As parents, we know our kids: their preferences, their dislikes, their habits, their desires. And gaining understanding of their specific learning style can enhance the way in which we teach them throughout their life, and help them master their school work and succeed in life. Gaining insight into how our son or daughter processes information and learns can help us help them be their very best and do their very best both inside and outside the classroom. Although many people have a combination of learning styles, most people have a preferred method of learning. And while each learning method has its strengths and weaknesses, we can easily see there are multiple ways to learn and grow.
Many are familiar with the core learning styles: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. But psychologist Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences goes beyond core learning styles and covers eight different learning styles. Here is a brief synopsis of each:
These right brain learners easily read maps and graphs, and therefore do well in geometry, yet may struggle with numbers in general. They may have some challenges with reading and writing, but they are imaginative, and learn what they see. They may have difficulty following spoken directions, but they follow written directions well.
Diagrams, maps, charts, and infographics enhance learning. Highlight important information in a book’s text to assist learning.
These are learners who process information best when it is spoken. They excel in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and memorizing things they read. They are great at writing, speech, and even rhymes.
Enhance learning retention by taking good notes, going over test results, creating key words, and acronym mnemonics to help children memorize and recall concepts.
These are learners that are skilled at math and logical reasoning. They understand abstract information easily, and analyze cause and effect. They are great at games like chess. They group information well, make ordered lists, and create itineraries well.
Help these learners understand the concepts behind the lessons rather than just memorizing the lessons. If they write specific goals including incentives, and record their own progress to reach those goals, it will help their learning.
Musical learners think in sounds instead of images. They learn best with step-by-step methods. They have excellent language skills and do well on oral exams. They usually have musical talent and can identify notes, rhythm, and tones.
These learners will excel if they read aloud, memorize material, listen to music while they study, and participate in discussions (auditory) about the subject matter which they are learning. They benefit from mnemonic devices, songs, and rhymes to help memorize new concepts.
These learners learn through interacting with others. They work well in group settings, and are excellent at understanding the emotions and facial expressions of other people. They can put their finger on the cause of problems with communication in a group setting, and they prefer not to learn in an isolated setting.
These learners benefit from teaching others what they’ve learned. They may benefit from interviewing others to learn about their perspectives. They can excel when volunteering and participating in service-oriented groups.
These learners use self-study and like to work alone. They are extremely in tune with their feelings, who they are, and what they do well. They are independent and like to learn new things each day. They self-manage and self-reflect well.
These learners excel when they can study alone and in a quiet place. They benefit from journaling. They need to find ways to connect what they’ve learned with what they are learning.
7. Physical (Kinesthetic):
These learners love to move. They are usually athletically gifted, and may even benefit from walking while they read to increase learning.
Hands-on learning is ideal for physical/kinesthetic learners. Turning their lessons into art projects can enhance learning.
These learners process information by relating it to patterns in nature. They may grow up to be farmers or scientists. They love to be outdoors, and they love plants and animals.
Use nature to increase interest in learning; identify and classify to enhance learning.
Give your child exactly what they need to excel in life. Read Smart helps them catch up, keep up, and excel in reading.