Understanding Different Learning Styles

All children have different learning styles. Schools and teachers today are beginning to realize that education and learning are not the same for everyone. Every student has different strengths, weaknesses and preferences for how, where and when they learn best. Even within the same family, one child may have a completely different learning style than his sibling. When a child's unique learning style is respected and accommodated, that child will thrive academically.

How
There are three basic learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Visual learners learn best by seeing and visualizing. Auditory learners learn best by hearing and listening. Kinesthetic learners learn best by moving and doing.

For most students, one of these learning styles is dominant. By determining which of these styles is dominant for your child, you can help him learn more effectively. For example, while your visual child may grasp a science concept by looking at charts and graphs, your kinesthetic learner may learn better if he is allowed to perform a hands-on experiment.

Where
Some students concentrate best when they work alone, in silence. Other students may find it too quiet to work in solitude, and instead thrive in a busy environment or with music or television playing in the background. For students who require a quiet place to work, it can be helpful to provide a quiet corner for homework, away from noise and distractions. If this isn't possible, earplugs can help. For students who thrive on working in a stimulating environment, it is helpful to play music.

When
We all have a different internal clock. Some of us like to be up with the sun, while others prefer to stay up late and sleep until late morning. For early birds, trying to do homework in the evenings can be a struggle. Night owls may find they work best late at night. While busy school schedules can make it difficult to accommodate your child's natural time clock, there are some things you can do.

Try having your early bird complete her homework right after school, rather than waiting until after dinner, when she may not be at her best. For night owls, a nap after school may allow them to stay up a little later for homework and still be rested enough for school the next day.

By teaching your child to work with his individual learning style, rather than against it, you can set him up for success in school and develop a lifelong love of learning.

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