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Learning Styles

Learning Styles Introduction

Children learn as they respond to the environment around them.  The ways that a child processes social, emotional or physical stimuli is called her learning style.Experts have identified three basic learning styles:

Auditory learners remember by talking out loud, like to have things explained orally and may have trouble with written instructions.Auditory learners may talk to themselves when learning something new.

Visual learners easily remember visual details and prefer to see what they are learning.  They prefer to write down instructions and may have trouble following lectures.

Kinesthetic or tactile learners prefer activities and want to actually do what they are learning about. Tactile learners like to touch things in order to learn about them and like to move around when talking or listening.

Identifying your child's preferred style will help you to provide learning materials that are most interesting to her. Be aware that your child's learning style may be different from your own: trying to explain something verbally when your child would understand a picture better can be frustrating for both of you!

Make sure your child has the opportunity to use all three learning styles to make the most of all learning experiences. And while all three styles need to be developed, try to rely on your child's preferred learning style for the more difficult lessons.

Learning Styles -Part II
In the introduction to learning styles, we explored the three main learning styles, or three ways of processing information.  Besides visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles, there are other ways to organize learning style models. These fall into general categories such as information processing, personality patterns, and social interaction.

Information processing distinguishes between the way children sense, think, solve problems, and remember information. Most children (and adults) have a preferred, consistent way of perceiving, organizing, and retaining information.

Personality patterns focus on attention, emotion, and values. Understanding these differences allows you to predict the way your child might react and feel about different situations.

Social interaction looks at likely attitudes, habits, and strategies learners will take toward their work and how they engage with their peers when they learn. Some learners are independent, dependent, collaborative, competitive, participant or avoidant.

Getting as much information about how your child learns is one way to help him or her succeed.You should try to:
1. Teach the most difficult lessons using your child's preferred learning style.
2. Reinforce lessons using multiple learning styels.
3. Help your child improve their learning skils in the learning styles that they are less comfortable. In some cases, this requires helping them understand their own abilities including teaching them techniques for compensation (coming soon - a review of 3DLearners or Mel Levines techniques ----comments welcome via our new blog)
Learning Styles - 3
Computers Can Address Many Learning Styles
As part of their wider learning experience, children can effectively use computers to play, explore, express themselves and solve problems.

Children love using computers because it puts them in control and they benefit from having the calm, impersonal support of an endlessly patient computer, especially when practicing subject that make them uneasy.  Computers put children at ease because they are non-threatening: a computer doesn't register negative emotion when children make mistakes.  This allows children the freedom to try new things and practice difficult subjects in a safe and private way.

Time4Learning has many online lesson demos that show you the kinds of skill-building activities children can try.Look at how the learning activities rely on audio, graphics, text, and interactivity to engage all three main learning styles

For example, the verbal comprehension demo Spencer Pigs Prize shows how computers can contribute to childrens literacy skills in ways that other learning experiences cant:
Differentiation  Children can choose to have the story read aloud or to read it by themselves.
Self-direction Since your child is in control, he can read through the story at his own pace.
Visual stimulation Colorful illustrations reinforce the story.  Key phonemes are highlighted throughout the text.
Auditory stimulation Children can listen to the computer read the story and follow along.
Flexibility Information is conveyed through all three main learning styles.
Support The computer never makes your child feel that he can't do it and provides endless opportunities to try again.

Visit Time4Learning to explore other demos and see how your child can effectively use the computer to complement her learning.

Education MegaTrends & Computers
Reprinted with permission from: Learning & Fun Online

There are two apparently contradictory trends dominating the dynamics in public education in the last half decade.

One one hand, schools are recognizing that children have different learning issues. The number of children being recognized as "exceptional learners" is steadily. increasing. Nationwide, 38% of the children in public school are categorized as exceptional learners!
In contrast, there is the trend towards rigid standardization.More on educational trends and learning styles ....

Whats New?
Autism-Aspergers- An overview with resources
Audio Books for Kids - Listen to books in the car while teaching language art skills as a family
Keyboarding - Typing Courses - Todays skills for todays learners
Master Degree in Education - Learn more to teach your own kids or as a career, its the hottest work-from-home job!
Coming Soon - Reviews of:
Huntington Learning