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    Learning styles play an important role in how students learn and how teachers teach. Since children — especially those who are preschool-aged and below — are taught primarily by their parents, it is also important that we know as much as we can about our children’s learning styles.

    According to the Oxford Reference website, learning styles refer to “particular ways in which individuals engage in learning.”

    For Teacher Tina Zamora, a family life and child development specialist, and the founder of Nest School, a child's learning style is defined as “how he processes information around him.” They vary depending on how the child connects the information to his own life.

    Fidji Rivera-Sarmiento, a special educator and mom to Boom, 8, Maxx, 5, and Naya, 4, explains, “Learning styles also overlap with Gardner’s multiple intelligences. As a teacher, and a special educator at that, they provide me with the primary ‘vehicle’ which I can use to ‘transport’ concepts. I also use learning styles to create groups in my class.”

    Teacher Fidji adds, “Determining one’s learning style also helps my older students determine how they will attack and ‘hack’ lessons for better retention.”

    Find out your child’s learning style
    Contrary to what many people may think, one need not be a certified teacher or trained professional to determine a child’s learning style. 

    “Communication is key, regardless if you are the parent or the teacher of that child,” Teacher Tina says. “If you know the child well, you would know what usually clicks.”

    Thus, it is important that parents spend time with their children, and get to know them as much as they can.

    “The best thing a parent can do is to leave behind past notions about learning and focus on the child,” Teacher Tina explains.

    “Parents usually have a preconceived notion that a child should be sitting at a desk, quiet, sans music, etc. [in order to learn],” she continues. “This is not the only environment for learning and you will only know what works with your child if you know him well.”

    Teacher Fidji seconds the motion, and emphasizes that “the bulk of determining a child’s learning style is really on observation.

    “With my own three children, whenever we watch a movie, I wait and see who notices the animation and the drawing style (visual smart), who remembers the soundtrack (auditory smart), and who is the most affected by the emotion and the morals (intrapersonal smart),” she shares. “The result is almost always consistent!”

    Teacher Fidji also says that all of her kids are tactile learners. “They have to have the concrete material to touch and hold in order for them to fully learn, so talk about clay, manipulatives, that sort. Actually, learning styles usually come in a combination of two styles.”

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    Here are a few things you can do:
     
    1. Get to know your child
    If you want to determine your child’s learning style, you really need to get to know him.

    “Take an interest in what he watches, listens to, and reads,” Teacher Tina advises.

    “Talk to him about his friends, the places he likes going to, etc. You'll be surprised at the info you'll get — plus the bonding that will make you closer.”

    Although some people might say that kids could have only one out of the three or four basic learning styles (visual or image-smart, auditory or word-smart, tactile/kinesthetic or body-smart, logical or numbers-smart), the truth is that children can have a combination of styles.

    Teacher Tina affirms this, and says, “Sometimes kids mix up styles according to what they're learning. They can be auditory for some things and visual for others, or both.”


    2. Make the most out of your child’s learning style
    Teacher Tina encourages parents to use their children’s learning styles to maximize learning.

    “Once you see how your child sees the work, and understands what's going on around him, you can complement it by setting the physical and temporal environment for learning,” she expounds. “For example, if you notice that your child works well with music, why not allow him to study with earphones on (if you want a quiet home, that is).”

    Teacher Fidji expounds on how she maximizes her children’s unique learning styles: “We used to homeschool and I used each child’s learning style to deliver a lesson. (They’re all in a regular school now, because I felt ‘called’ to a bigger audience).”

    For example:

    For her visual learner, every output would always come with an illustration. Explanations would be presented in a diagram form.

    For her auditory learner, they would find songs connected with the lesson. YoutTube was a big resource for their family then.

    For the emotional learner, every lesson would have a moral story so that the concept would appeal to her affect.


    3. Adjust accordingly
    Christine Everth Dela Cruz-Arteta, a business owner and mom to Vien, 8, shares how discovering her daughter’s learning style has helped both of them:

    “I’ve been tutoring my daughter since she was in Kindergarten, and even before that, I was already teaching her. After reading some resources about learning styles, I learned that my daughter is more of a kinesthetic learner.”

    Because of that, Christine had to adjust her teaching/tutoring style. “It was a long process because I had to test if she had this or that learning style. It was trial and error for me during the first years of tutoring her.”

    Vien will be in Grade 4 in the coming school year, and Christine shares that they are both already “comfortable with how she will learn something the easiest way.”

    “I’ve realized that, as she grows, her learning style changes too, so I am also open to changes in my teaching/tutoring style.”


    4. Appreciate (and use) other styles
     Teacher Fidji is quick to remind parents about exploring other learning styles though, even if they have already identified their children’s unique style.

    “Knowing a child’s learning style should not stop a parent from exploring the least preferred style,” she explains. “That now becomes your room for improvement, so all styles may be utilized for a more holistic learning.”

    “While we were homeschooling, I encouraged my kids to try to appreciate other learning styles apart from their preferences,” she shares.

    “In the classroom, I don’t only group the children homogenously (all visual learners together, etc.), but also heterogeneously (one learning style per group).

    “This strategy has made students cooperate more with one another. It sets them up for success and lessens group biases.”


    Happier kids, happier you
    Ultimately, knowing your child’s learning style can certainly be beneficial not just to you, as a parent, but to him or her as well. This way, learning becomes a whole lot easier — which makes for happier children and happier parents.

    Reference:
    http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199298761.001.0001/acref-9780199298761-e-1693

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_multiple_intelligences


    How to Determine Your Child’s Learning Style

     

    Help your child learn better by finding out his learning style.

