Jonah, Katie, and Matthew learn in different ways. All three students have different learning styles.
The Science teacher explains the leaf system in class. Jonah, who sits at the back of the class, enjoys Science a lot. He is too eager to learn about how leaves actually make food. The teacher uses visual aids but Jonah cannot appreciate the lesson. He is too far from the board. So what is his response? He gets bored and starts a conversation with his seatmate.
Katie, Jonah’s classmate sits in the front row, right in front of the teacher. She sees the chart and the colorful pictures shown by the Science teacher. But she somehow dozes off to la la land without the teacher seeing her. Those visuals were too much for her.
Another student in the class is Matthew. He also finds the lesson interesting but feels there is more to the lesson. He sneaks out of the classroom to check out the school garden.
I See You
Because Jonah sits in the back row, he could not appreciate the lesson. He loses interest in the lesson because he cannot see the visual aids. He cannot understand what the teacher is showing.
Visual learners learn when they have direct access to the real pictures or visual aids. They enjoy learning more when they can read the text themselves. They have to have a clear representation of the subject. Visual learners thrive in lessons with vivid and colorful teaching aids.
If your child is a visual learner, you have to choose books with colorful pictures. You also allow them to read the text. Field trips could also be beneficial for these kids as they could see the real thing in life. Visual learners would enjoy art classes, photography classes, and cartooning.
I Can Hear You
Katie feels overwhelmed by the amount of information her brain is processing. Because she sits in front of the class, she sees the visuals up close and hears the teacher discuss.
Auditory learners don’t need to have a visual experience of the lesson. Hearing the teacher talk about it is enough.
When our son was in preschool, the teacher shared with me that our son seems disinterested in class. When she teaches, Coby does not seem to be paying attention. But when the teacher asks him to repeat what she said, Coby would echo the lesson back to her in toto. Our son is an auditory learner. He does not need to see what is being talked about, all he needs to do is hear the speaker.
Auditory learners work well even if there is music playing in the background. Like our son, he would be humming all the time whatever he is doing.
I am not sure if his knack for talking has something to do with being an auditory learner. He talks a lot and expresses himself well. Auditory learns might enjoy taking up voice lessons. They may also get their feet wet in theater or learn to play musical instruments.
I Can Feel You
Matthew wants to absorb the lesson well, so he goes out and searches the school garden. He wants to touch them, smell them and look at them. Matthew needs to touch everything. He needs to manipulate objects and learn from it. He needs to move.
In Math, kinesthetic learners would appreciate manipulatives like coins, pebbles, sticks, and counters. They also love to use clay, play with sand or building blocks. These kids move around a lot because their brains are telling them to. They do not do it to annoy people, it is how they are. Kinesthetic learners also enjoy tinkering things. Small kids would destroy a toy because they want to find out how things work. Kinesthetic learners would enjoy sports or gymnastics.
All children and adults have different learning styles. Find out your child’s learning style. Provide the necessary tools that would enable him/her to absorb the lessons well.
Determining the child’s learning style is important. But to focus on this alone and not develop the other styles of learning is not a holistic approach to learning.