Do you find that your child is receptive to certain learning techniques more than others? For example, while they can find it hard to understand concepts and theories that you vocalise to them about, they may grasp the concept better if they see a visual representation of it. Another example could be your child not being able to process things as well on paper as compared to listening to information, repeating them and having a conversation about the given topic. What kind of self-learner is your child? Have you exposed him or her to the different forms of learning that will help them to pick up concepts and theories faster? Here are three kinds of learning that your child might be more receptive to, and the different methods of learning that may resonate with your child better.
If your child is a visual learner, it means that they learn the best through images and visual representations of concepts and theories. Your child might often request you to provide him or her with visual cues when they want to learn something that they are unfamiliar with. A drawing, a graph, or a photograph will give them a better idea of what you are talking about.
Aiding visual learners in their education provides you with many different kinds of opportunities to engage with them. As they study, parents can encourage their children to draw or doodle in their notebooks, linking concepts to visuals that they create themselves. For example, while trying to understand the life cycle of a butterfly, having them draw out the lifecycle can help them with processing and retaining the information better.
Another example with mind maps could help with condensing and synthesising information. After each chapter is covered in class, you can encourage your child to summarise all the information into a mind map to see how everything correlates, or how some information, when put together, make up to form bigger concepts. Especially when it comes to subjects that require critical thinking, mind maps are great at helping children understand rather than simply memorise.
Auditory learners learn best when they are exposed to verbal instructions and absorb like a sponge when listening in class. They are good listeners and understand concepts and theories by either asking questions to clarify or explaining theories themselves. If given the choice to learn through a textbook and an audio textbook or a live lecture online, auditory learners would choose the audio textbook or live lecture. If your child learns best by listening and vocalising their thoughts, incorporating these ways of learning into their study plan will help tremendously.
You can help your child to study better with methods that require interactive learning. Being a study companion for auditory learners can be one way of achieving this. As you sit down with your child to revise on subjects, help them to process their thoughts better through communicating. For example, while reading out concepts together from collated notes, you can question their understanding of the concept by asking them to rephrase it differently, or elaborate more by having them explain with examples. Expose them to audio forms of learning, such as listening to documentaries on social media platforms like YouTube, or help them to memorise facts through singing nursery rhymes or jingles, where original lyrics are replaced with learned information.
If you would like to encourage your child to study independently, teach them to explain concepts to themselves and verbalise them while they are studying. Creating a safe space to help them vocalise their thoughts, either to themselves or with others is important.
If your child is constantly looking for hands-on activities to learn and pick up new skills, he or she might be a kinesthetic learner. Kinesthetic learners need to be able to experience something tangibly in their hands in order to understand it better. When solving math problems, for example, children can understand the application of equations better through hands-on learning. If a question involves addition and subtraction, having physical objects like sweets that can be added on or removed will help with their learning. In understanding science concepts, excursions to the science centre will also aid in their learning as they can apply their knowledge at interactive stations.
Gamification is also another way to help your child understand how to apply concepts and theories that they have learnt. Board games are great at educating your child, as there are so many different kinds to choose from. If you want to teach your child the concept of money and transactions, Monopoly is a great way to exercise the mind and practise mental calculations. Other kinds of games can also stimulate the mind. Scrabble, for example, improves your child’s language capabilities while chess enhances your child’s ability to think strategically and critically.
Parents can help their children find ways to learn concepts in the most hands-on way possible. Be it through experiments, outdoor activities, or arts and crafts, there’s so much room to explore creative learning techniques for your kinaesthetic learner.
These are some of the different learning styles that your child might prefer. Tailoring these learning styles to what they need is important in helping them to learn things faster and more efficiently. They would be able to make use of their time to learn things more productively. More often than not, many children also have different learning styles depending on the subject and topic of learning. As parents, you can take time to understand what suits them best and apply a combination of learning styles that best works for them.
As your child is exposed to different forms of learning, he or she would also gradually modify existing learning styles to suit changing needs. Your child would be able to gradually learn independently and apply these learning techniques not only in academics, but in other areas where they have to pick up new life skills and soft skills.
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