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How Does a Child Learn? Let Me Count the Ways, or Paint Them, or Read About Them

April 04, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 116

Mothers know when their children are born they come already downloaded with a personality. The grumpy little baby that has trouble soothing grows into a child prone to moods. The angel baby that smiled at everyone tends to be a charming, happy go lucky kid. Sure, there are influences in their surroundings and parenting that help shape who they are, but that is more about character. Personality is their internal hardwiring that determines how they think, process and learn.

Any teacher, given a moment of time, will lament over their challenge of teaching twenty plus students who all learn in different ways. It is one reason so many students get lost in the course of a year, and why some never recover staying hidden in a flawed system designed to promote one learning style over the other.

3 Ways to Learn

There are many different ways a child learns, but they can be broken into three simple categories;

Auditory: learn by listening

Visual: learn by seeing

Kinesthetic: learn by doing

Where does your child fit? Knowing the answer could mean years of years of productive learning versus year after year of struggles.

Think about ways you process new information. When you are trying to remember someone's name what do you do? The visual learner writes it down, or studies the face while matching the name. The auditory learner will repeat the name several times in conversations. The kinesthetic learner will associate an action with the person, touching their hand or shoulder during conversation.

Schools and teachers are aware of the different styles, but they cannot accommodate each student individually therefore focussing on one style at a time. The early years are geared toward hands on learning, lots of crafts, cutting things out, using clay. By the time grade three comes around there is a big shift to auditory, and children are expected to learn by more listening and less doing. Somewhere in the upper grades there is a switch to visual learning.

As a homeschooling parent you have an advantage. You can cater to your child's learning style with carefully chosen curriculum and a flexible approach to school time. It is not only the one on one attention homeschooled children receive that put them ahead academically, but the way in which they are allowed to learn, the space they are given to learn, and material they have to work with.


Adapting to suit the needs of your child does not have to be difficult. First, determine the way they learn by watching how they play. Do they read a lot? (Auditory) Are they very physical? (Kinesthetic) Do they enjoy art and colours and detail? (Visual) Then find ways to present material to suit their style.

Visual learners - use pictures, video, computers, let them draw or sketch what they have learned, make comic strips etc.

Audio learners - engage them in good discussions, assign oral reports, talk about what they have read and ask questions for comprehension

Kinetic learners - have them act things out, do experiments, build, play-they need to move while they learn, to tap their feet, dance, doodle

Tailor your expectations to their strengths: a kinetic learning will write easier, so research papers and stories come easier. Audio learners do well with oral reports, and listening to lectures, remembering little details much easier. The visual learner likes to use pictures, and movies and videos.

Karen Pasqualucci is a passionate (and opinionated) homeschooling mom! She has been homeschooling since 2001 and shares her discoveries and thoughts at her blog: where she would love to hear your questions, comments and feedback! Come on over and get the latest news on homeschooling! Come grab the first three chapters of her latest book - Secrets of Homeschool Success - for FREE!

Source: EzineArticles
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