Every child has his/her own learning style, and hence must be taught differently to help nurture them to their best abilities. Here are some useful tips for the three types of learning styles – auditory, kinesthetic and visual – to give your child the upper hand in their learning journey.
- Make learning a fun experience with nursery rhymes, haikus, tongue-twisters and simple limericks. They are ideal for the auditory learner with the use of rhyming, alliteration (words beginning with the same sound), and onomatopoeia (words mimicking sounds).
- Introduce your child to dramatic readings, poetry slams and choral readings, and have him read out loud to himself.
- Consider giving him an inexpensive tape recorder to take down lessons. (Do check with his teacher or the school first. It should not present a problem if used responsibly.)
- Audiobooks, albeit more expensive, could make it easier for your auditory learner child to absorb more difficult books.
- Short 15-minute power study intervals work better for kinesthetic learners.
- Where practical, allow your child to memorise things while walking or pacing.
- Teach reading and writing with movable letter tiles, like the game pieces from “Scrabble”.
- Have your child cultivate the habit of writing things down as the action of writing is important for the kinesthetic learner to link learning with experience.
- Simple arithmetic might be better taught with tangible objects, such as dried beans, shells or pebbles. When the child is older, consider letting him learn to use an abacus, which has movable beads that might help to internalise mathematical operations.
- Kinesthetic learners have difficulty concentrating when they don’t have something to do, so have patience if he appears inattentive or distracted.
- Get your child to “translate” the written word to picture and vice versa. An example would be to convert a favourite story to pictures, such as storyboards or comic strips.
- Supplement words with pictures and symbols.
- Teach him to draw and utilise mind-maps.
- Get him to make connections between ideas and symbols by pointing out symbols seen in everyday life, like red stop signs, gendered washroom signs, etc.
- Encourage him to read both graphic novels and traditional books.
- Facilitate a quick grasp of mathematical concepts with computer softwares that illustrate mathematics in graphics.
Originally published in “Tips to engage your child according to his learning style”, written by Kwa Chia Rhun, in Singapore’s Child January 2013.