     

    By Tina Santiago Rodriguez

     

     

    Learning styles play an important role in how students learn and how teachers teach. Since children — especially those who are preschool-aged and below — are “taught” primarily by their parents, it is also important that we know as much as we can about our children’s learning styles.

     

    According to the Oxford Reference website, learning styles refer to “particular ways in which individuals engage in learning.”

     

    For Teacher Tina Zamora, a family life and child development specialist, and the founder of Nest School, a child's learning style is defined as “how he processes information around him.” They vary depending on how the child connects the information to his own life.

     

    Fidji Rivera-Sarmiento, a special educator and mom to Boom, 8, Maxx, 5, and Naya, 4, explains, “Learning styles also overlap with Gardner’s multiple intelligences. As a teacher, and a special educator at that, they provide me with the primary ‘vehicle’ which I can use to ‘transport’ concepts. I also use learning styles to create groups in my class.”

     

    Teacher Fidji adds, “Determining one’s learning style also helps my older students determine how they will attack and ‘hack’ lessons for better retention.”

     

    Find out your child’s learning style

    Contrary to what many people may think, one need not be a certified teacher or trained professional to determine a child’s learning style.  

     

    “Communication is key, regardless if you are the parent or the teacher of that child,” Teacher Tina says. “If you know the child well, you would know what usually clicks.”

     

    Thus, it is important that parents spend time with their children, and get to know them as much as they can.

     

    “The best thing a parent can do is to leave behind past notions about learning and focus on the child,” Teacher Tina explains.

     

    “Parents usually have a preconceived notion that a child should be sitting at a desk, quiet, sans music, etc. [in order to learn],” she continues. “This is not the only environment for learning and you will only know what works with your child if you know him well.”

     

    Teacher Fidji seconds the motion, and emphasizes that “the bulk of determining a child’s learning style is really on observation.”

     

    “With my own three children, whenever we watch a movie, I wait and see who notices the animation and the drawing style (visual smart), who remembers the soundtrack (auditory smart), and who is the most affected by the emotion and the morals (intrapersonal smart),” she shares. “The result is almost always consistent!”

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

     

    Teacher Fidji also says that all of her kids are tactile learners. “They have to have the concrete material to touch and hold in order for them to fully learn, so talk about clay, manipulatives, that sort. Actually, learning styles usually come in a combination of two styles.”

     

    1.    Get to know your child

    If you want to determine your child’s learning style, you really need to get to know him.

     

    “Take an interest in what he watches, listens to, and reads,” Teacher Tina advises.

     

    “Talk to him about his friends, the places he likes going to, etc. You'll be surprised at the info you'll get — plus the bonding that will make you closer.”

     

    Although some people might say that kids could have only one out of the three or four basic learning styles (visual or image-smart, auditory or word-smart, tactile/kinesthetic or body-smart, logical or numbers-smart), the truth is that children can have a combination of styles.

     

    Teacher Tina affirms this, and says, “Sometimes kids mix up styles according to what they're learning. They can be auditory for some things and visual for others, or both.”

     

     

    2.    Make the most out of your child’s learning style

    Teacher Tina encourages parents to use their children’s learning styles to maximize learning.

     

    “Once you see how your child sees the work, and understands what's going on around him, you can complement it by setting the physical and temporal environment for learning,” she expounds. “For example, if you notice that your child works well with music, why not allow him to study with earphones on (if you want a quiet home, that is).”

     

    Teacher Fidji expounds on how she maximizes her children’s unique learning styles: “We used to homeschool and I used each child’s learning style to deliver a lesson. (They’re all in a regular school now, because this I felt ‘called’ to a bigger audience).”

     

    So, for example:

     

    For her visual learner, every output would always come with an illustration. Explanations would be presented in a diagram form.

     

    For her auditory learner, they would find songs connected with the lesson. YoutTube was a big resource for their family then.

     

    For the emotional learner, every lesson would have a moral story so that the concept would appeal to her affect.

     

     

    3.    Adjust accordingly

    Christine Everth Dela Cruz-Arteta, a business owner and mom to Vien, 8, shares how discovering her daughter’s learning style has helped both of them:

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

     

    “I’ve been tutoring my daughter since she was in Kindergarten, and even before that, I was already teaching her. After reading some resources about learning styles, I learned that my daughter is more of a kinesthetic learner.”

     

    Because of that, Christine had to adjust her teaching/tutoring style. “It was a long process because I had to test if she had this or that learning style. It was trial and error for me during the first years of tutoring her.”


    Vien will be in Grade 4 in the coming school year, and Christine shares that they are both already “comfortable with how she will learn something the easiest way.”

     

    “I’ve realized that, as she grows, her learning style changes too, so I am also open to changes in my teaching/tutoring style.”

     

     

    4.    Appreciate (and use) other styles

     Teacher Fidji is quick to remind parents about exploring other learning styles though, even if they have already identified their children’s unique style.

     

    “Knowing a child’s learning style should not stop a parent from exploring the least preferred style,” she explains. “That now becomes your room for improvement, so all styles may be utilized for a more holistic learning.”

     

    “While we were homeschooling, I encouraged my kids to try to appreciate other learning styles apart from their preferences,” she shares.

     

    “In the classroom, I don’t only group the children homogenously (all visual learners together, etc.), but also heterogeneously (one learning style per group).

     

    “This strategy has made students cooperate more with one another. It sets them up for success and lessens group biases.”

     

     

    Happier kids, happier you

    Ultimately, knowing your child’s learning style can certainly be beneficial not just to you, as a parent, but to him or her as well. This way, learning becomes a whole lot easier — which makes for happier children and happier parents.

     

    Reference:

    http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199298761.001.0001/acref-9780199298761-e-1693

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