As a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, you are undoubtedly going to be invested in your little loved ones’ educational experience. After all, from the age of four upwards, they are likely to spend a huge amount of time in educational institutions: from kindergarten to grade school and perhaps even to college.
You also want them to succeed, as good grades mean that they are successfully comprehending everything that they are being taught. However, some of us may grow concerned if a child in our life isn’t studying in the way that is traditionally considered correct.
The image of the perfect student is a typical bookworm, tucked away and taking in vast amounts of knowledge from novels and textbooks. While this means of learning is great if your child is actively interested in reading, accepting and adapting to the fact that different children learn in different ways: visual, auditory, read-write, and kinesthetic.
Visual learners like to see things in order to understand them and remember them.
Successful teaching practice for visual learners revolves around visual interaction and visually pleasing materials; for example, demonstrations.
When trying to teach a visual learner, encourage them to paint a mental picture of what you’re talking about. This will help the information to stick in their mind.
Teaching auditory learners probably requires the least specialized material: you simply have to talk to them.
Conversation and discussion allows them to gauge what you’re saying.
Engage in conversation and they will be able to effectively piece together the information you have given them in their mind.
Read-write students learn in the traditional academic way of reading books and writing down notes or their thoughts.
It is a rather repetitive procedure, as they need to undertake reading and writing over and over to successfully remember something.
When conveying information to a read-write learner, give them keywords in a list form, graphs, charts and diagrams.
Ensure that they always have plenty of paper and a pen or pencil to take notes while you are teaching.
You should also encourage them to re-read or rewrite their notes.
Kinesthetic learners use all of their senses combined to take in information effectively.
Their ideal learning experience would be experiential. They like to completely throw themselves into a topic or task.
A good way to teach these children is to take trips outside of the classroom. The experience will allow them to experience what you are trying to show them.
Consider cultural trips, such as days out to the museum, or a trip to an art gallery.
Give them something hands on to do, such as orienteering, modelling clay or touring old buildings. This will keep them engaged and content.
These are just broad overviews of the different ways that different children learn effectively.
Remember that your little ones may not fit neatly into one category. They may prefer a combination of two, three or even all four types, so give all of the different methods a try.