Monday, November 28, 2011

Which Learning Style Describes Your Preschooler Best?

Ever noticed that you learn better in some situations and conditions than others? Are you a "show me and I will understand" type of person? Or are you rather a "here, let me do it" kind of person? The answers to these questions identify the way you prefer to learn. In general, there are three ways by which we learn:

    Kinetic (Kinesthetic)

Although we learn by all three methods, many children are naturally more inclined to one of the three. As parents, it is important to be aware of this and to recognize any preference that exists. It is even more important to realize that your own learning style may be different from the learning style of your child. It is most important to establish this as soon as possible so that you can change your teaching style to match your child's preferred learning style.

Visual Learners

Visual learners gain knowledge best through the use of pictures, videos, and other visible forms of communication. To appeal to a visual learner, you must use some form of visual aid to explain a point and to assist the communication process between you and your child. These pictures become their memories, and they recall these pictures when they try to remember things.

The key for these learners is linking pictures with words.

A parent can clarify the meaning of words and actions by the following three methods:

    using accurate gestures
    showing points in certain pictures
    acting out certain actions that can be confusing to children

Some children learn best through the creation of their own visuals and observing others in the creation of visuals.

Auditory Learners

Auditory learning is based around what children hear; auditory learning is communication through words. This form of learning happens when a story is read to children and they absorb information through listening. Because auditory learners don't visualize as well as visual learners, auditory learning focuses the most heavily on listening to stories and the osmosis of knowledge through such listening.

A word of caution: many children who are strong auditory learners may appear to be not paying attention when being spoken to or read to.

But be aware that this may not be the case! A strong auditory learner is constantly listening and paying attention to what he or she is hearing. To develop this learning style, the reading and talking parts of lessons are key.

Kinetic (Kinesthetic) Learners

Kinetic learning is learning through experience, by doing things. Many children learn extremely well when they are given hands-on activities that focus on them exploring to learn. This learning is necessary for the development of the fine and large motor skills important in a child's early years.

Kinetic learning is ever present in children, who are constantly growing and learning how to physically conduct themselves. Many children, especially those with high energy, experience profound learning from kinetic movement and exploration of materials.

Children who show a strong affinity for kinetic learning may have boundless energy and be those always wanting to be doing something.


Make sure you identify the preferred learning style of your child so that you can adapt your teaching accordingly. This will avoid frustration for both you and your child. One "middle of the road" approach is to read colorfully illustrated story books to your children.

Reading colorfully illustrated story books to your children directly appeals to auditory (words) and visual (illustrations) learners. Even if your child is predominantly a kinetic type learner, he or she will still benefit from such reading. Remember, a particular learning style is generally just a preference. In most cases, children learn by all three styles.

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