So, my child is a visual learner. He can never excel in auditory tasks. Right?
Let’s talk. I haven’t been personal in these newsletters, to keep an objective perspective, but I’m going to do it today. For those who haven’t been along on this long and fascinating journey into the learning style of your Precious, you didn’t miss too much; feel free to pick up the earlier articles in the Learning Category.
Some people asked, “If my child is a visual learner, should I try to cultivate that and slant all his learning experiences that way?”
My answer: No. It’s not practical. This is just Teacher Sue’s personal opinion, so if you differ, it’s perfectly fine with me! :)
Why is it not practical? As your little one grows up, he will enter a world where the teaching approach will not be nicely suited to his learning style. To accustom him to learning ONLY his way would not help to prepare him for his future (yeah, especially if his education pathway leads to the Uni!). In fact, it would greatly disadvantage him.
A better alternative would be to gradually strengthen his weak areas while teaching him to adapt his learning environment to suit his learning style. Wah, what does all that imply? No jargon, remember?
Yes, I remember. :) So here it is in plain English. We want to find a way to help your visual learner to pick up auditory and kinaesthetic skills, and your auditory learner to pick up visual and kinaesthetic skills, and so on. At the same time, we want to teach him how to take the information he is given at school and learn it his way.
STRENGTHENING WEAK AREAS
Here are some ways to help your child’s weak areas. These are just suggestions, all right, so play away and let your creativity set the boundaries!
To encourage visual learning
- play memory games that involve seeing (eg, give him three items on a tray, have him name them, then close his eyes and name them again)
- play description games (a fun one is Exaggerations: you both look at something, and try to describe it in the superlative, it’s just a fun way to practice visual strengthening!)
- play card games that require good sight memory. Make it fun!
To encourage auditory learning
- do you remember those sequence games we used to play, “I’m going camping. I will take a tent…” And the next person says, “I will take a tent and a towel….” and then, “I will take a tent, a towel and a toddler…” Adapt the game to make it funny and play it with your little one. (It could be, “I’m going to feed Sasha. I need a bowl…” etc; try to pick something that she’s interested in!)
- play I Spy
- tell stories, making them up as you go along by taking turns to contribute just ONE sentence each time
To encourage kinaesthetic learning
- play coordination games (balance a beanbag on your head, tiptoe along a straight line)
- introduce your child to a gym/exercise area (our communities often have one somewhere near the playgrounds), and let him play there
- work on mini-projects such as painting, stringing beads, origami
ADAPTING TO LEARN YOUR WAY
As your little one grows older, he will need to absorb a lot more information than he is absorbing now in preschool… But it’s not too early to start teaching him fruitful study skills. (You might want to look back at my post on auditory learners for some examples). If you find that your child learns best by seeing information, teach him to represent them pictorially (no need for fine artwork, the idea is picture note-taking!) or make organized lists to help him remember better. Find his strength and teach him to take charge of his own learning! Your reward will be an excellent learner who loves learning.
RESOURCES… here are some links for further reading (if you’re interested!)
- Auditory learners
- Visual learners
- Kinaesthetic learners (three good articles by a mother of a kinaesthetic learner)
In all your endeavors, remember: never give up! Your child is worth the time. Persevere even when he seems to be a hopeless case. Sedikit sedikit lama lama jadi bukit! All the best!
Coming up next (yes, this is the last of this series): Perfect Fit? More Than One Learning Style
Want to contribute? Do drop me a note specifying your article topic and a brief summary. I’d love to publish you!