Please read the underneath question. If one of the following answers hold true for you then you can continue reading this article. You might find this informative.
Question- How does your child learns/picks a new concept?
Answer 1. My child likes to learn through singing rhymes or listening to some music.
Answer 2. My child likes to learn through books, pictures, charts or watching a video.
Answer 3. My child likes to learn by doing or experiencing himself. He is an explorer.
Answer4. More than one of the above hold true.
As an Early Years Educator I had an interesting observation. Although children in my class were of same age group but there was a huge difference in the way they behaved and reacted to a situation. There was an eclectic mix. Each child had a different area of interest. While some enjoyed singing rhymes there were others who unleashed their energies in lush green outdoors. I was amused to see how a two year old loves to flip through books everyday in his free time and was never bored of it. Most of these children had a short attention span whereas few of them could just sit at one place and listen to stories for quite long. It was tricky to handle such varied personalities but we were well equipped to do so. What I experienced was that parents are largely unaware of the ways to handle these differences and are left bewildered So, I wrote this to share the information for the benefit of all.
Children have different learning styles. Some learn fast by seeing things while others grasp instantly through listening. Many children like to do things themselves .We can also know our child’s learning style and make learning fun and easier for him.
- Visual Learners– Most of the Children are good visual learners. They like big and colourful objects. Bright things catch their attention instantly. That’s the reason the toys for children are never made in pastel hues. They prefer reading picture story books to listening to stories. They can visualize anything easily in their mind and have a strong imagination. Creative props and teaching aids enhance the learning process. They like to learn through pictures, graphs and charts.
Different activities for visual learners-
- If you want to teach counting numbers to a visual learner then pick up spoons, ice cream sticks or glasses from your kitchen. Counting them will be fun. You can also draw the number of objects with different colours on a drawing board/ slate.
- Teach shapes through a magic bag. You can make a magic bag with different shaped toys/ daily use things. The surprise factor works well.
- Colours can be taught through pencil colours or paints. Simply identifying a colour and then encouraging the child to fill that colour on a picture.
- Auditory Learners– These children like to listen about things/ concepts. So we can say they are very good listeners. This also makes them easily distracted to unwanted noise and interruptions. They follow instructions well and are generally very talkative. Auditory learners pick up words and language spoken by people around very fast. At times, we are amazed to see how fast a child can learn a rhyme or a musical tune. These children mostly have good memory skills. A Child can be both a visual and auditory learner although one style is generally dominant.
Different activities for auditory learners-
- They pick up alphabets and sounds through rhymes and songs. Play music or sing with them.
- Give them a mike and let them speak on it. They will enjoy identifying and reading numbers/ alphabets on a mike.
- Let them record their voice and listen to it over and over again. They can learn concepts easily.
- Kinesthetic Learners– They like to do things themselves. Learning by doing is the key for them. These children have over abundance of energy and are always on move. They like to explore and experiment with things. All this results in a short attention span. We can see some parents complaining how their child does not sit and study or how their child is very fidgety and restless. We need to understand that learning process needs to be customized for them. Making them sit at one place forcefully and teaching them through a copy pencil is killing the sheer joy of learning for them. They might soon develop an aversion for studies.
Different activities for kinesthetic learners-
- What a fun it could be play hopscotch and jump on a particular number . They will love to count number of oranges in a fruit tray or number of flowering pots in the garden.
- Touching a green leaf or a yellow flower or a brown bench can never be boring. They enjoy doing it again and again.
- Make different alphabet/sound flash cards .Hide them in the room at different places. Let your child search for it and identify the alphabet/sound written on it.
These activities just give us an idea. Identify the learning style of your child and design activities according to the topic to be taught. I am sure you will never complain that your child does not want to study. One activity can’t suit all. That’s the sole reason schools include everything in their curriculum to cater to different needs of children. For Example- A rhyme is taught by singing (audio), dancing (kinesthetic) and also showing related pictures (visual).
(This post by the author has already been published on http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/3cs-children-competition-and-compassion/article/know-your-childs-learning-style)