Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Helping your child become aware of the ways that they process information most efficiently can help them become a stronger learner and can boost their educational autonomy.
While the concept of learning styles does not have one concrete model to follow there are four generally accepted styles that are used worldwide that include: visual/spatial, auditory, kinesthetic and reading/writing.
Most students prefer some combination of learning styles which is why it is important to help young people become aware of what is most optimal for them personally.
Self-awareness is one of the greatest tools in the educational toolbox!
Continue reading to learn more about the four styles and the best learning strategies for each.
Can your child easily discern visual objects, are they colour-orientated or can they envision imagery easily?
These are all strengths of visual learners. Visual learners are students who best internalize information when it is presented in a visual way through pictures, charts, diagrams, written direction
s. They have a good spatial sense and can easily organize information from visual graphs or images.
Here are some learning strategies to support a visual a visual student:
Colour-code notes, vocabulary words and textbooks
Use diagrams, maps and other visual aid to solidify information
Make to-do lists to help organize tasks
Encourage them to sit in the front of classrooms so they’re able to see everything
Write notes in class and then draw concept maps and outlines to organize information
Does your child learn prefer to listening to instructions instead of reading them? Are they great with in-class participation?
These are signs that your child is an auditory learner. Auditory learners learn best when information is reinforced by sound. They are good with following verbal direction and thrive when explaining ideas out loud. These students learn more effectively from listening in class as opposed to reading written notes.
Here are some strategies to improve learning for auditory students:
Record class lectures with instructor’s permission to listen back to later
Read key concepts and ideas aloud to solidify information
Teach a concept back to someone to help with understanding
Play background music while studying to help with concentration
Watch educational tutorials and explanations videos when confused with a subject
Kinesthetic learners or “tactile” learners are students who learn most effectively through experiencing and taking a physically active role in the learning process.
Traditional lecture-based lessons may prove difficult for these students as they are more inclined to actively move their body when consolidating concepts into their memories.
Tips to improve studying for kinesthetic learners are:
Studying while moving such as standing up, walking around, bouncing a ball or riding a stationary bike
Use flashcards for quizzing and allow them to personally flip through the cards
Have the student teach the concept back to you while allowing them to engage in movement
Take breaks between long period of studying when sitting for a long time
Reading and Writing Learners
Reading and writing learners are students who learn more effectively by reading and writing information.
They retain the most information by reading the textbook and writing notes.
Here are some learning tips to help reading and writing learners:
Encourage them to re-write their notes after class
Use the Cornell method of note-taking to write comments and questions in note margins
Have them write out key concepts and ideas in their own words
Re-reading information as review (with a particular focus on high-yield topics)
Compose short explanation for diagrams, charts, graphs