Do you know your child's learning style? Did you realize your child, no matter how old, even has a preferred learning style? For that matter do you know YOUR learning style?? There are three basic categories of learning. Auditory- those who talk, Visual- those who watch, and Kinesthetic- those who do.
My oldest child is my 11 year old daughter Abigail. She loves to read. She loves to do word puzzles. She loves to do crafts, make things pretty, decorate, and color coordinate. She does best with written assignments and lists. She enjoys television. Abigail is a Watcher. Watchers, or visual learners, notice when you get a haircut, notice when something is different in the classroom, are good at faces but forget names, love picture books, graphs, and diagrams, and are better at chores when given a list. Watchers may struggle with oral instructions. Teaching your visual learner early on to write things down will help with them and index cards and sticky notes will be invaluable when it comes to homework. A fun game to play that a preschool Watcher will enjoy is looking at an object then having them close their eyes and describe it. This will help build your little visual learner's brain development, strengthening their core style of learning. Is your child a Watcher?
My middle child is my 9 year old son Josiah. He talks. Non stop. Literally. We call him our narrator because he is always talking. The other night he had a sore throat. He got out of bed and came to tell us that he couldn't talk. We kind of laughed because how ridiculous is it to complain that you can't speak when you're supposed to be sleeping?? But for him that's a serious issue. He talks himself to sleep. He talks in his sleep. I mean seriously he talks all the time. You guessed it, Josiah is my auditory learner, my Talker. A Talker can easily follow oral instructions, loves listening to music and stories read aloud. They can remember phone numbers by repeating them a few times. They often move their lips when reading silently or solving a problem. They love pretend play and show and tell, love music and drama but are bored with tv. They best learn to read phonetically. They may have very messy handwriting and become easily distracted by noise. They need a quiet place to do homework. Digital recorders will be key to help an auditory learner with homework. A preschool aged Talker will love singing and rhymes. This will not only be a great source of fun for the auditory learner but will continue to strengthen their personal learning style. Is your child a Talker?
My baby is three. His name is Alazar. He lives for running, jumping, sliding, swinging, climbing. He is my kinesthetic learner, my Doer. He loves blocks and trains. He loves throwing things and kicking things. He loves to touch things and notices immediately if they are cold or fuzzy or soft. He loves hugs and kisses and snuggles and gets ornery if he doesn't get them. He loves to watch tv but acts everything out. Shows with dancing like the Backyardigans are a favorite. Kinesthetic learners learn by experience, by trial and error. Doers will be good with fine and gross motor skills. They will excel in rhythmic movement. However, Doers have a hard time sitting still which makes school and homework a challenge. Manipulatives (counting buttons, sorting colored blocks, dividing sandwiches) will help out with homework. Also let them have playtime BEFORE homework. Getting the wiggles out will help with concentration. The preschool Doer HAS to get out and play. Playing and hugs will strengthen the kinesthetic learner's personal learning style. Is your child a Doer?
All three learning styles have pros and cons. None is better than the other. Each person has a blend of these, one being dominant. Figuring out your child's dominant learning style and working with it is essential to their success. So is your child a Watcher, a Talker, or a Doer?
To learn more about these learning styles read Cheri Fuller's book Watchers, Talkers, & Doers or attend a free Kindermusik preview class.