What’s My Child’s Learning Style?

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Do you know how your child best acquires and processes information?

The four most common learning styles among children are visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile, says Evelyn Wright, the director and owner of the Maryland-based tutoring service Wright Academics.

Visual learners learn best by seeing things and receiving spoken instruction with accompanying visuals. These learners struggle with information that’s purely provided in a spoken fashion, which is a main characteristic in online learning.

“If you have a visual learner, you don’t just want to say the directions out to them,” Wright says. “You also want to have some sort of visual that’s going to remind them to do something, because they’re not going to take in information efficiently when they’re hearing it.”

In contrast, auditory learners rely on their listening comprehension skills while learning. These learners struggle when classroom instructions are entirely visual and rely on visual aids.

Tactile learners rely on touch and sensation to aid their learning, while kinesthetic learners heavily rely on movement. Despite the rigid distinctions in learning styles, Wright adds that most students learn best with instruction that caters to a mix of all four styles.

“But when you talk about the type of learner a person is, it’s usually about what their predominant learning style is,” she says.

To help parents determine what their child’s specific learning style is, Wright recommends they look at what the child is naturally good at doing.

According to Wright, children who are creative and artistic lean more towards a visual learning style. Children who are athletic and enjoy moving around are better kinesthetic learners.

On the other hand, children who enjoy being social need constant conversations while learning and associate more as auditory learners. For children who are more introverted and quiet, Wright says they could be a mix of auditory and tactile learners.