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Learning styles and their role in the development of Kids

Every kid is unique in its own way. Each of them has a different frame of mind, thus they learn things differently. Howard Gardner proposed a model in his 1983 book “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences[1]. We employ different methods of teaching to keep children interested. Sometimes these ways seem to work well and your target is achieved but at times it becomes impossible to get the child involved in the activity.

How many of us know about the existence of different learning styles and how do we find out which learning style would be best for the development of our kids. Adequate knowledge of a child’s learning style results in an assured development of the kid.

Understanding the learning style of a child is often overlooked. This can seriously hamper the development of a kid. Even after using different methods of teaching, kids might not retain even a bit if our teaching methods and learning styles are not compatible. Knowing their learning style and then finding a teaching method that compliments it is an important task that every parent should undertake for helping their kids learn better.

Various attempts have been made to classify these learning styles. One such attempt is made in the direction of classifying different learning style is, by the way, kids learn, like audio aids, visual aids or movement. Another classification finds its basis among the certain thing that they are good at or a certain way of teaching that they can easily grasp.

The first classification based on learning methods has roughly three types, namely, Auditory, Visual and Kinaesthetic. Now, let’s dive deeper.

Primary Learning Styles

1. Auditory learning

Auditory Learning

If you hear your child saying “Tell me” more often, the chances are high that she has the auditory style of learning. The best way to help them learn something is orally explaining the learning material. A simple talk with them is also a way to help them learn a variety of things. Unlike others, they are not the kind to jot down each word said but this does not mean that they are not paying attention. Their auditory sensitivity is quite high. Although, auditory learners have higher memory retentivity they generally lack good writing skills.

The kids belonging to the auditory learning style often like being read to. They might not seem keen to read things on their own but these auditory learners are always ready to lend an ear to your words. These auditory learners also show affinity to music and can remember lyrics of songs easily.

Games like wordplay and language pattern can help in their development in a fun way.

2. Visual learning

Visual Learning

This learning style is supposed to be the most dominating in kids. Going by the name, Visual aids are the best way to help these learners. It is important to demonstrate to them chronologically everything they are learning. These are the ones who pay attention to the little details and try to jot down everything they can. Visualisation and illustration of the key concepts are very important for kids belonging to this learning style.

Talking to them or oral instructions are not very effective for such kids. They must see a demonstration of everything. Often these kids are frontbenchers and are the ones who generally say “show me”. If you think your kid is a visual learner, a quiet and non-distracting surrounding with not too bright or engaging background would help them concentrate well.

You will often find visual learners using a highlighter to mark text for notes and assignments. They are the ones who are most likely to succeed by drawing sketches or using flashcard based learning.

3. Kinaesthetic learning

Kinaesthetic Learning

Kinaesthetic learners are often misunderstood to be troublemakers. These learners must be actively involved in the learning process. Finding a suitable learning method for such kids would include their active involvement in the learning process. Different activities related to the learning material is a must for these learners. Often they are seen tearing things apart to understand their working.

Remembering what was said to them or demonstrated to them visually is surely not their forte. Although, they are found to be quite good at applying different concepts in real-life situations.

Such kids do well in games like clay modeling, block building, etc. Parents should provide different types of writing instruments or paper with texture to help these kids learn better.

General Knowledge Learning Plan - Level 1 (for 6-7 yrs kids)
General Knowledge Learning Plan (for 6-8 Year Kids)

Complete spectrum of learning styles

The other categorization is based on different aspects of learning and different methods that help in learning. There are seven subcategories to this classification.

Visual

As the name suggests, visual illustrations, images, and picture books are most helpful in this learning style.

Spatial

Kids belonging to this style are found to prefer sound or music as a learning method. They find it easy to remember things through a certain rhythm or sound.

Verbal

As the name suggests, this learning style includes extensive use of words either in the oral form or written instructions.

Physical

This style of learning appeals to learners who must have a physical touch to understand something. They use their hands and their entire body to understand something and like involving in activities that illustrate the learned concept.

Logical

This learning style is for kids who apply logic and reasoning to each question that is thrown in their way. They try to understand things in a systematic way.

Social

The social ones are good at group discussion and talk about their ideas openly. These kids prefer group studies

Solitary

Solitary learners like to work alone and prefer self-study. They are found to be very disciplined on their own.

It is important for parents to know the preferred learning style of your kid. Although, it is very much possible that a kid shows traits of different sub-categories. In such cases, it is important to recognise the most dominating learning style in them. The other ones could be chosen as a different method of teaching from time to time.

The objective of recognising the learning style is to maximize a kids development and potential and find the teaching style best suited for them.

References:
[1] Frames of mind: Theory of multiple intelligences - Howard Gardner ...
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