Ask yourself what comes to mind when you hear the word dog. Some people see a picture of the animal, others might hear a bark, while others sense the texture of the dog’s fur.
If you saw a picture of the dog, or saw the letters of the word, you are probably a visual learner. If you heard the dog bark, then your learning style would be auditory, and if you felt the soft fur of the dog, then your style is kinesthetic.
Visual learners would rather see a demonstration or read instructions. They call up images from the past when trying to remember, and they picture the way things look in their heads.
Auditory learners tend to spell phonetically. They can sometimes have trouble reading because they don’t visualize well. Instead, they learn by listening, talking, singing, or other activities using their hearing sense.
Kinesthetic learners learn best through movement and manipulation. They like to find out how things work, so participating in a demonstration rather than watching it helps them learn.
Most preschool children learn best through experience; therefore, they would be considered kinesthetic learners. Though people can use different learning styles, as we grow older we are pulled toward one preferred mode of learning. This is the mode we resort to when we are under stress or learning new information that is difficult to understand.
It is not unusual for parents to prefer a different style of learning from that of their child. By having a better understanding of each style, a parent has a better chance of helping their child learn with less frustration.
Experiment with different learning styles:
- If your child is primarily a visual learner, then use diagrams, maps, graphs, and the Internet.
- Memorizing a jingle, singing songs, and reading aloud are all activities that will support auditory learners.
- Kinesthetic learners might better remember by manipulating letter blocks, creating a crossword puzzle, or doing math while bouncing on a trampoline.
Trying different methods of learning may prevent your child from feeling frustrated and can improve their feeling of accomplishment.