Everybody has their own, unique way of processing information. When it comes to learning, there are some general categories that describe the main ways people learn new things. Most people will fall strongly into one of these categories while combining elements from several. Understanding how your children learn can help you guide them and meet their educational needs.
Visual learners like to see things, such as graphics and demonstrations, as they learn. They might have trouble focusing on a lecture unless it is accompanied by visual aids. They can, however, understand and easily pick up information from a graph. This type of learner needs to see images along with information in order to remember something. You may be this type of learner if you do better with watching a documentary than you from hearing a speech.
An auditory learner does well by hearing something explained to them. They will pick up more knowledge from a lecture than they will from reading something to themselves. Reading out loud, listening to lectures and even having music playing while studying are common for this type of learner. You may be this type of learner if you take away more from a teacher’s lecture than you do from reading a lesson.
Kinesthetic learns need to do something in order to learn. Sometimes you’ll hear this category refered to as a “hands-on” learner. Sitting and reading or listening to lectures is hard for them but doing an activity works well. You may be this type of learner if you get more from participating in a lab then you do from reading a lesson out of a book.
Many people fall into one learning style more strongly than the others, with secondary styles that assist and improve their information assimilation. For instance, you may be a visual and auditory learner that likes to watch documentaries, which combine elements of both styles. You may be a visual and kinesthetic learner that likes to watch and then do something in order to cement it in your mind.
So look for clues to help you determine what works best for them. Noticing how they study, what classes they enjoy more and what subjects they do best in will help you find out their learning styles. Knowing how your young learner works best can help them improve their grades and work smarter, not just harder!