Learning is a concept which is unique to each person. Everyone processes and comprehends information in a different manner. This manner, referred to as a learning style, is distinct for each child. Their approach to learning is a reflection of their personality. Observing a child’s behaviours at an early age can indicate which learning style they will be most comfortable with says Mona Singh, VP, Sesame Schoolhouse
A child’s comfort level, their interaction with their environment, the level of interest exhibited, are all indicative of what holds the child’s attention and what doesn’t. This ultimately helps the caregiver in ensuring that the child is taught in a manner which will allow him to grasp concepts quickly. When children seem lost and disinterested it is most often because they are unable to follow or cope with teaching methods. Instead of being called ‘incapable’ or ‘not bright in studies’ it would be better to spark the interest of child by understanding what holds their attention. Whether it is through games, music or dance, as long as a connection can be seen between what is understood and how it manifests, children are learning.
Here are the learning styles that children identify with:
Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence: This means an ability to understand things through bodily awareness, movement and touching. Learning is best grasped by these children when they engage in physical activities to understand the material. Some preschools have built their curriculum and infrastructure keeping such learners in mind.
Visual learning intelligence: This is a style which is adopted by children who respond very expressively to visual aid. They process information through print-rich games, puzzles, pictures, drawings, images and multimedia. It’s important that preschools use multiple platforms like TV, board games and digital games to teach such learners.
Verbal intelligence: Such learners respond to sounds and learn effectively by listening to multimedia programmes and hearing stories. They are more receptive to people speaking and are able to relate by talking as well. These children retain information because of their ability to effectively use language.
Logical intelligence: The logical learner follows patterns, rules, order and categorisation of work. Clear explanations which elaborate ‘how’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ keep them engaged and interested.
Intrapersonal intelligence:Intrapersonal learners have strong intuition, motivation and confi dence in their abilities. They do their best work when they are in a quiet space with nobody else around to distract them. They are guided by their own models of work and have the capacity to understand themselves, their fears and motivations.
Interpersonal intelligence:A child who can relate to people, understand their emotions, respond sensitively and maintain relations in an easy manner has an interpersonal learning style. This is a child who works well in teams and is good, clear and straight forward in her interactions.
Rhythmic intelligence: Musicalrhythmic learners are sensitive to rhythm, music and sounds. Rhythmic learners have a skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. They are often able to recognise structures and patterns from sounds and speech. This is the reason why most early education centres teach children through rhymes and music.
Naturalistic intelligence: Parents can identify if their child is a naturalistic learner by simply observing her affinity for the natural world. Naturalist learners enjoy observing animals, interacting with pets, exploring nature, gardening and hiking.
Some children may like activities while others work best through language and do well with reading. Some children understand things better through visual mediums than with music. All children have the potential to learn and excel. There are several patterns of learning and the best that a caregiver can do is step back, observe what seems to be working for their child and help them build their strengths and passions. Remember, what works for one child might not necessarily work for another. Be patient and you’ll be surprised to learn just how much your child is progressing!MB