What kind of learner is your child? Do you know how to teach your child according to his needs, or are you spinning your wheels teaching the wrong way?
In order to teach your child well, it is important to understand your child’s learning style.
The VAKT – (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic/Tactile) learning style model is probably the most widely known and explored way of looking at how learners learn. This model focuses on the way people receive information into their brains as input channels. As individuals, we take in information through seeing things, hearing things, doing activities and touching objects. We also take in information through our senses of smell and taste, but those channels are not overly valuable in concept learning as it relates to academics.
When a learner takes in information through his eyes, he processes the information in the visual, picture-oriented center of his brain. Most aptly shared by Temple Grandin in her book, “Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism,” her way of thinking is entirely visual. For learners whose strength is in processing visual images, typical teaching through talking, reading, or language-based learning will not bring a high level of learning progress. Whereas, if teaching is provided through rich imagery, charts, graphs, and other visual depictions of information, then your visual learner will process the information with the greatest efficiency. Check out our Visual Learners page to learn more about the Visual Learning Style.
When a learner takes in information through his ears, through lecture, or through reading, the information is language-based in nature because the information must be processed in the language center of the brain. The vast majority of traditional teaching is taught towards an auditory learning style, so if a child has an auditory learning style, any teacher has a greater ability to find ready-made curricula that meets the needs of an auditory learner. Check out our Auditory Learners page to learn more about the Auditory Learning Style.
The least common, and the most problematic in a traditional classroom is the Kinesthetic/Tactile learning style. Learners who learn best by actively doing things, hands-on activities, and bodily movement are active learners who require modifications of most instructional materials in order to meet their individual needs. In a traditional classroom, these are the learners who are most likely to be fidgety, in and out of their desks, swinging their legs, and are otherwise unable to “sit still” at the request of their teacher. When a child has a Kinesthetic/Tactile learning style, if he is not moving, he is not learning. Check out our Kinesthetic/Tactile Learners page to learn more about the dynamic and fun Kinesthetic/Tactile Learning Style.
For additional information, here is a good explanatory video which discusses each of the primary learning styles along with some tips for working with each learning style:
Similar inventories, with different questions, can be found at: http://www.whatismylearningstyle.com/learning-style-test-1.html and http://www.whatismylearningstyle.com/learning-style-test-2.html. These two tests are both provided by Piedmont Education Services, but use different testing formats. Use whichever one you prefer.
By using a variety of the tools I have provided for you here, you should be able to assess your child’s learning style with fairly good accuracy.