How to Find out a Child’s Learning Style

A child’s learning style is how he or she gets and processes new information. All children learn in different ways.

Why Are Learning Styles Important?

As the child’s first teacher, parents should identify and accommodate for the child’s preferred learning style. Understanding how the child learns is very important in his or her attitude toward learning and success.

Parents will help the child better by knowing his or her learning styles. Otherwise, may get really bad teaching results, although the patents were trying hard to “help the child”. For example, most parents assume unintentionally that their child learns exactly like they do, however it is not true. Children often have different learning styles than their parents, and have different learning styles than their siblings. The sooner parents understand learning styles and the child’s preferred learning styles, the sooner parents will be able to help the child effectively.

Three Typical Learning Styles

Everyone learns differently. However, we can categorize learning styles into three typical ones, which are learning by hearing or auditory, learning by seeing or visual, and learning by doing or kinetic.

Hearing or Auditory

If a child learns best by hearing, people call him or her an auditory learner. He or she will be very sensitive to voice. He or she can sense speakers’ emotion by the voice, such as happy, angry, and frustrated. Voice has big impact on him or her. The child enjoys the lessons on podcasts, MP3 players, CDs, radios and tapes. He or she has weak tolerance to noise.

Seeing or Visual

If a child learns best by seeing, people call him or her a visual learner. He or she will be very sensitive to facial expressions in terms of understanding emotions. He or she prefers to see pictures, charts, graphs, diagrams, video and TV to get information. Other visual images can distract him or her from concentrating on studying.

Doing or Kinetic

If a child learns best by doing, called a kinesthetic learner, he or she prefers to touch and manipulate objects. His or her body moves frequently. Therefore, it is very hard to let the child sit for a long time listening or watching, like in the traditional classroom, where a teacher is talking, the students are listening and watching the teacher. The child’s learning style is his or her distraction from concentrating on listening or seeing. Lab time may be his or her favorite time.

Understanding a Child’s Learning Style

Almost every child is capable of learning in any of these styles. As the child gets older, he or she may use each of these styles. However, he or she may have a preferred learning style.

In order to identify the child’s preferred learning style, parents can look for clues in three ways, which are to listen to the words the child uses, to watch how he or she teaches others, to pay attention to the way he or she plays.

What are the words or phrases the child often uses?

  • Relate to hearing or listening such as talk, listen, hear, sound, etc. This suggests an auditory approach.
  • Related to seeing, showing a picture of the information, these words or phrases might include see, look, observe, etc. This suggests a visual approach.
  • Related to doing such as sit, jump, go, try, act, get, etc. This suggests a kinetic approach.

Asking the child to teach someone else how to do something

This is a valuable way to identify the child’s learning style, because people usually teach using their preferred learning style.

  • auditory learner will explain the process using words in mouth.
  • A visual learner will draw a picture may even use different colors to demonstrate it.
  • A kinetic learner will “walk” through the process while doing it.

By the theory of multiple intelligence, human beings possess a lot of different types of intelligence, and most of time, they function together. Therefore, every individual has the ability to use every learning style. However, everybody has one or two styles that work better for him or her when learn.

As the child’s first teacher, parents’ job is to help the child enjoy learning. If the child is struggling with a task, it is likely he or she is not using his or her preferred learning style. Help the child by incorporating his or her learning style into the task, and then he or she will enjoy the learning process.

How to Maximize Children’s Learning Ability

By maximizing children’s learning potential, they will feel fulfillment and increase their self-confidence, their love to learn to take challenge, which lead them to thrive in the school and succeed in the global society.

By using the following positive parenting ways, parents closely involve in their children’s learning process, there will be a dramatic improvement in children’s motivation and achievement. The key is to help children keep eagerness to learn.

Getting to know the child’s IQ(Intelligence Quotient), try to awaken the child’s natural genius, take advantage of it, and encourage him or her to solve problems in unique and creative ways, to nurture his or her strengths. Please refer to Guide Kids by Their IQ for more information.

Understanding the child’s learning stages and learning style to support his or her unique learning process, improve his or her ability and help him or her to be a self-directed, successful learner.

Understanding the child’s temperament, and assisting the child to develop his or her emotional and social skills to help him or her to become a social and emotional well-being child, achieving high EQ(Emotional Intelligence).

Understanding Children’s Learning Stages

Children’s intellectual development, which is related to major developments in brain growth, has different stages. As we know that the human brain is not fully developed until late adolescence or even sometimes in early adulthood in the case of males. Parents usually expect teens to think like adults, which is not right. Because the teens are not yet capable of doing so, although some of the teens are taller than their parents. It is important that parents understand children’s learning stages and know what a realistic expectation on their children at a given age is so that parents can help the children better to be successful learners.

From birth, parents are delight with their child’s developmental progress and milestones such as crawling, sitting, standing, walking, talking, drawing and reading etc. In order to serve a child best, to help early enough to maximize the child’s ability, parents should understand a child’s learning stage.

  • For preschoolers, parents should observe whether the child starts speaking on schedule, learns the alphabet and numbers, colors and shapes, days of the week, etc. The child should be able to focus a little while, think about something without the object being present by using language, follow instructions well, and play with peers.
  • For kindergartners and elementary school students, observe the child’s capability in holding a pencil or pen correctly, sounding and writing letters, writing numbers and arithmetic signs well, telling time, remembering facts, following instructions, and being aware of his or her physical surroundings and being reasonably coordinated. However, a child at this stage still has a tendency to focus attention on one aspect of an object while ignoring others. During this stage the child is trying to use what he or she has learned to begin solving problems.
  • For middle school students, observe the child’s capacity to memorize, be conscientious about homework, make friends, be able to be organized, logical thought, and the ability to perform multiple tasks. The child at this stage is capable of concrete problem-solving and moves toward a generalized level.
  • For high school students, assess how the child responds to open-ended questions, handles abstract concepts using the principles of formal logic, works within time limits, focuses when needed, adapts to changes, and builds and maintains personal relationships with friends. At this stage the child will have no longer restricts thinking to time and space, starts to reflect, hypothesize, and theorize, and actually thinks about thinking. In addition, children need to develop cognitive abilities, which are mental abilities such as memory, comprehension, reasoning, and judgment.

Children learn at a different pace and in different ways. Many factors affect learning, examples are motivation, emotion, peer relationships, teachers, parents and social and cultural norms.