The Importance of Knowing Your Child’s Learning Style
A ‘learning style’ generally focuses on the way someone learns. It refers to the individual’s preference of learning in order to absorb, process, and retain information.
Research shows that learning can be enhanced when a learner’s personal characteristics and preferences are taken into consideration.
It is important for educators, as well as parents, to know and understand the different learning styles as this will help them implement best practices and strategies when it comes to studying.
If you are interested in developing your children’s skills during the holidays, read on as we tackle the topic of understanding your child’s learning preference.
What are the different learning styles?
Back in 1992, Fleming and Mills did a study about identifying different learning styles.
In it, they created the VARK model which is an acronym of the four main learning styles - visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.
Here is how the learning styles were described, according to vark-learn.com.
Contrary to popular belief, visual learning style does not include still pictures or photographs of reality, movies, videos, or Powerpoint.
What it includes are whitespace, designs, shapes, patterns or any format that are used to highlight information.
It also included formats presented in maps, charts, graphs, flow charts, and symbolic circles, arrows and more.
Think of it as someone using a whiteboard to draw up diagrams or figures while explaining a concept.
This mode includes information that is “heard or spoken”.
Auditory learners prefer learning from lectures, group discussions and verbal instructions from teachers or coaches.
Reading and repeating points out loud, or talking to oneself also helps this type of learner understand or process new information.
Information displayed as written text is most effective for these learners.
They learn better through materials such as textbooks, worksheets, essays, and written assignments.
That is also why it is a style many students and teachers prefer.
Reading/writing learners are heavily dependent on words. They thrive through reading paragraphs of text, lists or articles.
Kinesthetic learners are hands-on and participatory learners. They like to take on physically active roles when learning.
Fleming and Mills said that they learn “through concrete personal experiences, examples, practice or simulation”.
These include role plays, demonstrations, videos and movies of “real” things, as well as practice and applications of case studies.
If it can be touched, felt, or tasted, then it will most likely be helpful as well.
People who have this as their learning style learn from the experience of doing something or by being physically present.
The VARK model also discussed that it is possible to possess a mixture of these modes.
Now that you have familiarised yourself with the different learning styles, spend some time with your children to observe and find out what type of learner your children might be.
Benefits of Understanding a Child’s Learning Style
Understanding your student’s learning preference is not only beneficial for the student, but also for both parents and teachers.
When your child’s learning style has been identified, it will be easier to figure out what studying materials to give and what strategies to use to make the learning journey enjoyable and effective.
If your child is well engaged in the process, it allows him to learn better and perform better in school.
Besides the upside of excelling in school, you’re likely to see your child’s self-esteem increase as well, as he finds a systematic way to learn that works for him!
Teachers are aware that each student is a unique individual with different learning needs.
Once teachers understand which learning style to use for the students, they will have an accurate picture of classroom diversity and can diversify teaching strategies.
Where necessary, teachers are also able to share information with a student through his preferred learning style. This will boost the student’s understanding of the topic more quickly.
When you identify your child’s study needs, you are able to communicate with your child better and provide better support.
You can make learning fun while at home, as you know which activities or materials your child may be more receptive to. And solving problems may be less of a headache, since you know how best to explain something to your child based on their learning style.
How PAL Learning Works for Different Types of Learners
Remember that there are no right or wrong styles.
Here at PAL Learning, we do our best to understand and meet each student’s individual learning needs.
In lessons, we use various resources such as colourful diagrams for visual learners, or AR modules for kinaesthetic ones, so there’s always something that matches each of the learning styles.
If you’d like to find out more about our programmes and how we can meet your child’s learning needs, speak with us today.