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Your Child's Learning Style

What Is a Learning Style?

A learning style is the method by which a person begins to process, comprehend and learn new information.

Learning Styles Theories

There are many different theories about learning styles, cognitive styles and multiple intelligences. I've found it useful to identify my children's learning styles, and to assess materials and resources according to whether they are Visual, Auditory, or Tactual-Kinesthetic. The last is actually two different learning styles, but I don't find it useful to separate them, as any tactual experience will also be kinesthetic, and vice versa.

Learning Styles are Not Exclusive

It is probably best to think of your child's learning style as a preference. A visual learner learns most easily and rapidly when presented with visual information. That doesn't mean she can't learn from auditory or tactual-kinesthetic information, just not as easily.

Children under the age of 8 are generally Tactual-Kinesthetic learners, with auditory and visual preferences developing in the early elementary years.

Identifying Your Child's Learning Style

There are formal assessments for identifying learning style (see the links at the bottom of the page). I found it fairly to easy my children's learning style by simply watching them. When they were younger, I made sure to provide materials that suited all learning styles.

There are three basic learning styles:

Supporting Your Child's Learning Style

Your Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child's Learning Style

Deaf and hard of hearing children tend to be visual learners by default. It is possible to be hard of hearing and be an auditory learner, which obviously presents some additional challenges.

Picking up auditory information is difficult for many children with hearing loss, so it's important to also provide visual and tactual input whenever possible. Use manipulatives and draw pictures and diagrams to support information that you give orally.

Related Resources

Learning Styles
Many articles about the various aspects of learning styles.

Benchmarks & Content Standards
Using benchmarks and content standards for curriculum planning and academic assessment.

Buying a Homeschool Curriculum
Tips for evaluating curricula and making the best choice for your family.

Designing a Homeschool Curriculum
A five step guide to designing your own curriculum.

Homeschooling Methods
An overview of the various homeschooling methods.

Learning: The process by which a relatively lasting change in potential behavior occurs as a result of practice or experience. - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.

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