learning styles

Your Child’s Learning Styles

Few things frustrate parents more than trying to teach a child who won’t sit still, won’t stop talking, or won’t listen until the directions have been repeated twenty times. However, our frustration could often be relieved if we simply understood differences in learning styles.

Learning Styles

A child’s dominate learning style, or learning modality, describes how he or she receives and processes information.

    1. Auditory processors learn by listening or talking.
    2. Visual processors learn by seeing or making mental images.
    3. Kinesthetic or tactile processors learn by doing.

Learn how to teach to your child’s learning style (click here)!

A child’s primary learning style is referred to as his or her “dominant modality”. The next favored learning style is referred to as the “secondary modality”. A child’s least favored modality is considered a “weakness”.

Some children can function equally well using all three different learning styles. This is known as “mixed modalities.”

After working with many kids over the years, my experience has been that most children aged 3 or younger actually start out with dual modalities. Most children’s dominant learning style is kinesthetic and their secondary learning style is either Auditory or Visual.

How often have you been in a store and your toddler has NEEDED to touch everything. As they grow older, however, their primary and secondary learning styles switch due to how we educate our children (which is heavily focused on auditory and visual).

Because traditional classrooms cater to auditory and visual learners, children who are equally auditory and visual learned are generally labeled gifted. On the other hand, a kinesthetic and auditory child who learns through movement and sound may be incorrectly labeled hyperactive or ADHD.

As adults we have our own preferences as to how we receive or communicate information. Many times we want to teach our children in a way that makes sense to us.

However, it is counter-productive to tell a kinesthetic child to sit still and listen, or to tell an auditory learner not to hum while writing. In doing so, we take away the very tools the child needs to learn.

Teaching to our child’s modality makes learning more efficient and enjoyable. It also limits conflict and helps children learn to maximize their strengths and use them to compensate for areas of weakness.

Learn how to teach to your child’s learning style (click here)!