When family members have different learning styles, it can cause lots of frustration and hurt feelings. Simply being aware of each members strengths and weaknesses in regards to learning styles and multiple intelligences will ease friction and allow for creative learning. Here are some simple steps you can follow to ensure that learning in your family is a positive experience.
Discover your learning styles
Researching learning styles and multiple intelligence is the first step to understanding how the members of your family create and learn. If you haven’t already, you can read my post on Multiple Intelligence here. Another fantastic resource is the book Discover Your Child’s Learning Style: Children Learn in Unique Ways
Once you understand different learning styles and intelligences and now they apply to your family, it will make everything easier and give you a new approach to doing things.
Embrace Your Different Learning Styles
Even though it sometimes leads to frustration and communication breakdowns, the fact that we all learn and create in different ways makes the world a more engaging place. Celebrate your unique differences and don’t try to change someones way of learning.
If you understand the differences between learning styles and teach your kids to do the same, it sets them up for success in life – particularly when they enter the workforce and interact with people who have different learning styles. It takes some adjustment to work with another learning style and an awareness of the differences will certainly help.
A simple example: your child keeps forgetting after-school chores, no matter how many times you tell them, and it’s very frustrating. The problem here may be as simple as he/she is a visual learner and you are auditory. The auditory message is not remembered, but a list that can be read would be much more memorable.
Know Your Limits
Know your limits, especially when you are teaching a child. A negative experience, like frustration, due to differing learning styles when teaching a skill can negatively impact your child’s opinion of that skill or activity for life. A mismatch in styles is the primary reason I don’t ski, even though I grew up in a ski town.
If you find that you can’t teach a child in a way that matches their learning style, have someone else do it. This is pretty vital for a good family relationship, so try to find someone who teaches in a way that will benefit your child.
Teach and Learn Together
One of the best ways to learn something new is to teach it, which might mean having your child teach you. It can give them confidence, it lets you both see areas that need to be worked on, and it also a great way to see different learning styles within your family in action.
Once you teach something to your child, become the student – have them teach a friend, sibling, or someone else. Help them come up with creative ways of teaching their new-found knowledge and they will present it in their preferred learning style (as we all do).
This also gives you feedback, allowing you to see if your teaching method is working for your child, or if you need to be more creative to meet their learning needs.
This is another post in a ongoing series on Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences. If there is a topic or aspect of these subjects you would like to see a post about, please email me.
Please see the rest of my posts in the Learning Style and Multiple Intelligence Series.
How to do you embrace the different learning styles within your family? Please leave a comment below.