Every child has a unique approach to learning. Though the task of learning involves the same steps for everyone – processing, comprehending, retaining, and applying information – the learning styles of children are as unique as they themselves are.
At school, teachers are responsible for teaching a large number of students. Owing to this, they cannot cater to the individual learning needs of a single student. In this sense, homeschooling holds a significant advantage as you can mold your teaching practices to suit your child’s requirements.
The most important factor in figuring out your child’s learning style is observation. Pay attention to how they interact with the environment and what modes of learning they prefer. To elaborate, let us look at some common learning styles, how they might be identified, and how such learning styles may be nurtured to help your child learn more efficiently.
How Do You Know What Your Child’s Learning Style Is?
When it comes to determining your child’s learning style, there is no one better suited to do it than you. Simply observing their day-to-day activities, how they interact with their environment, and what easily entertains them can indicate their preferred, natural learning style.
If your child is good at recalling people, places and things they have seen, have a keen interest in the objects around them, and like looking at pictures in books, they are probably a visual learner. Auditory learners like music and poems, enjoy discussions, ask lots of questions and can often be found singing to themselves. Children who love engaging in sports and physical activities are often kinesthetic learners. They learn best through hands-on activities and by doing things, rather than reading or writing.
Solitary learners work best alone or with close friends, in quiet places. They usually favor reading and writing. Social learners, on the other hand, like working in groups. They learn better when they discuss ideas with others, ask questions and socialize.
Keeping each category in mind, reflect back on your child’s behavior or spend more time with them if you feel like you don’t know their learning style well enough. Identify their personal learning style even if you believe that they don’t fit in any single class, since it is normal for children to have characteristics from different learning styles. The key to ideal teaching is improvising with the child’s learning behavior and building on that.
How Can You Nurture Your Child’s Learning Style?
Homeschooling is distinguished from traditional schooling in that you can comfortably apply any specific model of learning. Teachers in school simply cannot afford to give such dedicated care and time to an individual student.
Now, if your child is a visual learner, you might make use of pictures and colors while teaching them. Diagrams, flowcharts, maps, all will help them retain information better and for longer. Similarly, for auditory learners, poems and rhymes are the best mnemonic techniques to promote active learning.
Children who prefer reading and writing to other learning styles might be encouraged to make use of study notes. Alternatively, you could explain difficult concepts to them by writing them on the board. Even teaching your child seemingly small tasks like making checklists can prove excellent in the long run.
Kinesthetic learners learn best through experiments and by doing projects. Going on field trips, looking at pictures at exhibitions, and watching videos together is a great way for learning.
No matter what type of a learner your child is, they are bound to have traits from different learning styles, that is, they will often learn in different ways. As traditional schooling is inefficient in this regard, it’s up to you to cater to your child’s variant needs. Even if they are clearly comfortable with one method of learning, challenging them a little every now and then by switching up their learning styles is a sure way to help them grow.