Children generally fall into one of four different learning styles, according to the experts at the University of Illinois Extension. They may be auditory, visual, kinesthetic or tactile.
A Quick Experiment
If you do not already know your child’s style, then ask your child what comes to mind when they hear the word horse. If they see a horse, then they are probably a visual learner. Alternatively, if they hear a horse neighing, then they are probably an auditory learner. On the other hand, if they feel the soft hair, then they are probably a tactile learner while those who see someone riding a horse may be a kinesthetic learner. There is no right or wrong answer, but knowing your child’s style can help them in school.
When your child is first starting out, there learning style may not be clearly established, but by the time they reach upper elementary about 40 percent of all students are visual learners. These students remember information better if they see it. Therefore, when helping your child with their homework create ways to present the information visually. A small portable chalkboard with the information on it can be a great asset. Remember that your child may remember 75 percent of what they see.
Only about 30 percent of all students are auditory learners. These students will remember about 75 percent of what they hear, so lectures are an effective way for them to learn. One way that a parent can assist the auditory learner study information at home is to ask them questions about the information. Many find it effective to study with a friend as they can hear the information as their friend presents it.
Tactile learners need to do something with their hands to remember information. Flashcards tend to work well because holding the flashcard gives them something to do with their hands. Writing information in the air also works with many students with this learning style.
Children who have a kinesthetic learning style learn best by doing something. While a tactile learner needs to do something with their hands, a kinesthetic learner needs to get the whole body involved. Building something and art projects often help a student learn new material.
If you are a parent, then you have your own learning style. Your style may be different from your child, so do not expect that your child may learn the same way that you do. Instead, focus on their unique learning style.