How children learn.
The term “learning style” refers to different ways in which we learn, process, and retain information. All young children learn through meaningful hands-on experiences—through touching, doing, and moving. And children also learn through seeing and hearing. As you observe your child, you will begin to identify strengths and preferences that tell you something about your child’s preferred learning style.
You want to foster your child’s strengths, but remember that it helps to challenge them to grow as well. Your child can excel in a variety of areas. Therefore, offer a variety of experiences to help your child develop new strengths and interests that will broaden his or her understanding of the world.
Types of learning Styles
These are the four main types of learning styles:
Visual learners learn through seeing. Children who are visual processors tend to observe a parent’s or teacher’s body language and facial expressions for content and learn through demonstrations and descriptions. They tend to have well-developed imaginations and often think in pictures. Too much movement or action in a classroom may cause distraction for them. For older children who read, written instructions may help clarify verbal directions.
How Can You Determine Your Child’s Learning Style?
The best way to learn about your child’s learning style is to observe what he or she is doing. Actions, interests, and preferences will provide information about how he or she is processing information.
If your child has developmental delays, you may find that you often focus on what your child isn’t yet doing. Instead, try to focus on his strengths and favourite activities. All children, even the most challenged, have interests and preferences. Identifying these helps increase a child’s motivation for learning. Ask yourself questions like these:
How Can You Support Your Child’s Learning Style?
Parents and teachers have a tremendous influence on children. Understanding how a child learns can improve how we teach them. Early childhood programs are often organised in a way that supports the range of children’s strengths and needs.
This includes having:
This supports participation of children with a wide range of learning styles, while also exposing children to experiences they may not typically seek out.
As adults, we can help children better understand their strengths and individual differences, while supporting challenges. You can seek out real-world experiences that extend your child’s learning. For example, if your child is interested in fish and aquatic life, visit an aquarium. Your child will retain more information and develop a broader understanding of the world if information is meaningful and presented in a way that meets his or her individual learning style.