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How to Use Your Child’s Learning Style to Improve Their Learning

By Huntington Learning Center

No students learn exactly alike, yet it’s so important for children to understand themselves as learners.

How can you start the conversation with your child to help them become more self-aware about the learning environments and approaches that fit them well? Here are several tips:

Give them an overview. There are many different learning style models out there, but one of the most common is the VARK model, which looks to the senses as the primary mode of learning. Talk with this about your child so they are familiar. Share with them that:

  • Visual learners learn best through the use of visual aids, diagrams, or other visual tools other than words.
  • Auditory learners learn through listening, reading aloud and talking about ideas.
  • Reading/writing learners like words! They like to read things themselves to learn them and they tend to be skilled at articulating their knowledge and ideas in writing.
  • Kinesthetic learners prefer to experience information for themselves, either by touching it, holding it or doing it themselves.

Talk about multimodal learners. Many students are flexible in the way they learn and use more than one mode of learning to understand. So, even if your child seems to learn easily by seeing things in a diagram or visual aid, they might also like to read information to themselves to absorb it. Explain this to your child so that they realize that they might very well like to learn in different ways for different subjects, and that their preferences might evolve over time.

Observe your child and talk about when they feel most confident as a learner. Start paying attention to how your child learns. Is your child the type to listen well to teachers as they talk? Do they prefer to read things to themselves? Take note of what you see at home and ask your child what they think too.

Try different study times and spaces. Some children are creatures of habit when it comes to homework, but others might be following their parent’s suggestions. If your child has always done homework at a desk in a quiet place, try a move to the dining room table with some light music. Does this have any effect? Does your child seem more or less attentive? If your two children tend to do homework side by side in the kitchen, try separating them to see if this has any impact on productivity.

Talk with your child about favorite subjects and units within those subjects. Sometimes this alone can be enlightening. Does your child like subjects that are heavy on the reading (like history)? Those that have students on their feet being active (like science)? Does your child have a fun, vibrant teacher who is often lecturing, and if so, how do they like that class?

Another reason understanding your child’s learning style is valuable is that it helps you when working with your child’s teacher.

Call 1-800 CAN LEARN to discuss Huntington’s academic evaluation. Discover how and when your child learns effectively and put them on a path to success!