What learning style does your child have?

Kinderling News & Features

Kinesthetic, visual, and auditory. 

According to a bunch of anecdotal evidence from educators and parents collected by Noodle website, these are the most common learning styles when it comes to kids. 

It's a theory backed up by researchers at Vanderbilt University. Like most theories, this one has its non-believers. 

Researchers in this article argue its unhelpful because teachers can make assumptions about what a child may or may not be interested in learning. Yet experts in this piece say understanding these differences really helps your child's educators and teachers hone in on education areas that need support.

Understanding the three categories better (and which one your child potentially falls into) might help you decide which camp you fall into. 

Let’s start with why it matters

For parents not yet initiated into the stream of school (waves from me), we probably haven’t had many chances to understand how our children learn. This changes - and fast - if school parents I know are to be believed.

Understanding how our children learn helps us advocate for them, support them and also better prepare for any challenges they face along the way. 

Depending on your child’s personality, their learning style may be harder or easier to glean.

So, let’s break down the main traits of each of the three learning styles.

Kinesthetic learners 

These kids are physical learners, and perhaps the easiest to identify of the three learning styles. They learn best by putting their bodies to use. Early hallmarks of this style of learning are the early walkers or talkers, or babies that love clapping and using their hands to gesture. 

Signs of a kinesthetic learner: 

  • Excellent hand-eye coordination

  • Enjoy writing and drawing

  • Tendency to fidget

  • Love sport and physical activity

The best ways to support them:

Get them a whole bunch of Lego or model-type toys to keep their hands and brains busy; invest in a white board so they can draw to their hearts' content; and learn to accept their fidgeting ways! 

Visual learners

Does your child blow you away with their excellent memory? Maybe they love their screen time more than most (hmm, tricky one that!), or maybe they really love looking at your old photos? Chances are they’re a visual learner. 

Signs of a visual learner:

  • Usually have a great imagination

  • They love reading books

  • They understand maps and have a good general sense of direction

  • Have good recognition of people, places and faces 

The best ways to support them:

These kids think best in visually-pleasing spaces, so create a really lovely environment for their toys, desk and books. Encourage visualisation or meditation, and be savvy about educational screen time or movies. 

Auditory learners

No prizes for guessing that sound/the spoken word is key for these little ones. They tend to love music, listen really well and follow directions to a tee. 

Signs of an auditory learner:

  • They love music and will sing along to songs they know

  • They love a chat!

  • Are quick to pick up on new sounds in an environment

  • Are really keen on musical instruments

The best ways to support them:

Encourage learning by rote (repetition); be mindful of any background noise in their learning space; and encourage them to ask questions.

Can you tell which kind of learner your kids are yet?