Understanding Your Child's Learning Style
Knowing your child's own learning style can assure academic success. Here's what to look for.
Learning Styles: Identifying Your Child's Strengths continued...
"Some people are more visual and need pictures to learn, while print
learners need print," she explains.
Another aspect of learning style involves the environment, she says. For
example, noise, temperature or lighting may affect some children's ability to
"For one child, temperature might not make a difference, but some
children can't concentrate if it's too hot, and/or lighting can be a crucial
factor for some people if fluorescent lighting causes eyestrain," she
Learning Styles: Playing to Your Child's Strengths
Once you have identified your child's learning style, you can begin to build
on his or her strengths to compensate for learning weaknesses -- without
"If a little girl has a lot of spatial problems (difficulty picturing
things), but is terrific in English, she can learn math by putting everything
into her own words," Levine explains. "If you show her an equilateral
triangle and ask her to talk about it, boy, will she understand it.
"She can only understand things in words, which is why she is such a
terrific English student."
Another way to enhance learning is to focus on your child's affinities and
areas of interest.
"A lot of strength could ride on the coattails of their passions, and
you can build academic skills in that area," Levine says. "Have him
became an expert in the area that he feels passionate about."
Pelullo-Willis agrees. "Parents really should encourage children's
interests, talents and what they love to do," she says. "Parents tend
to say 'If you are not doing well in school, you can't take horseback riding
lessons,' but those are things that can build self-esteem.
Further, she says, "acknowledging and honoring their interests and
talents tells you a lot about their learning style. If your child is really
interested in plants and gardening, you can see if they are more hands-on and
they need to go out there and garden. Or do they learn better from pictures
about gardening, or reading about gardening?"
Learning Styles: Increasing Awareness in Schools
As it stands, schools mainly teach to print, auditory and language learners,
according to Pelullo-Willis.