If you know how your child masters information, you know how to guide and help him with his studies
Life in this new normal will see parents’ role change and evolve when it comes to their children’s education. With online classes happening inside our homes, parents will be more involved by helping their children with their homework and, from time to time, by filling the gap that face-to-face classroom instructions will leave. This new scenario is a challenge, but also an opportunity for parents to find out how their child learns best so they can guide them accordingly.
Learning styles are often determined based on how a child is able to absorb, process, understand, and learn information. The VARK model, attributed to a 1992 study by authors Neil D. Fleming and Coleen E. Mills, represents four learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, and Kinesthetic.
Also called “Spatial Learner,” this type learns best by seeing. Instructional materials like graphs, maps, pictures, illustrations, or diagrams help them comprehend lessons better. They tend to process information and concepts well when they can visualize them.
● Visual and vivid. They learn new words by associating them with the object it represents and they can memorize better by using visualization.
Tip: Write the names of the objects (i.e. spoon, ball, sofa) on index cards and ask them to match these with the things they see in your home. To help them memorize, associate words with symbols like the “check” symbol with the Czech Republic.
● Color-coded. They like using colors to highlight information.
Tip: Provide them with crayons or highlighters to help differentiate topics like common nouns from proper nouns or color code their notebooks by subjects.
● Make a list. This gives them a better picture of what needs to be done and learned.
Tip: Encourage them to write a to-do list making it easier for them to organize their thoughts.
Take a cue if your child can’t stop talking. In a classroom setting, this type can be social and at the same time be a good listener. They readily raise their hand to recite but find it a challenge to read quietly.
● Sing it. Music is something that engages them and helps them remember things.
Tip: Use a song or a jingle to teach them a new word or learn about the solar system or the months in a calendar.
● Repeat it. They absorb lessons or apply a new skill best by ‘teaching’ or repeating what they’ve learned to somebody else.
Tip: Mommy or Mr. Cuddly Bunny can stand in as audience as the child ‘teaches’ them a new skill -- like tying a ribbon or explaining why a volcano erupts.
● Listen to it. Auditory books make great companions for this type, and help them understand new information better.
Tip: Check YouTube videos and other digital music services that provide a variety of audio storybooks that not only entertain but also expose learners to the art of storytelling.
They like taking notes so this type fits in well in a traditional classroom set-up. They easily absorb what they read and are most likely to google a new word they have encountered while reading. They prefer quiet spaces because it allows them to focus better.
● Big on books. Reading and writing helps them absorb new information best.
Tip: Expose them to a variety of books from the informative to the entertaining. Provide them with journals where they can write stories inspired by their readings.
● Write is right. They work on a task better when instructions are written down.
Tip: Create a study checklist or guide your child in making one using numbers or bullet points. Handouts and printed materials also come in handy.
● Re-write is also right. They like to rewrite notes that they have already taken to get the information drilled into their brain.
Tip: Some parents may find this confusing but let them be – this is a method they swear by especially among older kids as it helps them absorb information better.
This learner is active and interactive and wants to be hands-on to be fully engaged in the lesson at hand. While they are sometimes referred to as “tactile learners” this can be a misnomer because they tend to use all their senses rather than just their sense of touch. Activity is a key and they might find it a challenge to keep still.
● Fidgeting is fine. They like to stand, pace, or recite when processing information.
Tip: Online classes might work for them as it gives them more freedom to move around or fidget unlike a classroom set-up. When doing homework, give them breaks in between.
● Move it! They absorb information better when taught with activities that require body movement.
Tip: Let them count with their fingers, sing the alphabet, or mimic animal behavior.
● Hands at work. They are great with projects that allow them to build, create, or design.
Tip: Encourage them to build scale models, use blocks, or work on manipulatives.
All children are unique and learn differently. Given this, it is not surprising that a child may fit in more than one learning style and it is up to the parents to approach studying in a way that will maximize learning.
About The Writer
Dahl Marie Bennett
Dahl Marie D. Bennett is a full-time freelancer and regularly contributes to Smart Parenting, abs-cbn.com, and PAL’s inflight magazine, Mabuhay. Before this, she worked as a media and communications specialist for Miriam College. She continues to do consultancy work and special projects for the school. Being a freelancer gave Dahl the time to pursue her passion for yoga, specifically of the Ashtanga tradition. In 2019, she got certified as an Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga teacher after completing 200 hours of training under seasoned yoga teacher, Jovan Nikolic. She is also a mom to Dylan, her 17-year-old daughter who will be off to college soon and for whom she will terribly miss making baon for.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.