As you begin to read a book, or even as you are reading this very sentence, you are not normally thinking about the process of how you are actually reading every word. Your mind has acquired the skills to cognitively distinguish each word and comprehend them immediately.
This is a similar process of how a young child learns. Children are not aware that ACTUAL learning is taking place daily. They are naturally using exploration, play, and observations.
Since a young child’s mind is in the early stages of discovery and cognitive development, to him/her learning is just curiosity of new words, facts, emotions, and experiences that are being processed.
It is our goal to help our child better understand the skills he/she uses to recieve, process, and pass on information. In other words, strengthen his/her learning style.
Take time to really perceive how your child likes to interact. What activities does he/she like to do on a daily basis? How does your child respond best to you? Does your child take oral direction very well? Does he/she prefer to look at pictures or drawings? Or does he/she like movement and more hands on activities?
This will give you an idea of how your child learns best.
Auditory learners use language as their primary way to learn. They easily remember oral instructions and respond well to directions and requests. They enjoy problem solving and working out ideas through verbal discussions. They enjoy listening to your voice as you read a book. They are the true definition of natural listeners and conversationalists.
Ideas For Auditory Learners
Read to them daily and ask open ended questions. They love to answer questions! Make up oral stories and encourage them to create one themselves. Create conversational topics that help them explore through language. Narrate daily scenarios, describe actions and label feelings regularly. Make toys have voices and conversations during play time. Don’t forget how much they love to be given oral requests, instructions, and use descriptive words when doing so! They love words and will easily build vocabulary!
Visual learners think in pictures. They remember by what they see. They also like to use drawings as a tool. They will prefer to look at the pictures in a book and greatly remember visual details. They have a strong sense of visual direction as well.
Ideas For Visual Learners
While reading to them, try to use picture books. Or choose books with vivid and large artwork. Point at words as you read books. Encourage them to draw what they are feeling. Use art as a tool for commutation and problem solving skills. Visual learners like charts, graphs and color coding activities. Technology can also be a great tool for visual learners. You can utilize tablets such as the iPad. There are endless educational apps designed for almost any age group now a days. The graphics and images of educational games on tablets will appeal greatly to visual learners.
Kinesthetic learners are little movers! They tend to fidget and process information through the sense of touch. They need a hands on approach when it comes to learning. They learn by physically doing things.
Ideas For Kinesthetic Learners
When reading to a kinesthetic learner, provide interactive books. Books that prompt them to find a certain object or word by physically pointing to it. Get creative with activities by ensuring there is physical action in it. Jumping on shapes, hide and seek with numbers, throwing balls at a target that contain letters from the alphabet. Make sure their sense of touch is always incorporated. Play dough, foam blocks, puzzles, and legos are great hands on activities. Music is another great way to incorporate learning for kinesthetic learners.
Although most children have one dominant learning style, he/she can also be a mix of two learning styles. Which is actually the case for both my sons.
Ethan’s learning styles are auditory/visual. Joshua’s are auditory/kinesthetic.
*It is important to incorporate activities from time to time in the learning styles where your child is not the strongest. It will help build up skills in those particular areas.
We as moms, also have to consider our own learning style. The way we learn can be completely different from our child’s. It is important to recognize the areas where we are strong and weak, so we can approach our child with an open mindset to learning.
For example, I am an auditory learner. Even though my boys and I share the same dominant learning style, I had to keep in mind that they each had a different second learning style. Ethan needed visuals and Josh needed hands on activities.
So mommies, what kind of learner do you have at home?