understanding to comprehend information. They prefer seeing information in charts, graphs, diagrams, and videos.
Examples of how visual learners can use their learning style include:
- Creating mind maps or concept maps to visualise relationships between ideas.
- Watching educational videos or documentaries to grasp complex concepts.
- Using flashcards with colourful images to memorise information.
- Drawing diagrams or illustrations to illustrate concepts or processes.
Auditory (Aural) Learning Style:
Auditory learners learn best through hearing and listening. They prefer spoken explanations, lectures, discussions, and audio recordings to absorb information effectively.
Examples of how auditory learners can utilise their learning style include:
- Participating in group discussions or study groups to exchange ideas verbally.
- Listening to recorded lectures or podcasts on the subject matter.
- Using mnemonic devices or rhythm and rhyme to remember information.
- Explaining concepts aloud to themselves or others.
Reading/Writing (Verbal) Learning Style:
Verbal learners excel in reading, writing, and textual materials to understand and retain information. They prefer written instructions, textbooks, and written assignments.
Examples of how verbal learners can leverage their learning style include:
- Taking detailed notes during lectures or while reading materials.
- Summarising information in their own words through writing.
- Creating outlines or bullet points to organise information effectively.
- Engaging in reading assignments and discussing the content afterward.
Kinaesthetic (Physical) Learning Style:
Kinaesthetic learners learn best through hands-on experiences, movement, and physical activities. They prefer to engage with the material through practical applications and experimentation.
Examples of how kinaesthetic learners can apply their learning style include:
- Conducting experiments or demonstrations to understand scientific principles.
- Using manipulatives, such as blocks or models, to represent concepts.
- Role-playing or simulations to immerse themselves in real-life scenarios.
- Engaging in interactive activities like games or puzzles to reinforce learning.
Understanding these different learning styles can help you tailor your child’s study techniques to accommodate their learning preferences and enhance learning outcomes.
HOW DO I KNOW MY CHILD’S LEARNING STYLE?
Identifying your child’s learning style can significantly enhance their educational experience. Here are some tips to help you:
Observe Their Preferences: Pay attention to how the child naturally engages with learning materials independently. Do they enjoy looking at pictures and diagrams (visual)? Do they prefer listening to explanations or stories (auditory)? Are they more comfortable with hands-on activities (kinaesthetic)?
Notice Their Study Habits: Take note of how the child approaches studying or completing assignments. Do they prefer reading and writing notes (verbal)? Do they like to discuss topics or quiz themselves orally (auditory)? Do they thrive when they can move around or use physical objects (kinaesthetic)?
Ask for Their Input: Engage the child in conversations about their learning experiences. Ask them questions like: “What helps you remember things best?” or “How do you like to learn new things?” Their responses can offer valuable insights into their preferred learning style.
Experiment with Different Activities: Provide opportunities for the child to engage with various learning activities that cater to different styles. Observe their reactions and performance in each activity to gauge which ones they respond to most positively.
Consider Their Interests and Strengths: Take into account the child’s interests, hobbies, and areas of strength. For example, a child who enjoys drawing and art may be inclined towards a visual learning style, while a child who excels in sports may lean towards a kinaesthetic learning style.
Assess Their Retention Methods: Pay attention to how well the child retains information. Some children may remember information better when they see it in written form, while others may recall it more easily when they hear it spoken aloud or when they physically interact with it.
Use Learning Style Inventories or Assessments: There are various online resources and tools available that can help you assess your child’s learning style through quizzes or inventories. While these tools can provide additional insight, they should be used in conjunction with other observational methods for a comprehensive understanding. Here is one example of an online learning style quiz.
THE BENEFITS OF USING PREFERRED LEARNING STYLES
By being able to identify and engage with your child’s preferred learning style, you can enhance their educational experiences, boost confidence, self esteem, academic results, and much more.
Here are some of the benefits that you and your child will experience when using their preferred learning style:
Increased Engagement and Motivation: When children are taught in a manner that resonates with their learning style, they are more likely to feel engaged and motivated to participate actively in the learning process. This heightened engagement can lead to a deeper interest in subjects and a greater willingness to learn.
Customised Learning Experience: Tailoring teaching methods and materials to match a child’s learning style can enhance comprehension and retention of information. This personalised approach helps ensure that the child receives instruction that aligns with their strengths and preferences.
Improved Academic Performance: By accommodating a child’s preferred learning style, educators can facilitate more effective learning experiences, leading to improved academic performance. When children are taught in a way that suits their individual needs, they are better equipped to grasp complex concepts and apply their knowledge confidently.
Enhanced Self-Confidence: Tailored instruction based on a child’s learning style can help boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. When children experience success in their learning endeavours, they develop a positive attitude towards learning and a belief in their own abilities.
Better Communication and Collaboration: Understanding a child’s learning style fosters effective communication between educators, caregivers, and the child. It enables stakeholders to collaborate more efficiently in identifying strategies that support the child’s learning goals and address any challenges they may encounter.
Reduction in Frustration and Stress: When children receive instruction in a manner that suits their learning style, they are less likely to experience frustration or stress associated with difficulty understanding the material. This can lead to a more positive learning environment and a greater sense of well-being.
Development of Lifelong Learning Skills: By recognising and accommodating diverse learning styles, children develop a deeper awareness of how they learn best. This understanding empowers them to advocate for their own learning needs and develop effective study habits and problem-solving skills that serve them well throughout their academic journey and beyond.
In essence, knowing a child’s learning style enables educators and caregivers to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment that fosters academic success, personal growth, and lifelong learning.
USING LEARNING STYLES ACROSS VARIOUS LEARNING METHODS
Knowing your child’s learning style and adapting studies to align with their preferences goes a long way to setting your child up for academic success, but it’s not the only thing you can do.
At JK Educate, we understand the importance of personalised one-to-one learning that is tailored to the individual needs of each student. That’s why all of our expert tutors employ tutoring methods that match the student’s preferred learning styles.
We begin with an assessment of your child’s ability level, strengths and weaknesses, preferred learning style and information regarding potential. This is the starting point for tutoring and helps us to select a tutor who best fits your child’s personality and academic needs.
Tutoring is flexible and can be accessed through online or face-to-face sessions. Ongoing, we provide continued support and supervision for students, ensuring continuity of quality, effectiveness and rate of progress. Our results and client reviews show the effectiveness of our approach:
“JK Educate have been very supportive, thorough and child-centred throughout our 11-plus journey. Joanne has been a truly amazing tutor, and the whole team has been fantastic. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”
Elenor, Date of experience: 20 February 2023
“We love the dedication and skill of our tutor – nothing is too much trouble, and everything is possible. That is an attitude that pervades the entire JK infrastructure. Our tutor is a great role model for our children. Furthermore, the results were excellent – our children received offers at every school from which they wanted offers.”
Sara Kay, Date of experience: 06 March 2018
“I would highly recommend JK Educate. Tania and the team have been with our family on our son’s 11+ journey from the very beginning- from an initial assessment all the way through to interview preparation. They also helped my son match to tutors who brought out the very best in him and supported him in a way that was most suited to him. I would highly recommend the JK team!
Nadia, Date of experience: 16 February 2023
FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP
With a wide range of totally flexible services, we can help your child regardless of age, level or geographical location. Get in touch today to find out how we can boost your child’s education.
Call us on 020 3488 0754 or complete our online enquiry form.