Research has proved that the learning style of an individual varies as per his inherent traits and this understanding is particularly important for parents more than anyone else. While as an adult you might have figured out how you learn best by trial n error method, it can’t be the same for your child. Cognizance of learning styles is the first step in determining how your child learns best, so let’s look at the different learning styles commonly seen in children.
Verbal / Linguistic
Words form the weapons, shield and armory in this learning style wherein the child displays an uncanny ability to express himself clearly through both writing and speaking. While interacting with such a child, you are likely to find yourself inundated with imaginative tales and long discourses regarding everything that had been told.
It is for a reason that this style of learning is referred to as Shakespeare an intelligence and as a parent the best way that you can channel it entails encouraging the child to read knowledgeable books and hone his word power.Because this child would do well in spell-bee and word games, these should be incorporated into his study routine and a course on creative writing could well enhance his forte.
Visual / Spatial
If your child is mesmerized with colors, images, pictures and maps, it means he is more of a visual learner and is blessed with the gift of spatial thinking.Children with spatial learning abilities are usually lost in thought and express themselves more clearly through images or by drawing sketches rather than speaking about the problem.
Teaching through pictures is the most effective method of getting this child to learn and charts, mind maps and images should be incorporated into daily studies as much as possible. Anything that the child draws should be appreciated and viewed from a large-scale perspective and putting them on to computer games based on spatial concepts helps to sharpen their thinking.
Aural / Musical
Music is a talent which is difficult to suppress, more so if it is in-built into your child’s learning abilities. Humming around the house, grasping even the most difficult tunes with ease and being able to maintain beats and rhythm are some of the characteristics that a child with an exceptional sense of music would display. He would also have a knack of giving concrete shape to the most abstract of concepts.
Given this natural affinity towards sound, the child is best taught through listening, rhyming and building songs out of the most mundane topics. Music canal so be effectively employed to set the mood for studying wherein the tunes or songs can be chosen as per the demand of the hour.
Logical / Mathematical
Children who love to ask unlimited questions till they get to the bottom of the issue or can spend hours at a stretch building an engineering masterpiece are ones that possess a logical or mathematical bend of mind. Being straightforward, such children display an extraordinary ability to classify, categorize and segregate ideas and concepts on the basis of patterns or outcomes. Ask them about the impact a natural disaster might have on the stock market and not only will you receive an accurate analysis but also the various stages of cyclical progress.
With a child who displays this learning style, you must use puzzles and games based on mathematical concepts or call for classification, like Sudoku. Reasoning is a strong point in such children and as a parent you do well to foster it through appropriate techniques.
Physical / Kinesthetic
Blessed with plenty of physical energy, children born with this learning style are constantly on the move and value physical activity or craft over something sedentary like reading a book. Multitasking comes naturally to such children but they lack in terms of attention span, thus being unsuitable for traditional teaching methods.
As a parent or a teacher, handling a child with excess physical energy entails combining studies with physical activity, for example revising history while swimming and discussing geography while on a hike. Ensuring that the duration of each lesson does not exceed 20 minutes and coverage for each subject does not last long are some of ways of helping the child to cope with his academics.
Social / Interpersonal
Referred to as social butterflies, such children epitomize the gregarious aspect of human race and owing to being reservoirs of patience, empathy and leadership they usually make good negotiators, peacemakers and leaders. Because of their ability to adjust to any social situation mix around with a variety of people,they rank high in popularity index.
Role playing and group discussions are best ways to teach children with social learning style and for this purpose, you can enroll them into several associations. Sharing should form a big part of the learning process as should the opportunity to express views listen to what others have to say.
Solitary / Intrapersonal
Born with a high degree of self awareness, such children prefer to operate independently and are original in their ideas. Courtesy of strong self-determination, they are focused on their goals and pursue them single-handedly, thus carving out a niche for themselves as silent achievers.
True though it is that your solitary child may need to be pushed to interact with other children, a better idea would be to give him the space he needs and let him concentrate on his own project. Inner thoughts play a significant role in determining this child’s personality and as a parent or teacher you must ensure that these remain directed towards self improvement and self actualization while aligning with core values and beliefs.
Awareness pertaining to learning styles forms only a small part of the picture and the larger issue pertains to identifying the combination of learning styles present in your child. Most often individuals are a mix of multiple learning styles and the onus is on the parent/teacher to harness the same in children in order to enable them to make optimal use of their capabilities.