How to Determine Your Child’s Learning Style

Learning styles play an important role in how kids learn and how teachers teach. Since children — especially those who are preschool-aged and below — are taught primarily by their parents, it is also important that we know as much as we can about our children’s learning styles.

According to the Oxford Reference website, learning styles refer to “particular ways in which individuals engage in learning.”

A child’s learning style is defined as “how she processes information around her.” They vary depending on how the child connects the information to his own life.

Learning styles also overlap with Gardner’s multiple intelligences. Determining one’s learning style also helps my students of all ages determine how they will attack and ‘hack’ lessons for better retention.”

Find out your child’s learning style
Contrary to what many people may think, one need not be a certified teacher or trained professional to determine a child’s learning style.

Communication is key, regardless if you are the parent or the teacher of that child.

Thus, it is important that parents spend time with their children, and get to know them as much as they can.
The best thing a parent can do is to leave behind past notions about learning and focus on the child.

“Parents usually have a preconceived notion that a child should be sitting at a desk, quiet, sans music, etc. [in order to learn]. This is not the only environment for learning and you will only know what works with your child if you know him well.”

The bulk of determining a child’s learning style is really on observation.

For example, if you watch a movie, you can wait and see who notices the animation and the drawing style (visual smart), who remembers the soundtrack (auditory smart), and who is the most affected by the emotion and the morals (intrapersonal smart)! The result is almost always consistent!

In addition, I believe that all kids are tactile learners. Kids have to have the concrete material to touch and hold in order for them to fully learn, so talk about clay, manipulatives, etc. Actually, learning styles usually come in a combination of two styles.”

Here are a few things you can do:

1. Get to know your child
If you want to determine your child’s learning style, you really need to get to know him.

Take an interest in what he watches, listens to, and reads. Talk to him about his friends, the places he likes going to, etc. You’ll be surprised at the info you’ll get — plus the bonding that will make you closer.

Although some people might say that kids could have only one out of the three or four basic learning styles (visual or image-smart, auditory or word-smart, tactile/kinesthetic or body-smart, logical or numbers-smart), the truth is that children can have a combination of styles.

Sometimes kids mix up styles according to what they’re learning. They can be auditory for some things and visual for others, or both.

2. Make the most out of your child’s learning style

Once you see how your child sees the work, and understands what’s going on around him, you can complement it by setting the physical and temporal environment for learning. For example, if you notice that your child works well with music, why not allow him to study with earphones on (if you want a quiet home, that is).

Here is an example of how to interact with different kinds of learners:

For the visual learner, every output would always come with an illustration. Explanations would be presented in a diagram form.

For the auditory learner, they would find songs connected with the lesson. YoutTube was a big resource for their family then.

For the emotional learner, every lesson would have a moral story so that the concept would appeal to her affect.

3. Adjust accordingly

It may be a long process because you have to test which learning style your child has. It will be trial and error at the beginning.

As your child grows, her learning style changes too, so you have to also be open to changes in teaching/tutoring style.

4. Appreciate (and use) other styles
Don’t be afraid to explore other learning styles, even if you have already identified your children’s unique style.

Knowing a child’s learning style should not stop a parent from exploring the least preferred method. That now becomes your room for improvement, so all styles may be utilized for a more holistic learning.

Happier kids, happier you
Ultimately, knowing your child’s learning style can certainly be beneficial not just to you, as a parent, but to him or her as well. This way, learning becomes a whole lot easier — which makes for happier children and happier parents.