We learn by "seeing it" (visually), "hearing it" (auditorily), or "moving and doing it" (kinesthetically), and most of us have one primary learning style through which we best learn and remember information. All of us can benefit from identifying and understanding our individual learning styles.
Seeing is believing
"Material should be presented in a variety of ways to accommodate students' different learning styles. For example, if new spelling words are printed on the blackboard in addition to being said aloud, visual learners see the way the word looks, so they remember more easily." (Parent Newsletter, NDCU Extension Service, October 1997). Simple adjustments in your child's routine based upon his unique learning style will help him to increase academic success and emotional growth.
Visual learners rely upon seeing information. They benefit from seeing the way something looks or works, by watching a demonstration, and recalling images when trying to remember something. The visual learner tends to remember faces rather than names, and give directions based on landmarks rather than street signs. These children excel in classrooms where they see movies, watch overhead projectors for examples of new concepts or material, and take notes. If you were to look in their notebooks, you'd find well-organized sections, pages of notes containing well-documented information, and a lot of doodling.Strategies for visual learners
- Write things down.
- Make to-do lists.
- Look at the person who is talking to you. This will help you to stay focused.
- Study independently, rather than in groups.
- Take notes in class; recopy to recall information.
- Highlight information.
- Make flash cards for vocabulary words (words on one side, definitions on the other), math facts, and other important information.
- Use a homework recording book. Check off assignments when complete, and cross off when turned in.
- Establish a quiet and organized homework space at home (clutter can be distracting).
- Watch movies.
- Use maps.
- Make charts, diagrams, or graphs.
- Create mental images using descriptive words to describe color, shape, size, location.
- Keep a journal or log to record trips, activities, and daily events. Younger children can make picture entries, while older children can use a combination of pictures and writing. In some instances, actual memoirs can be glued into the book.
- Establish a Reading Incentive Program. Reward students for each book that they read, and each project or report they complete. This can become a competitive event for siblings or friends.
- Create a large wall map of your local area. Use colored stickers to mark each place you visit (older students might develop a special key, associating specific categories with colors. Restaurants, for example, could be marked with green dots, parks and recreation with red, movie theaters with yellow, etc.).
- Make a special photo album where children can include captions near their pictures by using magnetic 8 1/2" x 11" album pages. Glue photos onto colored paper before placing them into the album. Add paragraphs or sentences explaining the pictures.