How does my child learn?


Children learn in specific ways and these differ. My daughter, for example is a Visual Learner, while my son is Kinesthetic. Understanding HOW to teach them will help your child understand and remember what they learn, Take this simple quiz to find out which learning style suits your child, and what the best way to teach them would be.

Make a note of which (A, B or C) applies to your child, and see the results below.

1. You let your child pick out one toy at the store. Which is he most likely to choose?

a) Paint-by-number set

b) Play microphone

c) Hula hoop or football

2. If your child could only pick one after-school activity, which would he choose?

a) Art lessons

b) Music lessons

c) Sports or drama lessons

3. You’re out to dinner and there’s a 10-minute wait. How does your child occupy himself?

a) Doodling

b) Talking your ear off

c) Digging in your purse while bouncing in place

4. When your child picks the family activity, which is he most likely to choose?

a) A movie

b) A concert

c) Mini golf

5. When your child reads a book to him/herself, he/she:

a) Sits quietly, immersed in its contents

b) Mouths the words aloud or asks you to read it to him

c) Fidgets frequently

6. Which of these digital/tablet activities is your child most drawn to?

a) Looking at photos

b) Listening to music

c) Playing a video game

Mostly A’s: Your child learns by LOOKING (Visual Learner)

Indications your child is a visual learner:

  • A vivid imagination
  • An interest in art: painting, drawing, or crafts
  • A strong memory that relays visually-observed information
  • A good sense of direction and an understanding of maps
  • An aptitude in reading and a love of books
  • Recognition of people, faces, and places
  • A keen interest in observing the world around her

Your child responds best when new concepts are in lists, charts, graphs or diagrams. And enjoys colour, so include that. They can write spelling words or state key facts in different colours, so they are easier to memorise. Maths would be aided if you can give your child objects to help them thing through a problem. So, here are some tips for Visual Learners:

  • Create mind-maps (a visual representation of the lesson) and use different colours in it.
  • Organise notes while you take them. Do headings in a particular colour, use bullet points or indents.
  • Use a notebook that is a blank page (ie. no ruled lines). Instead of being confined to writing a bunch of sentences on lines, a blank notebook invites creativity. You can organize your notes like a mind map, or insert visual cues and drawings to remind yourself of different concepts. You can also simply write words when it is necessary, but the freedom of an unlined notebook makes it easy to adapt.
  • Use visualisation.  Make use of their imagination in learning.
  • Let your Visual Learner see material displayed in front of her, especially pictures.  If they are studying the circulatory system, for example, have a picture of that (preferably in colour) in front of them.

Mostly B’s: Your child learns by LISTENING (Auditory Learner)

Indications your child is an auditory learner:

  • Aptitude in music, instruments, or vocal ability
  • Tendency to sing along to songs or to create her own songs as she plays
  • Strong verbal ability, especially through repetition of words or phrases she’s heard before
  • Ability to listen well and follow verbal directions
  • A love for talking and discussions
  • Sharp ability to notice sounds that others don’t recognize
  • Perking up when she hears music or dialog

Auditory learners are drawn to sound. They may be especially musical and show an aptitude for playing instruments or singing. They are good listeners and often have verbal strengths. They follow oral directions well. Your child does well with verbal instructions and shines in discussions. Saying things aloud can help retain info, playing a recording boosts comprehension even more. Here are some further tips for Auditory Learners:

  • Discuss the content.  Auditory Learners love to talk! Conversations will help them retain info and work through complex problems.
  • Record course material so your child can play it back again.
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat
  • Find a quiet place to work (any loud noises, or even soft may affect them negatively)
  • Find a study buddy/buddies.  A study group works well for an Auditory Learner because they can have a discussion and talk about what they are learning.
  • One of the best study tips for auditory learners is to use mnemonic devices. A mnemonic device can be any number of things such as making up songs, using acronyms, or any word association strategy that helps to remember facts.
  • Watching videos on the class topic can be a great study tip for auditory learners, because it will allow the student to feel like they are in the classroom again. Being able to listen to someone else audibly give information is what allows the auditory learner to remember facts.

Mostly C’s: Your child learns by DOING (Kinesthetic Learner)

Indications your child is a Kinesthetic Learner:

  • Aptitude in sports, dance, or other physical activities
  • Tendency to fidget while in her seat — she may need to move while processing information
  • Frequent use of gestures when speaking or explaining things
  • A love of hands-on activities and play-acting
  • Enjoyment of writing, drawing, or handwriting exercises
  • Early physical development, such as walking, crawling, or sitting early
  • Sharp hand-eye coordination

Your child learns best when they are physically engaged on some level. Many Kinesthetic Learners have trouble sitting still for long stretches, so turn learning into a moving event, throw a beanbag between each other to learn time tables etc. Here are some tips for Kinesthetic Learners:

  • Make learning physical. Encourage her to trace her finger along the words she’s reading. Younger students can benefit from counting on their fingers, while older students might “draw” math problems or spell words in the air in front of them.
  • Encourage full body movement while learning. If they can pace while they learn, they will recall better.
  • Let them move. Don’t attempt to control their fidgeting. They’ll be able to concentrate more and for longer if they are allowed to stand up and stretch frequently.
  • Make models. Your younger kinesthetic learner will benefit from practicing math with an abacus or coins. Older students can use chemical compound models or any learning aid that lets them build and work with their hands. Think blocks, posters, or science exhibits, such as volcanoes or scale models. Your kinesthetic learner will love to create and design physical examples of the things he learns about.