Parents desire to give their children every opportunity to succeed in life. One way to help them, particularly during their Pre-K–12th grade years is to understand what their learning style is and provide suitable tools to help them learn. Most children learn through a variety of sensory modalities, yet have a primary learning style in which they gather and retain the vast majority of the information they absorb.
The three primary learning styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learners must see it to absorb it; auditory learners need to hear it to master it; and kinesthetic or tactile learners need to move or experience it to understand it.
How to Know if Your Child Is a Visual Learner
Visual learners learn by seeing. In order to absorb and retain information, they need to actually see the concept they are learning, or at least visualize it in their mind. They learn a great deal from reading books, exploring charts, seeing diagrams, and observing pictures. They are organized, love highlighting what they learn with colorful markers, take lots of notes in class, and may even stare off into space during school as they visualize in their minds what the teacher is explaining. Interestingly enough, visual learners may quickly memorize what they see, but if someone is introduced to them, they may forget the person’s name since they hear the name instead of seeing it.
Some strong features of visual learners include:
- They remember details of what they see in books, on the chalkboard, or other visual learning methods.
- They prefer to see the things they need to learn, and it may be difficult to simply hear a lesson taught.
- They love to have paper and pens on hand to take notes in order to absorb the information being taught.
- They write down the instructions they are given in order to see and remember them.
- Telling them to do something may not work with them; they need to see it.
- In addition to books, they learn well from pictures, artwork, charts, diagrams, videos, and graphs.
- They excel at spelling because they see the words.
How Parents of Visual Learners Can Help Boost Learning
When parents identify their child’s primary learning style, they can provide tools necessary for their child to learn more effectively. Here are some strategies parents can use to help their child who is a visual learner. Encourage your child to:
- Use colored pens, highlighters, and underlining to help in the learning and retaining of concepts.
- Create tables, graphs, and diagrams in order to see the process involved in the concept being taught.
- Leave substantial margins when notetaking to allow for the drawing of pictures or creating of acronyms to prompt the memorizing of the concepts being taught.
- Focus on the teacher during class time at school to help absorb the information that is being presented.
- While reading, scan each book’s headings, illustrations, and chapter titles before reading it to help grasp an overview of the content before reading it.
- Create a space at home for homework that is insulated from distractions because visual learners work best alone.
- Supplement abstract learning with other visual methods of discovery such as videos, research books, and internet research.
- Create flashcards to learn information that needs to be memorized.
- Make lists to help learn concepts.
Tips for Parents of Visual Learners
- When reading aloud to your child, give him the opportunity to describe the picture they see in their mind based on what you are reading together.
- Make eye contact with your child when you speak to him or her. Visual learners are drawn to and pay attention to body language.
- Visual learners enjoy art and creating things, so provide plenty of art and craft supplies, and other creative toys for them to enjoy.
- Since we tend to teach in our preferred learning style, it’s helpful to know our child’s primary learning style so we can help them learn more effectively according to theirs.
When kids are strong readers, they:
- Do better in school
- Feel more confident
- Excel in life