Introducing the Right Learning

The way you talk with your children makes a tremendous difference in how they think and feel about themselves. By understanding their mind, you’re creating a bridge to aid communication and knowledge.

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Last month, I criticized some parents on how they handle education at home. Now, in an effort to put the topic in a more positive light, I will detail some of the things parents can do to foster a better learning culture.

Helping your child to learn better
To take advantage of learning opportunities in daily life, consider these ideas:

  • Ensure that your child is in the mood. For example, don’t start instruction at the end of the week when you are both tired.
    Make the desired information relevant. For example, they may hate math, but what about helping them create a budget to efficiently buy a pair of shoes or a favorite toy?
    Make learning sessions fun and not overly long.
    Break it down—three short blasts work better than a single, long lesson.
    Use an approach that best suits your child, not yourself.
    Feed your child knowledge before bed, so information is better embedded in the brain. Review in the morning.
    Using all of a child’s senses will make it more fun and help them learn.

What’s your child’s learning style?
Have a look at the four learning styles to find you and your child’s type. How does your child vary from you and how can you use your collective strengths to complement each other and boost the at-home environment?

How does your child vary from you and how can you use your collective strengths to complement each other and boost the at-home environment?

Learning styles
Psychologists have categorized learning as
dynamic, but here’s a more simplified perspective with four styles from which to choose:

1. Visual learner
* Needs and likes to visualize things
* Learns through images—can remember pictures on a page
* Enjoys art and drawing
* Effectively reads maps, charts and diagrams
* Interested in machines and inventions
* Plays with Legos, other construction toys and jigsaw puzzles
* Can be a daydreamer

To encourage this thinking:
* Use board and memory games to create visual patterns
* Suggest visual clues when reading together—let your child “paint” their own mental pictures as they read
* Offer picture books of all types, even as they age
* Show videos of plays, films, etc. to reinforce stories they are studying

2. Kinesthetic learner
* Processes knowledge through physical sensations
* Highly active; not able to sit still
* Communicates using body language and gestures
* May be good at mimicking others
* Enjoys sports or other activities where they can move

To encourage this type of thinking:
* Allow the student to move around after a time while studying
* Chewing gum or being able to doodle or fiddle with something can help them concentrate
* Use hands-on activities and experiments, art projects, nature walks or acted-out stories, so they “feel” the activities
* Avoid things they don’t like: long range planning, complicated projects, paper & pencil tasks, workbooks, etc.

3. Auditory learner
* Thinks in words and verbalizes concepts
* Spells words accurately and easily, as they can hear the different sounds; tends to learn phonetically, rather than through “look and say” techniques
* Can be a good reader, though some prefer spoken word
* Has excellent memory for names, dates and trivia
* Likes word games
* Enjoys using tape recorders and often musically talented
* Usually able to learn times tables with relative ease

To encourage this type of thinking:
* Push them to create their own word problems
* Read aloud together and tape sessions for later playback
* Use books-on-tape
* For older children, record information on tapes

4. Logical learner
* Thinks conceptually; likes to explore patterns and relationships
* Enjoys puzzles and seeing how things work
* Constantly questions and wonders
* Likes routine and consistency
* Capable of highly abstract forms of thinking at early age
* Easily does mental arithmetic
* Enjoys strategy games, computers and experiments with a purpose
* Creates own designs to build with blocks/Legos
* Not as creative

To encourage this type of thinking:

  • Do science experiments together and have them record the results
    Use computer learning games and word puzzles
    Introduce non-fiction and rhyming books

Come on Mom and Dad, with all the new tools to better educate in the modern age, parents no longer have any excuses to blame on poor educational performance.

Observe and determine your child’s learning style and devise more strategic activities for them at home. Successfully doing so will foment a love of learning in your child that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Category Class Act