Do you ever notice how some kids remember things effortlessly if you teach them using a song? And yet others learn best when you show them pictures of the concept they are learning. This boils down to differences in learning style – and every child has a unique way of learning.
Recognising your child’s learning style can help them learn and study more effectively. Although most children use a combination of methods to learn, they begin to show preferences as they approach the age of 7 years.
To maximise your child’s learning, you will find it beneficial to discover your child’s preferred learning style. One of the most popular ways to conceptualise learning styles is according to the modality in which learners best absorb information. That is, the medium in which information is presented to them, and the medium that they prefer to use to interact with information can make a difference in their learning efficiency.
Below is a quick overview of the 4 main types of learners in terms of modality – take a look and see which one best describes your child.
Visual learners learn best when information is presented in a visual form, such as diagrams, infographics, photographs, and so on. Due to their reliance on their visual and spatial sense, they are usually also good with directions.
For these learners, they study most effectively by drawing out the concepts they need to learn. Mind maps are also very helpful for them to visualise the interrelation of topics.
While rarer, some children find that using songs and rhymes are most effective for them to remember information. These children typically respond strongly to music and have a good sense of pitch and rhythm.
To help these learners in their studies, you can help them make up catchy jingles or rhythmic rhymes with content they need to remember. You might also find that they focus better if there is some music in the background.
If you find that your child is constantly moving and prefers to work with their hands, they may be a kinesthetic learner. Typically, they are the ones who enjoy activities like sports, dance, or building models.
These learners prefer learning through experience, such as role-playing and hands-on activities. You can make learning more engaging for them through various activities like assembling flash cards, using hand gestures, and so on.
Verbal learners prefer learning through reading, writing, or listening to verbal instruction. This makes them overlap with auditory and visual learners – some verbal learners may prefer reading information in text form, while others may prefer listening to people speak or reading aloud.
Usually, these learners are wordsmiths who enjoy reading and writing, wordplay and learning new words. Some clever mnemonics will be quite effective in helping them commit information to memory.
Remember, every child is different, and most do not fit neatly into any one learning style. So, it will be best to observe your child and determine their unique preferences from what you know about them.
In addition, exposing your child to various modalities of learning from a young age can help them develop holistically and discover their preferred way of learning. In line with this, it would be beneficial for children to be enrolled in a school that embraces diverse ways of learning.
To take a leaf out of a top international school in Singapore, you can look at the Canadian International School’s curriculum. Implementing the IB education curriculum across the kindergarten to international high school levels, the school programme caters to students’ individual needs, abilities and learning styles to help them grow into confident learners.
By knowing your child’s learning preferences, you can help them reach their fullest potential and enjoy the learning process more. So, get started on discovering your child’s learning style today!