Even though my son is out of school I still get caught up in the back-to-school excitement this time of year. We did a combination of public school and homeschooling with T growing up, based on his needs at the time. One of the most important and helpful things I did was to learn and understand what his learning style was and use methods that focused on that style to help him with learning and remembering. Most kids will have a combination of these methods but you will be able to notice a strong tilt towards one of them.
Kids who are auditory prefer to listen rather than just reading. In class they are most attentive when the teacher is actually speaking to explain lessons. Reciting things out loud may help them learn easier as well.
- Kinesthetic and Tactile
Some places list these individually, some just as one. They can overlap quite a bit. These kids like to be hands on and may have trouble sitting still at school or while doing their homework. They love to be able to touch things. Using manipulatives and other tools for homework can be especially helpful to help them grasp concepts. They also enjoy movement!
Show me is the path for kids who are visual. They like visual representations of what they are learning. This can be pictures, charts, graphs, and video.
While each child will naturally gravitate towards one of these styles it is important that you encourage them to learn skills that work for all of them. Learning styles change over time for some and the more well-rounded they are the easier school will be for them as a whole.
Homework Tips for Auditory Learners
- Reading out loud
- Talking to others about what they are learning
- Oral quizzes at home to study for school
- Using mnemonics for memorization
- Making up songs about the topics
- Books on tape
Homework Tips for Kinesthetic and Tactile Learners
- Building models that match lessons
- Craft projects related to studies
- Sitting on a balance ball while doing homework
- Doing hands on experiments
- Using manipulatives to understand math concepts
- Doodle while learning
- Having stress ball or other hand toys to play with while studying
- Drawing to help understand concepts or cement them
- Writing things down
Homework Tips for Visual Learners
- Using images and graphics to go along with the topic (the internet is your oyster for this)
- Color coding information
- Use flash cards
- Use charts, maps, and graphs – either you providing them or letting your child create them
- Watching animations and video
- Use scrap paper to figure things out as they do their homework
There are many resources available to parents to help understand their learning style. First and foremost is your own observation of them. Teachers can also offer you input on this after the first several weeks of school. Scholastic has a short quiz on what is your child’s learning style. Education Planner offers a learning styles self-assessment which might work better for older students.
Do you know what your kids’ learning styles are? How do you plan on using this information to help make homework time easier this school year?[signoff]
© 2015, Robyn Wright. All rights reserved.