How to Inspire the Love for Learning in Kids

What is Your Child’s Learning Style?

Is your child’s constant fidgeting while doing homework or their need to listen to music while studying causing you to worry? There’s no need to lose sleep over this – he/she might just be doing what is needed to learn.

your child's learning style

According to child psychologists, every child learns differently, and finding out your child’s learning style can help you work with him/her towards academic success. In a classroom setting, some kids learn best by hearing the teacher explain it, some learn by observing what’s on the whiteboard, while others learn through hands-on activities.

Do take note of the following types of learning styles to find out what works best for your child:

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners typically absorb information from spoken words, and they may like to study by reciting information aloud. If your child is an auditory learner, he/she may need may need a quiet space to study with soft music playing in the background.

Strategies that work:

  • Talking to themselves or with others about what they are learning
  • Reciting important information aloud – they may even record it and play it back again
  • Using word associations to remember facts, or creating a tune to help them remember information
  • Limiting distractions and background noises/activity

Kinaesthetic Learners

Kinaesthetic learners learn best by “doing and touching”. As they prefer to be active while studying, they may have problems focusing when sitting still. They process information by writing it down or doing hands-on activities.

Strategies that work:

  • Reading aloud and tracking words on a page with their finger
  • Writing things down multiple times to help them memorise
  • Highlighting and underlining key points
  • Taking frequent study breaks
  • Doing hands-on activities, such as building models and playing games

Visual Learners

Visual learners take in new information by reading, looking at and drawing graphics and charts, or watching a demonstration. Children who are visual learners benefit from seeing information presented in a chart or graph, and may get impatient listening to details and explanation for long periods of time.

Strategies that work:

  • Organising facts by using flash cards, charts, tables, mind maps and illustration
  • Highlighting, underlining and colour-coding information
  • Taking down notes and reviewing them

your child's learning style

What to do next

Maureen McKay, author and founder of Optimistic Outcomes, a website that provides tips to parents based on their child’s learning style, advises parents to keep in mind that although it is tempting to stick with learning strategies that work, their child’s preferred learning style may change as he/she grows up. In addition, people who learn in a variety of ways are known to be  able to absorb information more easily.

“Really well-balanced students will be able to be comfortable learning in all ways. Knowing that and working on that when they’re young gives them a competitive advantage,” she says.

They key here is to use a variety of approaches to help kids learn. For example, when your child gets bored with the same flash cards routine (a visual strategy) to learning Maths, McKay suggests using a family board game that uses two dice and asking him/her to count how many spaces each player should advance. This is a kinaesthetic approach which may also appeal to visual and auditory learners.

An Understanding that Strengthens Family Relationships

Indeed, when parents are aware of their child’s learning style, this can help to reduce study battles and strengthen the parent-child bond.

“It’s very empowering for families to really understand each other and how they learn and how they think to work out problems,” McKay says. “This kind of involvement is a great way to bond with your kids and to impart knowledge, and it’s really fun.”

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