What you know about the different types of learning style may be intuitive. If you have more than one child, you might have noticed they are ‘different’ in the way they learn and repeat information back to you. This basic observation of children led several social scientists in the 20th century to define learning styles in children, teens and adults.
In this blog, we are looking at learning styles in pre-school to early primary-aged children. Watch out for our next blogs on older children and teenagers!
Why is it Desirable to Know What Learning Style Your Child Has?
Learning styles tend to dominate how a person explores the world. Learning styles influence the way a child plays, works, studies and socialises. The easiest way to explain this is through example. If your child enjoys books with pictures more than books that make funny noises you could have a visual learner on your hands. If your child has several books but always goes for the pop-up book full of textures and sensations, then it is likely your child is a tactile learner.
Part One: Pre-School to Early Primary-Aged Learning Styles
As children develop, their learning styles change. Younger children from early primary to mid-primary exhibit tendencies towards one of three learning styles, visual, auditory or tactile. The table below and checklist questions might help you identify which learning style your child has.
Visual learners learn through seeing. They think in pictures and may visualise in their mind the information they want to learn.
At MagiKats we use visual learning aids in our workshops. For example, we use flashcards for learning maths facts and picture match-up cards for English.
Visual learners may have difficulty paying attention reading a book without pictures. We encourage all groups to imagine the story as it is being read and we have picture reading books to help visual learners specifically. These help children "see" and remember what is being read. At home, you may find you need to embellish a story with lots of visual details to keep their interest.
Auditory learners use listening and hearing information to learn.
Reading aloud is by far your greatest tool if you have an auditory learner. In our workshops we use group discussion, reading aloud, reciting tables and spellings to take advantage of auditory learning opportunities. Fun counting games and rhymes are used too, such as “30 days has November …”. At home try a story on CD in the car when driving long distance - and ask questions about what has been heard.
Atactile/kinesthetic learner is characterised by a process approach called; touch, learn, do.
At MagiKats we recognise tactile learners need breaks and a good amount of space to work in as they are easily distracted. Tactile learners benefit from our Maths and English programme wrap-ups, using counters, measuring items, and Maths and English card challenge games. These activities provide the opportunity to touch, learn and then do (which is the writing the answer down part!). At home teach concepts using fingers and toes, objects and toys that have a ‘learning by touch’ component.
How Does MagiKats Use Learning Styles?
At all ages and learning development stages MagiKats employs a variety of styles and stimuli to aid study. All learners benefit from a multiple styles approach, and it helps everybody appreciate other people’s strengths. Everyone is different in a group learning environment like MagiKats and that’s all part of the fun! If there’s a specific learning style you think your child is demonstrating please share your findings with us and we can help make this part of your child’s learning programme.
What happens as my child gets older?
As a child matures, their learning style becomes more complex, but there are many tools out there that you can use to assess them yourself. Watch out for our next blog and find out more!
From the team at MagiKats HQ