You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way.
— Marvin Minsky
This is the first in an ongoing series of posts 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.
Creative kids need to experience life through different learning styles if the lessons they are learning are going to stick. Unfortunately, most school lessons are geared to one or two types of learning styles (mostly visual) This makes it hard for children who favor other learning styles to really grasp and absorb the lessons. As a creative parent (or educator) there are lots of ways of incorporating other learning styles and giving your kids a better chance of understanding.
The main learning styles are:
Visual – Visual learners learn best through seeing. They pay close attention to body language and facial expressions. They often think in pictures and can visualize easily. Visual learners learn best through visual displays including: diagrams, illustrated text books, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts and hand-outs. During a classroom discussion visual learners will often take notes or doodle.
Auditory – Auditory learners learn best through hearing. They pay close attention to sound and voice. Intonation, inflection, pitch and speed are all important auditory clues. Auditory learners learn best through discussion, lectures, reading aloud, using a tape recorder, and putting facts and words to music.
Tactile/Kinesthetic – Tactile/Kinesethetic learners learn best through hands-on touching and movement. They actively explore and engage in the world around them. This is the learning style least utilized in the public school system and it is often these learners who have the most difficult time due to their easy distraction and need for activity.
With a little creativity every topic can be taught using the different learning styles. The key is to identify the learning styles of every member of the family. Parents and educators can get frustrated if kids “don’t get” something that they view as easy. Often it is a difference in learning styles that creates this conflict.
A great book for parents on Learning Styles is Discover Your Child’s Learning Style: Children Learn in Unique Ways – Here’s the Key to Every Child’s Learning Success by Mariaemma Willis M.S. and Victoria Kindle Hodson M.A.
It includes many fantastic tools that allow you to discover the learning styles of everyone in your family. Just being aware of this will make helping your children learn easier.
Once you know how your child learns best it is as simple as using techniques customized to the learning style. This might include reading instructions aloud for auditory learners, or using creative active homework techniques as covered in this post on: “Creative Solutions for the exercise Homework Dilemma”
More posts on learning styles and multiple intelligence will be coming. The whole series can be found here.